We’ve got a busy monthly news recap lined up for this post on this, the first day of more relaxed restrictions for many in Turkey. We’re fortunate that lockdown has been relatively okay for us.
We know not everyone is in the same boat, but we’re in a position where we’ve been able to keep positive and productive, too. Lots of work on this labour of love of ours – the blog.
So, let’s take a look at what took place in May…
End Of Lockdown Preparations
It’s actually all very low key and that makes us feel more optimistic that the end of lockdown isn’t going to mean a mad crazy dash to beaches, restaurants and shopping areas.
A lot of people are still feeling cautious at the moment. So, hopefully, that means we ease, rather than charge, into the relaxation of rules and keep things improving in the long term.
Shopping centres, high street stores, hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons all opened just over a couple of weeks back. Whilst there was a small spike in cases a few days ago, we’re once more on a downward trend. Let’s hope that trend continues.
Social(ly Distant) Circles
A few days ago, we got these! They’re a great idea. We saw online that circles had been painted along the grass by the kordon in Alsancak in Izmir a while ago. That gave us hope that the same idea would be used here. And it has. Elsewhere in Turkey, too.
If you know Fethiye, you’ll know that families love to come and sit on the grass by the sea at the weekends and on summer evenings. Hopefully, these circles can help to make sure that groups are a safe distance apart from each other whilst just enjoying a bit of leisure and seaside time.
The reopening of shopping centres and hairdressers has had no effect on our current daily life whatsoever. We’re outdoor people so it’s measures like this that we’re so happy to see. Apparently, the mayor of Izmir has said people are using the circles well in Alsancak. So fingers crossed for the same, here.
And it’s not just all about rules and regulations. Fethiye council have done (and are doing) their bit throughout to try and keep people’s spirits up at the same time.
Among our socially distanced circles, we also have a couple of sunshine smiley faces and, of course, this being Turkey, we have the crescent and star of the Turkish flag.
The circles are different sizes – no doubt the very large ones will be well used by families with the picnic furniture in tow.
For us, from today, Monday June 1st, we can once more go for a run along the running track, the harbour, through Fethi Bey Park and along the beach. That is what makes us happy.
In The Kitchen
We spend a lot of time cooking anyway, but, as with many other people around the world, we’re spending more time than ever in there at the moment. No complaints from us on that score. We love it!
And it’s spring – the stalls of the local markets are absolutely brimming with seasonal produce at the moment.
More cooking has therefore meant more recipes to share with you on the blog. We’ve still got more to write up, but, through the month of May, we’ve done some great Turkish classics. And one you might not be quite so familiar with.
Yeni Dünya Kebab
The beginning of May is loquat (yeni dünya) season. In the southeast of Turkey, fruit is often paired with meat to make savoury dishes. This yeni dünya kebab recipe is an absolute winner. If you want to make something similar and don’t have loquats, try firm plums or peaches.
A big tray of comfort food! We love a bit of börek and tepsi means ‘tray’ so the pastry dish is made completely in the tray. Our recipe for tepsi böreği has a filling of meat and vegetables. You can use filo pastry to make this dish if you can’t get yufka.
Spring, for us, has been more aubergine-filled than usual. No particular reason. They just seem to be finding their way onto our eyeline when we’re shopping, so we’ve been cooking with aubergines a lot more.
We’d also had requests from readers to post our imam bayıldı recipe, especially after we did meaty karnıyarık in April. A bit more time on our hands has given us time to sit down and share these recipes and continue to build our collection of Turkish recipes.
For The Love Of Köfte
And then there’s the classic of classics.
Just a good old classic köfte recipe. This article is also our ode to köfte in its many different guises – each one tasty and memorable in its own special way.
If you follow us on social media, you’ll also know we’ve been cooking up lots of other regular Turkish dishes. ‘Tis the season of beans. Our fridge has been filled with serving bowls of taze fasulye and a favourite of this season, barbunya pilaki.
After buying a ready cooked chicken from our local rotisserie place, we also made tavuklu nohutlu pilav (chicken with rice and chickpeas). When you’re just cooking at home, though, and using up ingredients, you can throw in some extras. Wow, the colours were so vibrant after I threw in a bit of crimson chopped red pepper and lush green spinach!
These recipes and more can be found in our Turkish recipes collection.
Ramazan And Bayram x 2
Throughout the May lockdown, we’ve had the holy month of Ramazan and Ramazan Bayramı (Eid). Ramazan Bayramı is where all things sweety are embraced. The shops are packed with sweets and various favourite Turkish desserts.
Because Ramazan Bayramı is such a social affair, the Turkish government imposed a countrywide 4-day curfew. So Turkish families celebrated bayram in their homes – and we just stayed in our home, too.
These are the days where P.E. with Joe has kickstarted the day and got things off to a positive start.
And then, 19th May is Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sports Day. This is often a time of live concerts by famous rock and pop acts.
This year, it was an online affair. The local Fethiye council brass band bravely marched the streets entertaining people on their balconies. I say ‘bravely’ because we also had a Saharan heatwave and temperatures were touching 40 degrees!
Virtual Archaeological Exploration
Well, we haven’t been able to travel or explore anywhere new – apart from lots of our never-before-seen local side streets, that is. We now know our local area much better than we ever have!
But for something a little more cultural, we used the month of May to take us all on some virtual archaeological explorations. On our Facebook page, we’ve re-shared various articles about sites around Turkey…
We can’t have an archaeology month and not share magnificent Ephesus, another on the World Heritage List. And we’ve also virtually been to two archaeological sites on the UNESCO Tentative List: the ruins of Kaunos near Dalyan and the dramatically-situated Sagalassos.
Throughout May, we continued with the twice-weekly online jigsaws of scenes from around Turkey. Just a little lockdown activity. The Saturday ones are tougher than the Wednesday ones.
Things might be relaxing a little here in Turkey, but, as we said above, it’s still about being cautious. We love being outdoors but we choose quiet places. And when we’re home, well why not do a quick jigsaw every now and then.
Our most recent jigsaw is the view of Fethiye from the Amyntas rock tomb. Click the link above if you want to give it a go.
Today, Turkey is in a new phase and we wait to see what the month will bring. To be able to run along the harbour this morning was just a sheer delight. And it was lovely to see restaurants like Çarıklı Et and Denizatı setting up. It’s a definite mood lifter!
It might have been raining but that didn’t matter.
For us personally, this month will be about walks along the beach and by the sea, and we’ll give the local restaurants and cafes our support on occasion.
Hotels can also open and traffic restrictions between cities are now lifted so people can now move around more freely. It’s a test and the government have said traffic restrictions can be reinstated if there is a spike in cases.
We do still have people under curfew – the 65 year olds and over, and the 18 year olds and younger. We really hope those curfews can be safely lifted very soon.
So, step by step, we’ll see how things go. As always, we try to remain optimistic – and safe! Best of luck to everyone…