We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.Immanuel Kant
Tea Chest Tidbits – short posts with lots of delightful photos of our time in Turkey.
Turkey is an incredible country of approximately 85 million people spanning across two continents and 783,000 square kms (302,000 sq miles). We have spent almost 7 months in Southern Turkey; in the small towns of Finike and Kas. Both towns are coastal and only an hour or so apart but quite different, although equally charming. Finike is what I would describe as an agriculturally based town that is surrounded by mountains to the North and the ocean to the South. There are citrus groves (in particular oranges), fig and pomegranate trees everywhere and the town features a huge orange on its welcome signs. Enormous tunnel houses are throughout the township with tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers and chilies being the majority of the crops. Every little space on any property is utilised with plants, trees and livestock that produce. It has been a real eye-opener for me as I love to garden and the idea of being self sufficient. Kas is a small town in a similar setting with the added excitement of being a popular tourist destination. Lots of quaint and colourful shops, bars, cafes and a wonderful weekly market.
We thought we would share some of our exciting discoveries while we have been in these two special parts of Southern Turkey during COVID-19. We have been very fortunate in that we haven’t had to lock-down in the same way as a lot of other countries, and could still get out and about for walks in the country. I love cats and dogs, so I was delighted to see so many critters with four paws wandering around the townships.
Cats have been the predominant domestic pet in these parts for decades, as well as family pets they are used on farm properties and marinas to keep the rodent population down. We have seen some cats with their ears ‘tipped’ which I discovered meant they had been humanely caught, de-sexed, wormed and inoculated then released into colonies specifically to reduce the rodents – in particular around the marinas and agricultural areas. They are adored by the locals and tourists. The Turkish provincial councils have erected feeding stations within the towns that provide water and biscuits at all times for the cats and dogs. A lot of store owners also provide food and water bowls outside of their premises for the four pawed critters.
We have had some beautiful dog interactions while out on our walks. It isn’t unusual for a dog to pad along beside us for several kilometres then have a snooze in the shade before heading back to where he found us. There is a special breed of dog here, Anatolian Shepherds. They are specifically used for protecting the goat herds in the rocky hill areas. These dogs are particularly loyal, enchanting and very very large. Their paws are easily the size of the chaps hands and I was quite wary when we first came across one on a walk along the Kas Peninsula. Turns out this big lad was an utter delight and we soon became firm friends. He took a shine to the chap and ambled along in front of us, glancing back every few metres to make sure we were following. When we stopped he would circle back and stay close by waiting for our walk to resume. He did this for about 5kms. I didn’t expect to see him again, but he was waiting for us when we returned and escorted us all the way back. We have had dogs and pups come out for a scratch and chat all the way around the towns. We have even started to carry dog treats and have marveled at their wonderful manners when given one. I have a couple of favorites in Finike, one is a gentle old lady called Maya. She is the resident dog outside one of the tea gardens and can quite often been seen sleeping on the roundabout verges or just lately taking herself to the beach for a swim to cool off. She responds to her name with a jolly good tail thumping and I swear she smiles too. Such a pleasure to be able to enjoy these lovely animals on an almost daily basis.
Catch us next time when we share some of the incredible plants and flowers we have discovered on our journey.
Happy Tea Drinking and Fair Winds♥
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