This is Turkey

This is Turkey, where when your car spectacularly blows a turbo in the middle of road works at 2 o’clock in the morning and dies in an impressive cloud of black smoke the people in the car behind stop and help.

This is Turkey where sitting in a broken down car in the stygian gloom of a moonless night, miles from the nearest town and with only a sleeping dog for protection isn’t anything to worry about.

This is Turkey, where a transfer driver, instead of crawling into his nice warm bed at 2am after a late night glass of cay gets into his brand new and sparkling clean car and picks up two middle aged and two junior (but very stressed) yabanci and a moulting Labrador and drives them 150km to a village he has never heard of.

This is Turkey, where when you ring the really nice bloke who runs Europcar in Kusadasi and who you used to hire cars from several years ago and ask for a car now, today, and can you make it cheap please he says “Yes, no problem, come and pick it up in an hour.”

This is Turkey, where when you go to collect your hire car and ask the aforesaid nice bloke at Europcar in Kusadasi if he knows a recovery company he says “Yes, no problem, we’ll ring someone now.”

This is Turkey, where you can give a car recovery driver pathetic directions – it’s somewhere in the twenty miles of road works between Milas and Pinarcik, I don’t know where, it was dark! – he goes and finds your car and then brings it back to your village and negotiates the narrow village streets and drops it right outside your door.

This is Turkey, people moan about it, some people seem scared of it, but this society is full of nice people and they help and they are kind and they get things done without fanfare and health and safety bullies hanging on their every action and when you need them you can count on them.

So a very big thank you –

To the couple on their honeymoon to Altinkum who let their driver pull over and help us – may your marriage be long and happy.

To that unknown transfer driver from Altinkum who drove an extra 300 km that night to get us home and kept reassuring my tearful daughter that all would be fine (she believed him more than she would ever believe me!) – you deserve every success.

To Bora at Europcar in Kusadasi for being a really nice man and for giving us a great rate and for providing a car and a recovery truck and generally being fantastic – I have always recommended you, and now I recommend you even more!

To my daughter and her boyfriend who didn’t let a lousy start to their holiday spoil the week and who where brilliant fun and a joy to have around – a week isn’t enough, we need longer!

And to Turkey, because when you break down in circumstances like that you basically leave yourself wide open to massive charges and costs likely to bankrupt you, yet nobody overcharged us, nobody ripped us off and everybody went out of their way to help – this is why I like living here!