Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Enjoy Your Efes Here; You Won’t Find Much Else!


Every country has their own local beers—as the drink is enjoyed virtually all around the world. If you’re like me, you like to sample them as well, enjoying your Sapporo in Japan, your Brahma in Brasil, or your Guinness in Ireland. But few beer manufacturers anywhere enjoy quite the prominence that Efes (short for Ephesus) has in its native Turkey.

The pilsen beer is not only known in Turkey, as it is the 5th most popular European beer based on production and the 8th-most popular by sales volume. But within Turkey, the brand enjoys an astonishing 82 percent market share, and sponsors seemingly everything, including the national basketball team and the first Turkish futsal league.

While the majority of consumption is of its flagship pilsener, the Efes portfolio includes Efes Dark, Efes Light, Efes Xtra, Efes Ice and Efes Dark Brown.

So when you’re here, make sure you enjoy an Efes, because you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything else!

Efes Beer

IDkusadasi: Wild Nights in Turkey


You surely known the usual suspects like Ibiza and Mykonos by now, but let the record show that Kusadasi, along the Mediterranean Coast in Southwest Turkey, boasts one of the most vibrant nightlife offerings in the world.

Kusadasi's Location in Turkey

Kusadasi’s Location in Turkey

Kusadasi LocationWhen two of the most popular nightlife spots are called Barlar Sokagi (“The Street of Bars”) and Asagi Barlar Sokagi (“The Lower Street of Bars”), you know you’re in for a memorable time (or perhaps you’ll remember nothing, and not because you were bored). The countless options, ranging from Irish bars to stone houses-turned-clubs, are packed year round, and feature internationally-renowned DJ’s during the summer peak season.

The video below offers a quick glimpse into a stroll down The Street of Bars. Enjoy!

Turkey and the Evil Eye


Turkey Evil Eyes

It doesn’t take long wandering the streets of Turkey (or even Greece, for that matter), to realize that belief in the Evil Eye is very real here. Typically addressed to someone who is unaware, it is essentially a dirty look given by someone who is jealous to another, able to cause bad luck, injury or even death for the recipient. Its legend dates as far back as the Old Testament in the Bible, and it requires protective measures to be taken against it.

The most common of these measures is the display of a blue charm or talisman, known in Turkey as nazar, featuring concentric blue and white circles typically arranged from dark blue to white to light blue and back to dark blue (outside-in). Many people believe that the presence of these charms will actually turn the malicious gaze back upon the sender, with the charm being blue because of the ancient Anatolian belief that it shields or absorbs negative energy. As a result, you will see these charms attached to anything and everything that may attract envy and greed—homes, animals, machines, newborn babies, and even web sites!

It is worth noting that the evil eye doesn’t have to only be given to another ‘deserving’ person. To the contrary, it is believed that the most common “victims” are babies and young children, as they are so often praised by others, and can even extend to animals and possessions. The phenomenon has been widely documented as well, with more than 100 authors ranging from Plato to Theocritus having described it.

While the protective charms that are so popular among tourists are most prominent here in Turkey, belief in the Evil Eye extends far beyond the Mediterranean. Addressed in Islamic doctrine and also used by Jews and Christians alike, it is most feared in the Middle East, but also can be found in Africa, Central America, South and Central Asia and Northern Europe.

The Evil Eye displayed in a home...

The Evil Eye displayed in a home…

The Evil Eye displayed in a garden...

The Evil Eye displayed in a garden…


The Last Meal on Noah’s Ark


If you’ve ever been to Turkey during Christmas season, it’s more than likely that you’ve enjoyed the very same libations that were enjoyed on Noah’s Ark. A symbol of peace and love, served by families to friends and loved ones during the holidays, aşure is a pudding containing multiple and varying ingredients. Known as Noah’s Pudding, it is believed to have been the last meal served on Noah’s Ark, in celebration as the great flood subsided.

You probably haven’t seen or tasted anything like this before, but don’t worry too much about what’s inside—it’s tradition! In case you’re curious, you’re likely to find a mix of rice, rosewater, walnuts, white beans, barley, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, and other creative ingredients mixed together with lots of cinnamon. Because food was scarce on Noah’s Ark, the dish originated when Noah used the various ingredients that had been left over from previous meals to make his version of aşure.

Now it is a Christmastime staple in Turkey, and best enjoyed slowly, in the presence of great company. So as you make your rounds this Christmas, don’t expect to get in and get out quickly—allow time and take yourself back to the days of Noah!