Day 8 September 7, 2010
Tuesday  Erzurum Caytepe village                                   
 Day 9   
Table of content for Eastern Turkey Turkey tour Journal
Submitted by  Rick Penn


This morning we visited the small village of Cayirtepekoyu on the outskirts of Erzurum. Almost right away we were invited into the home of Mustafa and his wife. We were the ‘bus people’ and became the center of attention; family members and neighbors started showing up from all over the village. We were offered tea even though the family was fasting for Ramadan. Mustafa told us how the village was being modernized and many traditional farming methods are a thing of the past; the village is now a neighborhood of Erzurum. Electricity has replaced dung; natural gas and the internet are on the way.

Mustafa’s niece is 3 years into a 12 year program for learning and teaching embroidery.

She showed us some of her embroidery work that was made from a recycled shawl. Today traditional shawls are no longer made or used; it’s too easy to buy coats in the city. The shawls are being recycled into beautiful embroidered works of art and sold in markets.


After the home visit we rambled through the village where you can still see hay stacked on roofs but the bales are machine made now, no more hand made stacks of hay. As we wound our way through the village we began attracting children like the Pied Piper. At the end of the village walk we arrived at the local school which was open to visit but not ready for school which starts in a few weeks. The kids sang the Turkish school pledge, posed for pictures, and generally were pretty excited to see a bunch of strangers.

After lunch we visited Tashan, a han where there were 99 out of 100 shops on two levels selling handmade jewelry.

 Shop 100 was selling electronics. At the end of the shopping spree we visited the Grand Mosque. There was a prayer service in session so we quietly walked through the mosque to view the two magnificent domes, one of stone and the other of wood.

From the mosque we made it over to the Cifte Minare Madrese with two imposing minarets guarding a courtyard, which was a teaching center but now preserved as a museum and is used as a community meeting place with beautiful flowers in the central courtyard. At the far end there is a small mosque and a tomb beneath the mosque. On either side of the courtyard are two teaching areas used at different times of day to stay out of the direct sunlight.

Dinner was at Koc Cag Kabob where we were served a delicious salad and lamb kebobs that you wrapped in a thin pita like bread with the salad and yogurt; sort of a soft taco.
Having tea break at Erzurum Evleri - Houses of Erzurum , 300 year old houses


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