PASSPORT RENEWAL IN TURKEY
09 October 2021
PASSPORT RENEWAL IN TURKEY
I need to renew my passport. I still have 8 months before expiration but many countries want 6 months for clearance and by the time we leave Turkey and reach the UK I will only have a couple of months before expiration. I have two choices for renewal. I can go to the American Embassy in Ankara (300 some miles) or I can renew by mail. I am planning on renewing by mail and the other day I began to research the process. As nothing has changed since my last passport was issued the process seems fairly simple however, we have learned that nothing requiring paperwork is simple in Turkey. The renewal form is filled out on line,printed and then mailed to Ankara. The renewal fee can not be paid via credit card, it must be paid by a cashiers check in USD, from a main branch of Garanti Bank (Turkish Bank). The cashiers checks are valid for ten days and should be received at the Embassy at least three days before the expiration date. The instructions indicate that the bank may not understand what is needed and if that is the case there are two telephone numbers that the bank can call for instructions. So, first step is to locate a main branch of Garanti Bank---the girls in the office weren't sure which were main branches.
Next question, will anyone in the bank speak English? I phoned the bank several times, the office gals phoned---no answer. I still was not sure if I was calling a main branch.
Now, I don't need to actually send my application in until November but I do need to get my "ducks in a row". I had to visit the bank, find out if someone spoke English, find out if they could do the cashiers check, do I need an appointment, how long would it take, is there a bank fee? My plan was to go with Kerim, our Friday taxi driver, he has translated for us before and his English is fairly good---I usually understand him. The day before Kerim was to pick me up I met a Belgium cruising couple, Monique and Eddy, who have a boat and a house here in Alanya. Having, for many years, dealt with Turkish red tape they convinced me that as helpful as Kerim might be, this might be over his head---they have a Turkish friend, Metin, who is a genius at ploughing through the Turkish system. The next day Monique, Metin and I arrived at the appropriate bank, it was the main branch.
Metin took my iKamet (residence card) and explained, in Turkish, what I needed. The bank teller checked with her supervisor and returned telling Metin that I needed to open a bank account. Now, the paperwork from the US Embassy indicated that this wasn't necessary however, as Monique told me, "The Embassy is there, we are here, this is Turkey". I asked Metin what the minimum was to open an account, he told me you didn't need money to open an account---really? OK, let's do it. Naturally, it didn't go smoothly. The teller had my iKamet but there was a problem---when she went to her computer she found that my iKamet did not have an address with it. The government has quite a sophisticated computerized system for tracking all kinds of information about residents but they do not have any boxes to tic for live-aboards. We were told we had to go to the Nufus Müdürlügü, the population government office. Monique drove to the office and we were told that they could not help us, we had to the the Alanya Directorate of Migration Management (immigration). Finally, 45 minutes later Metin said that the marina address was now linked to my iKamet. Of course, Eric doesn't have an address linked to his! Monique drove us back to Garanti Bank where a new clerk spent over an hour setting up my $0 account! The amount of paperwork was amazing, page after page after page---all in Turkish.
We'll see what happens in. November when I go to get my check.
Passing the time in Turkey
09 October 2021
Well, things have improved since my last report of the boat. Packages finally arrived, 40% customs duty on one of them! Eric replaced the thermostat and igniter on our Australian BBQ and the alarm and sensors on our propane system. Bits and pieces arrived from Sail Rite and we received a duplicate credit card. However, we still are tied to the dock. As much as Eric wants to get out to make sure that the sails will still go up, the water-maker will still work, all systems are good, he really wants to finish the cockpit enclosure, which he has been dreaming about for 9 years. So we are still in Alanya with 2/3 of the enclosure completed.
I spent a good deal of time this summer at a beach close to the marina which is used solely by locals, no tourists at all. It is quite a ways down the coast from the popular tourist area of Kleopatra Beach, otherwise known as the Turkish French Riviera. Summers are very hot and humid in this part of Turkey, this summer being even hotter than normal. Families would begin arriving early in the morning, setting up beach umbrellas and chairs, picnic baskets and inflatable beach toys, organizing themselves for a day of sun, water and friendship, a scene much like what you would see in the United States with one interesting exception. Turkey is a secular country with a majority Muslim population. This was evident at the beach where many of the women were swimming while completely covered up in brightly colored fabrics, longs sleeves, long tunics, long pants, head coverings all in in beautiful colors These swim ensembles are Burkinis. It was interesting to me that Nike has a large collection of Burkinis and much of the research that went into the design was done in Beaverton. However, Nike does not use the term Burkinis, they refer to the swim ensembles as "modest swimwear". The New Yorker in their December 9, 2019 issue featured an interesting article "Nike Takes The Modest Plunge Into Modest Swimwear".
In all the countries we've visited we have used public transportation---buses, trams, tuk tuks, trains, but not in Turkey during Covid. We taxi into town and then try to take care of all of our errands "on foot". I have seen yellow paths on all of the major sidewalks but had no idea what they were for until I read a piece from the Alanya Police Department that read "Don't Hinder Be Aware. Sidewalks are not parking. Yellow lines are not ornamental, they are for pedestrians with vision impaired!" Photos in gallery.
OLIVES——-TREE TO TABLE
07 September 2021
There are several olive trees on the marina property and on my morning walk I pass the trees full of green olives. Each day I wonder to myself, what has to happen to these olives so they are edible? Maybe they can be eaten off the tree? (I have never picked one and tried it) Do black olives start out as green olives? What about the purple ones I bought at the Bazar? But by the time I finish my walk and am back on the boat I have forgotten about my olive questions. Well, the other morning I researched olives and wow, I now look at each olive with much more respect!
Years ago we would drive from Oregon to San Fransisco, the road would take us through “Olive Country” in Northern California. We would pass miles and miles of olive groves stopping at roadside stands to buy lovely green olives stuffed with garlic, pimentos, onions or almonds. Undoubtedly there were other types of olives but I had only eyes for the stuffed green ones.
My next olive epiphany was an open air market in Nouméa, New Caledonia. More varieties and colors than I had ever seen. Samples were freely offered and I wanted to say, “I think I need to try one of each variety, please”. However, I did go every day for a new sample!
This brings me to Turkey and my morning walk past the olive trees.
Traditional Turkish Breakfast
06 September 2021
Canadian/Turkish friends took us to a lovely restaurant with a spectacular view of ALanya and the Harbor. Wish I had taken the photo before we started eating! This isn’t even all of the food, staff kept bringing more to the table. Wonderful olives, cheeses, spices pepper sauce, menemen (my favorite), breads, eggs, aubergine, nuts, avocado, fruit, and more.
I was particularly interested in the menemen because I have made it several times and it has never tasted as good as it did here. It is the red mixture toward the top of the picture/ spoon in pan.
SUMMER CONTINUES——Still Tied to the Dock
06 September 2021
Our summer in Turkey has been a busy time. Our intention was to spend a couple of months anchoring and exploring some of the beautiful Turkish coast however, that hasn't happened yet. Only once did we leave the dock and that was to motor over to the fuel dock for a pump out and then back to our slip----so far that has been our summer adventure!
Waiting for pieces and parts to arrive from the US, New Zealand and Australia kept us tied to the dock. Some of what we ordered were for safety, some for unfinished projects and a credit card. Week after week we would say, " By next week all of our packages will have arrived and we can take off". Well, it hasn't happened yet. Our only navigating has been with Turkish Customs, quite a challenge. Again, with the help of Google Translate and the marina staff we are sailing through the red tape of custom fees, additional custom fees, labels and language. We hope to untie the dock li
nes this fall and get further than the fuel dock.
21 July 2021
Pam Sellix | HOT. HOT. HOT
One of our sailing mantras best describes this last week. "PLANS ARE MADE IN THE SAND AT LOW TIDE".
Our refrigerator is now working, we needed a new thermostat. Now, we felt pretty confident that we would soon be untying our lines and heading out to anchor. Early Thursday morning we motored over to the fuel dock for both petrol and diesel and a pump out. It had been ten months since we had been off the dock, it was so nice to be moving on the water. As we were docking, I heard Eric tell one of the marina staff that we would be leaving tomorrow. So, I called our trusty taxi driver, Kerim, and we set off for the Thursday Bazar for final provisioning of fruit and vegetables and a stop at Migros for refrigerated items. Back on the boat I helped Eric check various systems, rigging, etc. I let the marina office know that we hoped to leave the next day. So far, so good. Time came to fix dinner and.........stove not working, oven not working. TBC