Turkey Day 6 ,part 2

After a buffet-style lunch, we took a brief stop at Love Valley. It is also nicknamed Penis Valley for its long towers of rock that resemble a phallus. Years of volcanic eruptions and erosions have made these towers of rock. What is unique about these structures, besides the shape, is the two-toned color it has. The top is a deeper red while the bottom is a lighter shade of white. As you could have expected many comical situations took place at the area, including some very interesting photo shoots.

Turkey has always been famous for its carpets, so we were able to visit a carpet company. There they displayed some of their colorful carpets ranging from those made of wool and cotton to those made out of silk. The durability of the carpets was astounding and even survived fires and constant wear and tear. The natural dyes and soft material made the carpets enticing to touch and feel. Though it was very courteous of them to bring us a virety of drinks that we ordered, including Turkish coffee and teas, no one was willing to pay the expensive prices for the carpets just quite yet. I guess for that type of quality it’s no surprise the carpets were highly-priced.

Dervishes are people who live in a nomadic life-style, known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to wandering monks. Sufi Whirling is one of the ways Dervishes meditate, and is still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi Order. It is a dance which they perform during Sema, a worship ceremony, in order to reach the source of all perfection, or kemal. The whirling symbolizes the orbit of the planets in the sun, and helps Dervishes reach kemal by abandoning one’s own egos or personal desires.

This custom practiced by some in Turkey, can still be seen in performances today. We were able to see a performance in Cappadocia later on in the night. Since the dancers need complete silence and tranquility to reach their meditative state, applause was not encouraged and neither was photography. The dancers were accompanied by a band of Turkish musicians who played the baglama, a string instrument, and drums. As the dancers whirled around in a circle keeping perfect time, they slowly raised their arms and went into their meditative state. The aura of the performance was not only mystical, but relaxing in a way. It wasn’t until the performance was over and the lights were turned on that we were able to take pictures.

Turkey’s culture is one that never ceases to amaze me. It has such a diverse and rich culture in its heritage, that everything, including its pottery, c

arpets, and sites themselves all have distinct cultural characteristics. Görüşücez or for those who don’t know Turkish, see you next time.

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