After I arrived in Şanlıurfa and met Halil, my host in Urfa, we went to his language school, where he was learning english. I met his friend and teacher, Sinan, and I attended a english class. I was seated next to Sinan, and was asked some questions about me, my travels, german culture and Europe. In return I asked some questions to the students.

As Halil had to work turing the day, we met every evening at the language school and I attended two more classes with more questions. The classes consisted of people from 15 to about 40 years.

To my surprise, their english was a lot better, when Sinan was not present in the room. Sometimes it happened by accident, that we talked about politics (We said before we should try to avoid that topic). Erdoğan is not an easy topic to talk about, as he polarizes very strong. But most people were very open to talk about politics: "Istanbul is far away, here we can talk".

  • My class :)

  • Şanlıurfa

Şanliurfa is a very hard place when you are on a vegetarian diet. When I told Sinan and Halil, that I'm vegetarian, their first reaction was: "No meat, no life". It seems like most people in Urfa life by this mantra. It was really hard to find a restaurant which had vegetarian food on the menu.

We had breakfast in a "Vitamina": Yoghurt with honey, olives, warm cheese and fresh, warm bread. The only other local foods I had, was grilled chillies and a really good dessert called "Şıllık": Crepes made with nut flour topped with crushed nuts and fruit syrup.

  • Owner of vitamina breakfast restaurant

  • Feeding the fish at fish lake (on of the big tourist sites of Urfa)

I visited Harran, a historic city 50km south of Urfa. There I met a local guy who was studying to become a tour guide. He had two weeks off university and visited his parents in Harran. He showed me all around the town and explained its thousands years old history. In the end, he introduced me to Jamal, another local boy.

Jamal had a motorbike and made a 130km tour with me, to show me lots of other interesting sights in the region. We visited some old caves, (moon- and sun-) temples and rural villages. And we saw the new road, which was in construction, to prepare the region to be a new touristic spot in turkey. He said I might be one of the last tourists who visited, before the region is commercialized (The big roads will be finished in march).

  • Traditional house in Harran and my guide

  • Children on the way home after school

  • Village life

  • Construction of the new road for the tourists