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    saffron

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Showing content with the highest reputation on 23/11/16 in all areas

  1. saffron

    Aphrodite and myrtle

    I went to Senirkent, an Isparta town, at the weekend. I was surprised to see those small white berries, namely mersin (myrtle or Myrtus communis) as mersin is a typical Mediterranean fruit and grown in gardens for its medical benefits and fragrant flowers (even leaves and branches).. The berries have a strong taste, and, although it is so common, I hardly met anybody who ate the berries.. They are abundant and free in the coastal towns, but in that town market of Isprata , expensive!! Who buy them and why? I think the news about its medical benefits are widespread now. But again, there is a confusion about it: Yaban mersini is bilberry, and those who don’t know the difference think that mersin and yaban mersini are the same fruit..even most of the market sellers don’t know this difference.. Yaban mersini means ‘wild mersin’, but mersin is already a wild plant , not cultivated yet, so they must be the same thing! Yaban mersini or bilberry grows in the eastern parts of the Black Sea Region, and called ‘likapa’ by the local people. In literature, yaban mersini is a standard name for bilberry. But I’m not sure if the dried fruits sold at the markets of the tourist zones are really the dried bilberries or another stuff. As to mersin or myrtle, there is also a dark variety of it, and the name 'murt' is generally used for that dark kind. In Fethiye (mostly white ones are there) the local people believe that it is a kind of natural antibiotic and some literature support this: Researchers say it is traditionaly used as an antibacterial and disinfectant drug, to list only a few of its benefits .(Not only the berries, the leaves and their steam distilled oil are used) There is another reason for its popularity, mythology..or some remote memories of mythology, I should say. In Antakya, myrtle branches are placed on graves. However, nobody knows why.. On some special religious days, boys gather around the cemeteries with myrtle branches to sell.. The Antakya area had witnessed the life and believes of many cultures.. Do they somehow ‘remember’ the association of myrtle with Aphrodite, or the Hellenes who carried boughs of myrtle to funerals? Aphrotide was the guardian of the gates of birth and death, and I’m sure she would be happy to see the myrtle boughs on cemeteries today! Maybe she really knew the secret of going beyond the time limits..
    1 point
  2. Hence the province number for Mersin, 33 is out of sequence, it was numbered for İçel
    1 point
  3. If the OP opened his restaurant, I'd like to know where he opened it & if its doing well, I agree about most Turks not being adventurous eaters. In the bigger cities the more selection the better!
    1 point
  4. saffron

    Aphrodite and myrtle

    Yes, probably the orginal name was 'mersinlik' , meaning the place where mersins grow or are abundant. There are many more places sharing their names with plants.. Yes, it was called İçel, but even then, the name Mersin was used, but these two names were denoting different administrative concepts: The larger one was covering the smaller district.
    1 point
  5. OK an update on this. I had to go to the immigration office today, and there are always Turkish cops manning the entrance. First I went to a shopping mall to get a sub sandwich from Subway (one of my regular breaks from Turkish food). When I went in, I put my brand-new knife in the tray before I went through the metal detector. "Yasak!" the guard said. He said my knife was too big, and illegal, and he wouldn't let me in with it. So I picked it up and left. I figured I would just put it in my backpack and, since they don't really do thorough searches of backpacks, go back in through another entrance. But as I approached I could see the guard at the other entrance was talking on the radio, and taking furtive glances at me while trying to not be obvious). I know the behavior, and knew I was burned. And I walked out again, and still hungry, went to the immigration office. When I got there, I talked to the cops, pulled out the knife and asked "is this knife illegal?" The cop manning the metal detector said yes, it was illegal. So I gave it to him. We chatted for a while and I explained that I was a former policeman. He said "usually I would take this from you, but when you come back I'll give it back. But it is illegal." He was extending a professional courtesy. I asked him and another cop there. "As a legal foreigner, can I buy and own a rifle or a shotgun?" The other one said "Do you want to carry a handgun?" as he pointed to his own. I said yes, that would be nice, but I am just asking about having a rifle or shotgun in my house. He said that I needed to go to the main police station, and apply for a permit. If they gave me one, then yes, I could have a firearm. Now I don't know how much these two knew about the firearms laws. Or if there was even a snowball's chance in hell that the main police station would actually give me a firearms permit for any type of firearm. But I did ask the question for you, and that is what happened. When I walked past the entry control point, I had intended to just leave the knife, may be one of the cops would end up with it, which was fine by me. But the cop who greeted me saw me and called me over, and handed it back to me. On the ride back, I gave the knife to the taxi driver.
    1 point
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