Open up a world of Turkish inspiration with a Cornucopia digital subscription

Buy a stand-alone digital subscription and get unlimited access to dozens of back issues for just £18.99 / $18.99 a year.

Print subscribers automatically receive FREE access to the digital archive.
Please register at www.exacteditions.com/digital/cornucopia with your subscriber account number or contact subscriptions@cornucopia.net

Buy a digital subscription Activate free digital access (print subscribers only) Go to the Digital Edition

Adventures of the Three Donketeers

In August 1981, a writer, a painter, a geographer and four donkeys set out on a 600-kilometre journey from the Sea of Marmara to the Mediterranean. Rural Anatolia was on the cusp of great change, but the remote villages they passed through were holding on firmly to their way of life. Drawing on the diary he kept en route and long-forgotten photographs, Christopher Trillo brings a poet’s eye and pen to his account of an epic journey’s moments of humour and humanity – and sheer poetry

  • Bumper harvest, Aşağıbali, near Çaltılıbük, northwest Anatolia, photographed by Christopher Trillo on Day 1 of their eight-journey across Anatolia in 1981

It was August 1981 – not the most auspicious time for three Englishmen to embark upon a trek across Anatolia, from north to south, from Mustafakemelpaşa and the Sea of Marmara, to Serik and the Mediterranean.

Eleven months after the September coup, Turkey was still under military rule. The anarchy and violence were over, but, although 650,000 people had been arrested, suspects were still believed to be in hiding. It is really surprising, therefore, how little suspicion we encountered or how little the recent political traumas affected our reception. There was ample evidence of strong political affiliation among many of the people we met but we did not see signs of the intensity of violence, chaos and anger we had witnessed in Istanbul and the national media.

Our party numbered seven. The human contingent consisted of Simon, an artist; Stephen, geographer and photographer; and Christopher, writer, linguist and photographer. Along with us came four donkeys: Professor Plodder (stoical, obtuse, submissive), Dylan (wistful, poetic, a dreamer, rucksacks on his back); Mr (or Dr) Dobbs (cunning and vengeful), and King Trevor…

CAPTURING THE MOMENT Expressive Anatolian scenes by the artist Simon Nicholas, one of the three donketeers, now based in Oslo, feature in this article. His sketches would prove a rich resource for oil paintings. For exhibitions see simonnicholas.com. A page is also devoted to his early work in Turkey: Selected Works 1978–81

Other Highlights from Cornucopia 62
Buy the issue
Issue 62, 2021 Travellers’ Tales
£12.00 / $16.49 / 134.46 TL
Cornucopia Digital Subscription

The Digital Edition

Cornucopia has joined forces with the digital publishing platform Exact Editions to offer individual and institutional subscribers unlimited access to a searchable archive of fascinating back issues and every newly published issue. This brand new resource is available cross-platform on web, iOS and Android and offers a comprehensive search function, allowing the title’s cultural content to be delved into at the touch of a button.

Digital Subscription: £18.99 / $18.99 (1 year)

Subscribe now

Print subscribers automatically receive FREE access to the digital archive. If you are already a subscriber, please register at www.exacteditions.com/digital/cornucopia with your subscriber account number or contact subscriptions@cornucopia.net