Ankara Turkie October 29th

Greeting from Ankara

What a day - October 29th. I usually don't write a diary on a daily basis, but this day deserves it and I will share it you. I don't hope that I offend any, especially the involved people this certainly is not my intension.

I started early, and went to visit the India embassy to inquire about visa - but this day was the 75th year anniversary of the Turkish Republic so everything was closed, so I decided to be tourist and visit some of the sights in Ankara.

First I went to the big mosque, this is the largest in Turkie and the third largest in the world. I came there at noon, just as the messe began, so I was uncertain if I could go in there.

While I was standing there at the entrance a Turk came and showed me in and showed me where to put my boots and jacket, and I went into this immense room and sat down on the floor and listened to the "professor". A big man, who explained something which I of course could not understand in a very pleasant and gentle way, like farther to son, with the exception that there were some hundred men there. When they started on the prayer, the man who led me came and took me to the top of the "WŁezzin Mahveli" which is like a 4 by 6 meter plateau in the middle of the room 3 meters over the main floor.

There were about 8 people here, and 2 of them conducted the messe, and I sat there one meter behind the two. It was very moving for me - and I can tell you that I felled closer to god, and in a very good way that is.

When the messe was over the man, Mustafa Sahin was his name, took me around and introduced me to the professor and other people and showed me around in the mosque. It is big in the middle of the room there hangs a huge beautiful crystal-lamp with a weights of 10 tons. And he took me to the top of one of the minarets 90 meters above the ground, with a perfect view over all of Ankara.

Mustafa Sahin is an architect and teaches at the university, beside his duties in the mosque. In the evening he took me out to diner and we had a very nice Turkish meal, all things I have never tried before, but very delicious.

In the afternoon I went around in the town looking at all the preparations for the parade which should take place in the evening, although I missed the parade itself, I had a very nice time wandering around between all the different groups and hearing all kinds of traditional Turkish music.

In the evening, after the meal I went to see the fireworks in the center. It was very crowded it seems that all of Ankara had gone to the center to celebrate themselves, and there lives just as many people here in Ankara as in all of Denmark, that is 5 millions.

Later on my way home I passed a place with live music so of course I went in there and had a Tuborg. The music was the same kind as I would go and listen to in Denmark or anywhere else in the world. I came to talk with a guy who told me that later his brother would play in another place and that they played Turkish rock-music - so after another Tuborg we went there. I liked the music, it was different - like grown on Turkish soil but but fed with western water.

Later he asked me if I wanted some adventure, his eyes was full of life, so of course I said yes. Three of us took a taxi to the other end of town the destination being a gay-bar. There were dozen of ladies there not missing anything - to be honest I am sure they had a little more than to my liking, but it was funny to see a little corner of Turkish dekadense.

Well we didn`t pick anyone up at the gay-bar although this would have been the easiest task in the world - you might even pick something up you were not looking for, instead we took another taxi to a "nice place". but they wouldn't let us in - you had to come there with a girl which was just what we were missing. In a way a little strange.

Finally, it was getting quite late, we gave up and I went home to my hotel after a long day so full of experiences and slept until noon.

Peter L. Petersen
Hermodsgade 12
DK 9000 Aalborg
Phone (+45) 98 16 76 97
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