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Old 28th September 2004, 15:00   #1 (permalink)
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Travels in Turkey – Part 3

Olu Deniz

After the day trip to Dalyan, matters were now very icy between Peter and myself. Having come to the conclusion that we no longer had anything in common, apart from two children, I found myself in the wonderful position of deciding which way I was going to let my life go, or where it was going to be led.

Every morning, was a constant argument of where we would go that day and with whom. In the first few days, I had expressed a wish to go off by ourselves, but Peter whom I hadn't spent a day alone with in over a year, had different ideas. One day would be spent lying on the beach down at Olu Deniz, where Peter, Linda and I have just remembered Roy, would discuss where we were eating that night, or where we needed to go to get our next culture fix.

Not being in the least interested, I ignored them, rolled over onto my tummy and dreamed of Mehmet in the sunshine. Believe me; I had no intentions of meeting anyone, yet alone a seventeen year old boy! I am a strong believer in fate and destiny or as we call it in Turkiye ~ Kismet. Laying undisturbed with my thoughts, I knew that I wanted to stay in that beautiful place forever. There is a very high suicide rate in Turkiye and I can remember saying rather enthusiastically, ‘I am not surprised people come here to kill themselves'. The beauty is something that you can hold in your heart always. Even in January, when the green tips of the wild crocus and cyclamens are still to poke their new heads through, there is raw, natural beauty. The kind that takes your breath away.

I was nudged out of my day dreams, by Peter telling me to get dressed because it was 3pm and Linda & Roy wanted to get back for a shower. Yes, it was early but even now, when everyone returns to the hotels of an evening and turn on fifty odd showers, it does have an effect with the water flow. I muttered that it wouldn't matter if she didn't wash her hair today, but grudgingly got more suitably attired and picked up my beach bag.

We strolled off down the beach to the mini bus stop. Mini buses in turkiye are called Dolmus which translated literally means stuffed. In those days, we could stuff 25 or so people in 15 seater mini bus and it was a great way to meet the locals and make friends. Unfortunately these days, it is no longer allowed. It still goes on and don't be surprised if when reaching the top of the mountain, en-route from Fethiye, you are asked to kneel down so your head cannot be seen by Jandarma (military police) who have a security post in place, just past the new top road in Ovacik.

We climbed onto the dolmus and were driven at an extremely slow 10 miles an hour up the mountain towards Hisaronu and Ovacik. From the time you leave the beach, you climb steadily upwards amongst pine trees and rocky outcrops. The view from half-way is out of this world, as the whole panorama of Olu Deniz is visible. Of course nowadays, much of the view down in the valley has been scarred by buildings and even more hotels. In 1989, the mosque stood alone in acres of fields and all that linked it to the beach was a dirt track.

When I first went out, Olu Deniz was simply a beach with a dirt track, a few beach shacks, dippy dollies and Dirty Harrys and not much else. Even with the mass building programme, the plaj (beach) and lagoon still reach out and touch my soul. Strange creature that I am, the first and last thing I ever do when I am there, is to go and say hello or goodbye to the lagoon.

We reached the top of the mountain road and turned left into Hisaronu. What now can take 20 mins on a good day, was completed in five and we were soon chugging in the opposite direction, back to the hotel and Linda‘s hair washing ritual.


Reaching the hotel which I have forgotten to mention was the Köseoðlu we were met by Mehmet's mum who over the years has become annem (my mum) leading the goats out to the olive groves. For some unexplained reason, Goats don't like me and I don't like them. The three musketeers retired to their respective rooms whilst yours truly lingered at the bar talking to Mehmet and his brother Bayram. No way was I going to have a shower and lay down before dinner. For crying out loud, I was 28 years of age, a mother of three and more than capable of being in charge of my personal hygiene. I may have been walking on cloud nine where Mehmet was concerned, but I did remember to wash behind my ears!

Five beers and two hours later, I was ready to enter the lions den and prepare myself for a night on the razzle. I had asked to be taken to some posh restaurant in Fethiye and had been led to believe that tonight was going to be the night, at least food wise.

Now, in those days I was a novice and packing for a holiday in an unknown territory was stressful to say nothing of wondering if it was hot as in hot, hot or hot as in English hot. Needless to say, I had plenty of things to wear and decided a cotton skirt and black top would fit the bill.

These days, I have the packing down to a fine art and pack only what is required and nothing more. How this came about is very simple. A few years later, coming home from turkiye my sister in law and I were late at the airport. Check in had closed and we were ran with our luggage, through departures and across the tarmac. We boarded to a round of applause, but not after her damm suitcase burst open and scattered her dirty smalls across the runway! I suppose the rose I had clenched in my teeth and our tear stained faces, made them take pity on us.

Dressed in my finery, I made my way down the stairs to meet up with the three musketeers at the bar. They were sat with faces like thunder and pointed out that it was now 9pm and far too late to go into Fethiye. They would once again, stroll down to the Uçel and eat there. I refused point blank to go, saying I wasn't very hungry and that mehmet would cook something in the kitchen for me.

By now, I realized that I was being completely unfair on Peter and a total bitch to boot. I had tried to talk to my husband ever since we arrived the week before. I spent the first week waiting for the phone call for him to return to England, because he told me when we arrived, that he had left the hotel number so they could contact him. If the matter had arisen, he would have flown off into the sunset and I would be left to make my own way home. In the event, it never happened, but the marriage had been going wrong for over a year, ever since our six week old daughter had died, a cot death. In a nutshell, I wanted to try for another child and he point blank refused to even discuss the matter. As she had died on Boxing day, my husband decided that we would no longer celebrate Christmas, despite having two boys who were at the time of Ieeshia' s death three and five years of age. Added to the long hours he worked (12 a day including Saturdays) and lack of interest in anything to do with the family, the marriage was going down the tubes.

When they had gone off down the road, I sat and talked to Mehmet. The guy was as nutty as a fruit cake but a good listener. He never once told me what to do, or looked bored. The night wore on, the beer and Raki flowed and even after the dinner party returned and retired for the night I was still sat at the bar talking.

The watchman arrived and Mehmet locked up the bar. Asking me if I would like to go for a walk, we left the hotel and strolled up through the village, past the cemetery to the same hotel where the musketeers were so fond of eating.

Close Encounter of the other kind

I would like to say it was as romantic as Brief encounter, gone with the wind and Love story. You wish. First we had to search the hotel to find someone willing to give us a room without asking too many questions. This was done with relative ease which I have since learnt is an excellent way to supplement the watchman's lousy pay. Next, find some blankets because Ovacik in October can get very, cold at night and then once having managed this, work up enough enthusiasm and lust to fulfill the purpose of being there.

One word for you readers out there: ~ Waheeey, it happened and very nice it was too. For the first time in I don't know how long, I was deliriously happy. We stayed until the sun came up, dressed, then walked hand in hand back to the hotel. This was it; I was well and truly in deep, up to my eyeballs and loving it.

We sneaked off to our respective beds, his alone one floor above. I climbed into bed with the heavily snoring Peter, who just groaned and rolled over away from me. Sleep eluded me and just over an hour later, I was sat on the stone stairs watching the sun rise over the mountains of Fethiye. Knowing that I had finally made my choices and from that day, October 22nd 1989, nothing but nothing would ever be the same again.

Of course I didn't tell Peter about that night, not until a year or so later when we were busy trading insults. I told him that Mehmet, Bayram and I had gone down the village to the disco, returned at six am and I had sat and watched the sun rise.

Obviously, he didn't believe my concocted story and telling me that I could stay in the hotel all day, if that is where I would rather be, he, Linda & Roy took themselves off to the beach. I even pointed out to them, that it wasn't a beach day, but they went anyway.

Mehmet was still sleeping like a baby, so I decided to catch up on the washing. Throwing everything under the shower, I liberally sprinkled Omo over the lot and did a rain dance over the whole pile. Rinsing the soap suds off, I then wrung it out and carried it onto the balcony where I had rigged up a clothes line.

It was whilst I was arranging my knickers in an orderly fashion, that I looked down and saw Mehmet standing looking up at me.
I asked him for a cup of tea and he said he would make me one in the kitchen. I told him I would be right down for it as soon as I had finished the washing.

I changed out of my wet clothes and walked towards the door. As I reached the door, it opened and Mehmet stood there. I would love to say naked, but he wasn't….he came into the room and kissed me gently on the mouth. One thing led to another and it wasn't long before we were both naked and ooops I did it again! From outside, we heard his mum calling him urgently and he pulled on his shorts and left the room.

Dressing once again, I followed down the stairs to see the three musketeers had returned from the beach are were now headed my way. Waving gaily, I asked them why they had returned so early and it seemed that Linda had a headache, so they all came home. Now if there really is a god, well he certainly looks after me. Had they been five minutes earlier, Mehmet and I would have been caught, red handed or in other words, in a compromising position.

Even after this close shave, I couldn't stay away from the guy. I was warned by Peter, that I was making a prat of myself, by Linda that he would use me and then dump me and by Roy who was worried that we would get thrown out of the hotel, for improper behaviour. This guy worried constantly and would repeatedly ask about the weather in England because two years before, the great storm had caused a lot of damage and he was concerned we wouldn't be able to fly home.

I ignored them all. Whatever they had to say, I didn't want to hear, acknowledge or even consider. The relationship between Peter and myself was non existent. I tried and tried to establish some rapport between us, explained why what had happened did happen but he completely ignored me and any attempts to right the wrong I had done. There is a certain limit of how much groveling, apologizing and brown nosing I am prepared to do. Getting no response from Peter, I gave up even trying.
We spent the remaining days and nights apart. He with his two best friends or the ‘rep' who I am sure consoled him in a reasonable manner and I with Mehmet and the family or down at the beach on my own. Unhappy? miserable ? Not a chance. I was so wrapped up in my cocoon of utopia that I could have climbed Everest and back with no problems.

The holiday was coming to its end. Relief for Peter, who apart from hating the country and the people had also managed to lose his wife and personal slave. For me it was a nightmare. I spent every minute with Mehmet, leaving him only to pack one hour before the coach arrived for the airport.

Home sweet Home?

During the last three days of the holiday, we had heard that the company had gone bust. Thinking we would get a reprieve and stay longer I was hopeful. Alas, at the very last moment another carrier agreed to fly us home, much to my disgust and Peter's delight.

The mini bus arrived and everyone got on. I was pushed on by Peter and Linda, who thought I was going to run off into the sunset. I had over indulged at the bar, wallowing in pity and sat at the back on a wheel hub. Having said goodbye to Mehmet earlier, I just wanted to go. The engine started up, stopped and the door opened. Mehmet pulled me off, dragged me round the back of the bus and kissed me. In front of his father, mother and the damm goat. Peter dragged me back on board and I sat stony- faced and silent all the way to the airport.

Once in the departure lounge, we discovered that the flight had been delayed two hours. I sat in the restaurant with the three old farts and kept saying,” I' m going back, I'm going back.” I got up and walked round the airport and ignored the others completely.

I don't remember the flight being called, or boarding. I do remember that as soon as the plane took off, I cried non-stop to Gatwick airport. I went through a whole box of tissues and arrived to a cold, wet England which reflected so clearly how I felt.

Saying goodbye to Linda & Roy and hoping to god I never met them again, we set off for the long term car park and home.
We drove in silence until we reached Hayes, where I blurted out that I wanted a divorce and I was taking the kids to turkiye, next April.

My life, never returned to what is was before the holiday. Days flew by without either of us speaking. Our sex life became non-existent and the cracks got larger. I wrote to Mehmet and phoned him one night just before Christmas that year.
We had a strange bond which was like telepathy, the phone would ring and I knew before I answered, it would be Mehmet. He never phoned when Peter was home, which was very rarely.

Christmas came and went, then New Years Eve. I sat down with a glass of wine and told Peter that the marriage was over and I wanted out. He refused to discuss the matter and went to bed.
From then on, I saved every penny I could which wasn't much, as although I was the company secretary, my wages was also my housekeeping money.

I was determined to take the boys with me and enlisted the help of Peter's sister Cathy. She agreed to have her holiday with us and her son and put it to Peter. What could he say? He wasn't expected to pay for anything, we arranged for a taxi to the airport…………………all done and dusted.

The weeks sped by and soon April 2Oth was here. Between us, we had three birthdays to celebrate, three kids to keep amused and a hell of a lot of luggage.

Did it work out with Mehmet? Did I get my divorce ? You will have to wait and see in the next installment. Stay safe and stay tuned.


October 1989

Last edited by Mushtaq; 10th February 2006 at 22:30..
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