Category Archives: Turkey

My Turkey travelogues

Huliganov’s Turkish Experience #4 Night and Day by Bosphorus Bridge


Original playout date: 6 February 2008
Duration: 12:15

We see the meeting of Europe and Asia, Asia, Ecoutez-moi.

St Antoine Catholic Church. And we see raki turning to a milky colour. We see my colleagues enjoying a meal and more exploration of Ortakoy area.
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Huliganov’s Turkish Experience #3 – Eat me!


Original playout date: 28 January 2008
Duration: 14:19

This evening we are in Taksim, in Beyoğlu, where the most thriving part of the city’s nightlife is, with shops open until late, and restaurants until even later. We went to one restaurant famous for the quality of its mezedes or hors d’oeuvres and were treated to some impromptu fasıl music. The title “Ye Beni” means “Eat me”, though whether it has the full range of meanings associated with that phrase in vernacular English I couldn’t begin to ask. Maybe someone here will tell me?
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Huliganov’s Turkish Experience #2 – Evening in Ortakoy


Original playout date: 27 January 2008
Duration: 6:41

The cats are singing songs of war to each other, and Istanbul street food fills my stomach, as we enter the second instalment of my Turkish series.
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Huliganov’s Turkish Experience #1 – Arrival


Original playout date: 26 January 2008
Duration: 14:56

The beginning of a new series and this time Huliganov gets to know a completely new country. The Huliganov’s Turkish Experience in total is in fact three separate trips close to each other in time. This is the first time a multi-trip to a country makes up a single series. I didn’t really do that for the American series but in the future this idea is done on much larger series for example the Czech series which goes over 100 parts and the Russia series which I still don’t know how may it will be, but could also get close to that number.
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Some surprising things about Turkish and English


I thought I’d note down a couple of things which have arisen in the course of my learning Turkish, which strangely reflect certain aspects of English. Some people might regard as completely coincidental such items appearing between languages from completely different groups — my question is how many such coincidences can there be before it becomes more than a coincidence?

1) adjectival suffix -LI

In Turkish, an adjective derived from a noun can be formed by adding -li or one of the equivalents of -li in vowel harmony. Example – ev (house) gives evli (having a house – ie married, compare the Spanish “casado”), tedbir is caution – having caution, ie “prudent” is “tedbirli”. Resim is picture, and resimli means illustrated. Interesting how this reflects the -ly of “shapely” in English.

2) Past tense in d or t. The suffix -di or -ti in Turkish closely reflects the way in which English forms past tense from most of its verbs

3) In English, the “geographicals” such as “where?”, “Here”, “there” all have a -re suffix. Same in Turkish, although you have to bear in mind that because of vowel harmony the suffix often appears as “ra”. “Where” is “nere” plus “de” making “nerede” if you mean “where at”, “nere” plus “ye” making “nereye” meaning “where to”, while nereden is wherefrom, “burada” means “here”, “orada” means “there”, etc.

This is in addition to the numerous similarities which can be explained by the fact that they appear in many languages because that’s what languages do, and also the later borrowings.

Turkish also gives us insights into the Russian language and into Ukrainian. The Russian expressions “my s toboy” or “soviet da lyubov” can be traced into Turkic, along with a sizeable amount of that vocabulary which Russian does not share with, for instance, Polish.

And of course for the Westerner Turkish offers an ease in to languages such as Arabic and Persian, given that in learning Turkish you will learn a certain quantity of loan words which you will recognise again coming to those languages.

If all this was not enough, and the logical, quite delightful structure of Turkish and the pleasantness of its sound were not enough, and the way it opens a route to a large country to explore for business or pleasure with about 80 million people, Turkish is also the best-known language and in a sense the mother ship for learning other Turkic languages, 4 out of the 5 Central Asia countries and also Azerbaydzhan as well as peoples found in many other countries, the Qirimtatarca and Tatars of Russia, the Uyghurs of China, among others. Turkish is a silk route into a very interesting, cross-continental linguistic adventure.

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