The Turkish Life

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The Turkish Life
Originally from San Francisco, I moved to Istanbul in early 2008 and have been blogging here at The Turkish Life ever since about my travels, linguistic misadventures, and random observations.
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  • #RefugeesWelcome: Here's how you can help 3 months ago When I first moved to Istanbul, the near-total lack of people living on the street stood in stark contrast to my native San Francisco, where homelessness has been a serious problem for decades. The war in Syria changed all that. I’ve become used to seeing the men who sleep outside the hotel where...
  • Filling the gaps on Lesbos 4 months ago Refugee families arriving at the Moria camp on Lesbos.Photo by Ashley AndersonLast month, some 125,000 people fleeing violence, oppression, and abject poverty in their home countries made the treacherous journey by sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos in hopes of starting new lives in...
  • Stranded by a strike, and dangers still ahead: Day 4 on Lesbos 4 months ago People wait to buy tickets and board the ferry to AthensEach day, a massive, cruise-ship-sized ferry leaves Lesbos, transporting refugees who've been able to secure the necessary permission to move on to Athens -- and the money to buy a ticket for their passage. Neither task is an easy...
  • From chaos to eerie calm: Days 2 and 3 on Lesbos 4 months ago Rice to feed thousands being prepared at a Lesboscatering companyIf a refugee on Lesbos had a meal today, chances are good it came from a nondescript warehouse tucked away on a rural road lined with olive trees outside the town of Mytilene.Inside this building, the staff of a small Greek catering...
  • Paradise turned purgatory: Day 1 on Lesbos 5 months ago "The weather's a bit bad, is the ferry still running today?" a woman asked upon entering the ticket office, visibly worried. The man behind the counter nearly rolled his eyes. "The fishing boats have gone out and they have only one motor. These ferries have three. There's no weather in which we...

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