A day at the beach- Turkey style

Recently we went to the beach

And it was quite an affair!


The whole side of Anne’s family came to this event, including cousins who came all the way from Antalya!  This beach trip was a day long outing, arriving at 9 am (which was actually later than we intended) and leaving after sundown.

Upon arrival we scouted out a picnic space, where we quickly corralled the cars and formed our own private space, with a beautiful view of the ocean.  Laying down mats and blankets, a large sitting space was formed and the piknik tüpü (small propane tanks) were fired up, and tea was quickly brewed.  Well, as quickly as tea can be brewed in Turkey and still be deemed acceptable.


The night before we prepared loads of gül börek with lor (cheese curd) and herb filling.  These, along with boiled eggs and olives, served as our breakfast.  It didn’t take long for the kids to run down to the ocean front and begin swimming.  But we had to be very cautious of prickly sea urchins, which this beach is known for!

The adults (including myself) stretched out with pillows and found our own leisurely activities to enjoy.


While I read my nook in the shade of an olive tree, Hubby and is uncle enjoyed a few rounds of tavla (backgammon).  Later, I took part in a few games of okey (rummikube), which I actually prefer.  I know tavla is supposed to be, like, the national board game of Turkey- but I just can’t get the hang of it. My family back in the states used to play tournament Rummikube at family reunions, so I’m much more familiar with that game.

Before dinner we went down to the beach and enjoyed a brief swim.  After noon the water gets rather choppy, and the wind will chill you once you get out of the water! This is particularly true for me, since I wear a whole swimming costume to keep everything covered.  I had the great pleasure of escorting Hubby’s youngest female cousin who is around 5 years old, into the water.  She insistently wanted to show me something- but all I could understand out of her mouth was yenge…at least I’m not the only one who struggles to understand her slurred words!

Returning at the beginning of dinner preparations, the ladies of the family-led by Anne- fussed over my wet clothes and bundled me into the back of an uncle’s van to change.  How do these people have loads of clothes everywhere? How do they know what to bring? Turkish mysteries…

For dinner we enjoyed loads of mangal and köfte, along with a delicious salad consisting of chopped lettuce, peppers, onion, tomato, cucumber, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.  As the men cooked over the grill, the women prepared the salad and broke the bread, making sure everyone got their share.  I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I was rather busy stuffing my face.

Lastly, watermelons and melons were sliced, along with cookies, sunflower seeds, and other munchie things.  All the while the kids were running back and forth from the ocean to our picnic shelter.

Listening to the adults speak, I did get a little upset that I couldn’t understand much of what they were saying- but they were sure to include me in their jokes, and make sure I felt welcome.


We were the last to leave the area well after dark- saying selams and görüşürüz as the large pack of over 20 people went their separate ways.  I love the depth of family in Turkey, and how important it is to stay in touch.  Unfortunately, due to jobs and school, summer is the only time everyone can get together.

Until next year!

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