Photographs and Commentary by Debra Jan Bibel

     Music: Nikriz sirto  [Selim Sesler / The Road to Kesan  / Traditional Crossroads]: 3 min excerpt

Viewing / Copying/ Saving/ Sending/ Printing

Clicking on the small photographs will cause an enlargement of the image to appear. I have sized them to 1050 px wide/high.  In IE, clicking on this image will zoom it; clicking again will reduce it. In order to copy, 'save as', email, or print these images for your own use, right-click your mouse and choose from the pop-up menu.

Foça is home to Joshkun Tamer, when he is not in Los Angeles. The small city is free of the crowds of Bodrum and has a more relaxed feel. We motored out on a boat to see the interesting Aegean coast — giving some fellow tourists an opportunity to swim — and some islands, which Odysseus might have encountered. Homer mentioned Phokaia with respect to the Siren's Rocks.  The largest building in Foça is situated on the army base; walking by its tall walls I heard modern Turkish marches of drum and bugle. When I was about to take a photo of the large statue of a modern soldier at the front gates to the base, officers rushed up to stop me. The highlight was a visit to Bergama, a Romani (gypsy) town and hear some fine music and see some sensual dancing.  We encountered joie de vivre, the characteristic of these people in diaspora. We were welcomed by all, especially the children. As we disembarked from the bus, we already heard music, and approaching the group of dancers, we found ourselves in midst of a wedding celebration. We joined it. Way cool! Afterwards, we had apple tea to a music duo, walked down to a shopping area, and returned to dinner with musicians and dancers.

I waked the streets of the town and came across this upscale home. Another fine house; note the Evil Eye on the pier. Very fine landscaping; a person with an artistic eye lives here. Along the waterfront. Greek style architecture is easily found. Another example.

Wood shutters are common.

Up a side street. Modern ruin. Most of the streets are paved with cobble stones, adding to the quaintness of the locale.

Market day.

The peaches and other fine produce entice.

Artichokes of the same variety as in Watsonville, California, not the expected "European"  kind. Lots of dried fruit. Amazing display of so many olive varieties. Across the harbor . . . . . . and from there looking back. The large structure on the left is part of the army base.
Half our group stayed at Hotel Dedem. The other half went to Hotel Grand Amphora. I stayed here. Looking down from my balcony to a  garden courtyard. Other backyards. Satellite TV receivers are everywhere. 19th-century windmills under restoration.


   Music: Tulum Roman Havasi  [Ahmet Kusgöz ve Arkandaslari / The Rough Guide to Turkish Café]: 3 min excerpt

A wedding celebration. We are welcomed. Children having fun. Music and dance. The rhythm is strong. Let us dance. [Carmen's photo, edited]
We walk down to a small café. The Roma gather to assist. Warm apple tea is served. Our group at the left  relaxes. More of us in the middle. The right members.
A Romani family enjoys the visitors and activities. Clarinet and drum serenade us. We walk further down the street. The town spreads across the hills.. Some interesting old buildings. Very old house with patched walls. A decorative wall with irregular features.
The various layers tell a long story. Note the corner niche and archway. The hamam, with men and women sections. Traditional wedding dresses.  Costume for a circumcised boy; this one is comparatively simple or plain. A small mall with lower level. 




Koi pond.

Old ruin.

Quiet street.

Cobblestones and brickwork.

Classic  composition.

On the hillside above Bergama is a Roman amphitheater.



The farmer and his horses; one pulls a cart. A hill of olive trees. Near the highway above the town is a store selling handicrafts and a café, where we enjoy dinner. Others of the group.


Romani musicians play as we eat.


Kanun and darbouka. 
Close-up of the kanun. As seen from above.


Violin and clarinet.


A young child is attracted to the music. The drums have especial interest. Girls of the neighborhood, who formed a troupe, dance for us.
It has been a long day filled with music and good cheer. Our stay in Foça continues for another day, when we go upon, and within, the water of the Aegean.
They obviously rehearsed.


Individuals do solo dances.


The next dancer.



© 2011 Debra Jan Bibel


Return to Index

 On to Foça 2


Appendix: Food