Friday, 9 September 2011

Revenge of the Fez

On this day, 89 years ago, a surging Turkish army and mobs of Turkish citizens drove out the occupying Greek nation from Izmir. "The day we taught the Greeks to swim" I've heard uttered jokingly, referring to the way they were, allegedly, pushed into the gloomy waters of Izmir Bay.

Reports say that during the initial invasion by the Greek military, "the [Turkish locals] are forced to tear the fezes from their heads and trample them underfoot". In return, during the war of independence, anyone wearing a hat other than a fez was forced to go for a swim.

All rather confused considering the Fez apparently originates from the Greek islands of the Aegean. Even Ataturk himself referred to it as "the head-covering of Greeks" before outlawing it.

Anyway, tonight there will be fireworks along Kordon (the bar-lined promenade central to Izmir's social scene). A boat with the words "Happy 9th September" will crawl up and down the bay. It's also the time of the great Izmir Fair (think The Ideal Home Exhibition but with more gypos and mosquitoes).

In other news, I moved job, moved house, went on 4 holidays, grew 2 moustaches, 1 massive beard, attended 1 funeral, 0 weddings and haven't written anything on this blog for close to 3 months. For that, I apologise. Thank you to Burak for the kind email that gave me a kick up the arse needed to write something.

Also, a massive thank you to Danny for the iPhone which should help me to take snapshots and post them directly whenever and wherever. Thank you for Peter for jumping on Danny and asking him to give me the iPhone. Thank you to O2 for unlocking it for a mere £15 (gypo cunts).

Thank you to Turkish Telecom, in advance, for shutting my iPhone down in a few weeks until I can have it registered on my passport, which I can't do until the visas come through, which I can't do until the Ministry of Education decides I'm still OK to teach English. Thank you to Turkcell for stealing two of my lunch breaks while I waited to speak to some miserable moron who had no fucking clue about the necessary procedure for registering a foreign mobile yet spoke with unwavering authority.

Until next time...

11 comments:

Burak said...

Welcome back Billfredo!
And congrats on your new job and home...

Stranger said...

Welcome back!

I've yet to hear about anyone successfully registering a foreign phone with any amount of ease.

Good luck!

hocam said...

Welcome back Billfredo. You've been missed. Good luck with dealing with Turkish bureaucracy.

Jack Scott said...

Regardless of the politics, it was a Greek tradegy of epic proportions. Let's celebrate but leave out the unsavoury bits otherwise we might frighten the children. Welcome back. You've been sorely missed.

Kym said...

Took around 6 months to get my husbands imported Iphone working. It it were me I would have given up. Can't believe you used the 'C' word haha! One of my favorites but reserved for special occasions......or gypos of course!

leahvashley said...

if turkey has taught me nothing else, it has taught me one thing: an insane amount of patience (or lackadaisical concern for accomplishing ANYTHING on time). I wanna thank Burak for getting you to write something too. Your posts have been missed. Good luck with your new job.

George Dearsley said...

I registered a foreign mobile phone very easily at the Vodafone desk at Sabiha Gokcen airport. Cost 105 TL which included 55TL's worth of calls and took about five minutes. On the issue of the sack of Izmir you may want to watch this very enlightening film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EkewZea3k

Explanations said...

I'm generally not a fan of tramplings-underfoot, but I do think it's about time for the fez to stage a comeback.

Anna said...

Good to have you back!

EnelÂlem said...

"All rather confused considering the Fez apparently originates from the Greek islands of the Aegean."

It might have been worn there too --no surprise there; after all they were under Ottoman rule for quite bit of time-- but 'fez' as you call ('fes' in Turkish) is originally from Morocco --specifically the town of Fes.

There's a somewhat cute story on how that head cover landed to be part of the formal Ottoman attire, but I don't remember it well enough to put it all together to covey the cuteness ;)

"Even Ataturk himself referred to it as "the head-covering of Greeks" before outlawing it."

Now this I can believe.. not that it is at all likely to be true but merely because a lot of irrelevant stuff has been reported to be connected to Ataturk.

Alan said...

Gave up too easily - good to have you back in harness!