Turkish JourneyIssue: Winter 1993-1994
For the Westerner in Trabzon the problem is orientation. This ancient Black Sea port, where Xenophon rested after the Anabasis, has nothing classical about it now. Except for the Turkish and Russian signs, you might be in a flyblown French provincial town. And where are the Asiatic Turks? So many passers-by have blond or red hair and blue eyes, with features that are more European than Levantine. You are in an Islamic country and yet you are not. The local mosques are obscured, indeed all but buried, in the profusion of tacky new breeze-block construction. These unfaced red boxes even scar the inland villages, up among the peaks and valleys.