Life in Turkey Archives

Celebrity Village

Celebrity Village - Kenzo

Celebrity Village – Kenzo

What I have loved about living in Selimiye is that you never know who you will meet.

A couple of days ago, another beautiful yacht anchored in the bay and dropped its guests ashore…Kenzo, the designer, and a few of his friends sat in a little cafe near by to my friend’s boutique and I had the pleasure of chatting with them.

They say a picture tells a thousand words so here is mine.

Jo Tempest.

I Will Miss This View



Although I am ready to move back to England, I will miss this view every morning. They say, if you can, get a glimpse of the sea for your well-being.

Well, I have had a full view of the sea for the last eight years here and I never tire of it. It is forever changing with the weather but always wonderful.
Jo Tempest.


Selimiye Sunset

Selimiye Sunset

My Home - Jo Tempest

My Home

A Different Kind of Wedding

We have a lot of weddings in our village but it took me quite a while to realise this was not a ‘normal’ wedding.

I watched lots of photos being taken of the happy couple but then they headed for the sea…eventually I realised it was a photo shoot!

Thought you would like to see the results…interesting!

Jo Tempest.

The Wedding In The Sea

The Wedding

Wedding Dip

Wedding Dip

Wedding In The Sea - Selimiye

Wedding In The Sea

All Good Things Come To An End!

My Home Selimiye - Jo Tempest

My Home Selimiye

As you know, I am living in Turkey at the moment. Fortunately, in a very sleepy coastal village as there was a military coup in this country four days ago.

Things settled down very quickly although there has been an extreme crack down on the perpetrators by the existing government, and it is the third coup here since the 1980’s.

But it has made me think that maybe it is time for me to leave this country and head back to England. I will miss it terribly and all the lovely friends I have made here, but hopefully I can come back to visit them in the future.

Selimiye Sunset Jo Tempest

Selimiye Sunset

The great thing is that now that I am writing my Bad Girls series and hopefully my novel one day, I can actually live anywhere, as long as I have internet.

I have a lot to think about if I am going to leave here, as well as a lot to organise but I am not going to rush.

I will keep all you lovely readers updated.

Jo Tempest. x

Summer Is Coming To Selimiye

5 minutes away home 229 home 326 home 437 jo photos 2 223



Laurel and Hardy’s Spring Update

Inseparable Brothers-Jo Tempest

Inseparable Brothers

Hi readers,

You have not heard from us for a while. We are still living with Jo and are happy to say she is still spoiling us!

If she has chicken or fish, then we have chicken or fish….in fact, we have to have ours served first as there is no way we will let her eat hers until our dishes are full.

We love our new home as we have our own garden and no other cat dares to enter it without being chased off by our brave selves! There are just too many places in the garden to have a little nap or just laze in the sun.

Serious Napping-Jo Tempest

Serious Napping

Jo has put our own ‘cat-door’ into the kitchen door so we can come and go as we please, but we both still like to tap on the patio doors to make her get up from her work and let us in. That is a great game!

And of course, we have to have our ‘mad half hour’ where we tear around the apartment, opening cupboards and pulling thing out (which we are so good at) and just generally making a lot of noise.

But we make up for all that by insisting on being picked up and cuddled which seems to make Jo really happy.

So, all in all, nothing to complain about and so guess we will continue to grace Jo with our presence while she continues to spoil us as we have become accustomed.
Laurel and Hardy.

The Legend of Shahmaran

The Legend of Shahmaran


Yesterday I was out with my friend Turkish Nese, who is soon opening her new gift shop.

I wanted her to see a shop I love called Mona Titti, just for a few ideas. It is run by an artist who paints fabric and furniture as well as paintings for your wall.

She loves painting Shahmaran, a figure in Eastern Turkish folklore and I thought you might like to hear her story.

Shahmaran is usually depicted as a very wise woman who has the features of a woman above her waist and those of a snake below her waist. She is known as the Queen of Snakes and when she dies, her spirit passes to her daughter. Shahmaran is believed to have lived in the Mediterranean Turkish town of Tarsus, and if you visit there, she is certainly in evidence in the art of the village.

The legend tells that she was in love with a normal man called Tasmasp and he was in love with her. He stayed with her for a long time, listening to all her wonderful stories, but eventually he wanted to go back to visit his family. Shahmaran accepted his choice and sent him off with her blessings.

When he got back to his land, his King was very sick and one of the King’s aides told him he would get better only if he ate Shahmaran. Tasmasp was dismayed when he heard this proclamation, but had to agree to his King’s demands that he, as well as every other man, had to go into the Haman to see if snake scales floated to the surface. When it was his turn, he was forced to disclose where his beloved Shahmaran was hiding.

When she was discovered by the King’s men, Shahmaran told them that whoever took a bite from her snake scales would gain all the secrets of the world. But whoever took a bite of her head would die immediately!

The King’s helper took a bite of her scales and Tasmasp was told to bite her head. But it was the King’s aide who dropped down dead and Tasmasp was fine. Shahmaran had helped her lover to kill his enemy.

I just love the paintings of Shahmaran and I will definitely go back to Mona Titti sometime to treat myself to one, but yesterday I just came away with a coaster for my new desk, as well as a great fridge magnet, so that I can look at her every day.  Shahmaran is definitely an intriguing looking character and I love her story.

 Jo Tempest.




Laurel and Hardy – SAS Commandos

Cat Heart

Cat Heart

I really believe Laurel and Hardy, my gorgeous two cats, have taken a secret SAS Commando cat course!

When I rescued them from the streets of Selimiye, I am sure they were already a little more savvy than cats brought up in a home right from the start of their little lives.

They had to learn how to get food and be safe for quite a few weeks before they came to live with me, and because they are brothers, they do look out for each other. 

Anyway, they arrived here and I live on the first floor in an apartment with a balcony off the kitchen and another off my bedroom. The apartment has a main door downstairs, (with a screen) and then you come upstairs to my front door. I wasn’t sure how they would come and go, but I thought it was best to let them work that out for themselves. Which they do in Commando style!

If there is no one around to let them in the ground floor door, then they do a ‘little breaking and entry’. That means they have to take it in turns to jump up and down until they flip the door handle to open the door. This is after they have managed to get the screen open first. My neighbours have watched in astonishment many a time, to see this amazing feat.

Then they come upstairs to the main door. This is impossible to open, so if they miaow and no one is home, then it is back downstairs out of the main door. Just around the corner was a bougainvillea tree that came up to my kitchen balcony, and so a little climbing later, they were on the kitchen balcony, opening the screen and the door in their commando style.

Laurel And Hardy Eating

Laurel And Hardy Eating

This was a great system for a while until I had a new neighbour downstairs! She comes periodically throughout the summer and at heart, is a city dweller.

Unfortunately, Laurel and Hardy were causing leaves to drop onto her balcony as they were climbing up and down the tree a few times a day.

Next thing I know, she is knocking on my door complaining about the leaves! Really. What was I supposed to do? Have a little word with my two horrors and ask them to clean up after themselves?

This exchange went on for a few days and I really did not know quite what to do. But my city neighbour did! She cut down the Bougainvillea tree! Poor Laurel and Hardy were quite distraught for a couple of days.

But not to be deterred, after a quick chat together, they moved to around to the back of the apartment that fortunately has an Olive tree that reaches up to my bedroom balcony! So, up they come, every day and through the night, opening my fly screen first, and if the have to, opening the door with their jump and flip technique.

The only down side to this new approach is that the can only open the fly screen, not close it! So I have to get up in the middle of the night to close it after them.

The odd leaf will fall on my neighbour’s balcony below but she cannot cut it down, as all Olive trees are protected. (Some of them around the village are hundreds of years old). 

It seems they have passed on their route into their home to a black cat who lives outside. I often find him in my kitchen eating their food, while they are laying on the balcony or on my bed. They do not give him a problem, in fact, they are really laid back about it. I think that maybe it is because they were once street cats; they feel sorry for him and know how hard it is to get food. 

I love my little Commandos; they are full of character and I certainly know they are around!



Jo Tempest.

Airports Can Be Fun!

My Flying Carpet

My Flying Carpet

A couple of weeks ago, I left Turkey to fly to England for Christmas. I was going to spend some time with my family and was really looking forward to the break.

In the winter, it’s difficult to find a direct flight from my local airport to London so I have to fly via Istanbul. I knew I would have to wait for around 6 hours so I went armed with my book, my 2012 diary to fill in and a note book to make observations!

Once I had made my way from the domestic to the international terminal, I headed for the passport check point. Of course, being British, I queued quietly. This did not seem to be true for many others. I assumed that the ones that just pushed forward were probably late for their flights! The men behind the desks checking our passports were actually quite pleasant which I have to say is quite unusual, especially in Turkey. Even when a young guy is standing in front of them having their passport checked and decides to make a phone call! Unbelievable.

Once my passport had been stamped, I headed for one of the many coffee shops. I found a table with my tray of goodies and whilst I was eating and drinking, I did a little people watching. I just love it. Listening to all the different languages, looking how people are dressed and even what bags they are carrying.

Then it was time to fill in my diary for 2012 and read some of my book. I soon became fidgety sitting down and decided it was time to stretch my legs and have a quick look in the shops. By now I was into half of my ‘killing time’ before my London flight. After deciding there was nothing in the shops that I couldn’t possibly live without, I grabbed a newspaper and looked around for a free chair. Istanbul is a strange airport in that it has very few seating areas, unlike, say Heathrow. I suppose the idea is that you then have to go into a cafe or restaurant and spend money!

Anyway, no seats available but I spied a really bright pink carpet ( later realized it was in front of a Prada sign, only the best for me). A lady was sitting on the carpet with her young child so I decided it would a perfect place to sit and read my newspaper. There I was reading when a male voice asked me if there was any more space on the carpet! I looked up to see a smiling face and wittily replied “Yes, but you have to be careful as it’s a magic flying carpet (Turkish connection!) and we may take off.” He told me he would take that risk and settled down beside me. He introduced himself as Reza. He lived in Chicago, was a dentist and was on his way to Dubai to help a friend whose son was coming over to Chicago to go to university.

We spent the next couple of hours telling each other about our lives and it was fascinating listening to Reza’s story. I did ask if I could repeat it in this article and he was more than happy as long as he got to read it sometime, no problem I assured him.

So, here is a little of Reza’s story. He moved to Chicago from Iran when he was just a baby. His parents enjoyed American life but were still quite traditional. At 18 years old, they told Reza they had arranged a marriage for him and of course, he had to comply. The wedding day arrived and he stood with his bride whom he had never even seen, let alone got to know. The wedding ceremony was finished, then the bride’s father decided Reza was not ready for marriage and promptly took his daughter home. For 3 Years!!

Anyway, they eventually lived together and have a wonderful son who is now 26 years old. Many years later, they were divorced. Then, ( I guessed this part and was right) Reza married a much younger foreign lady and the marriage only lasted around 3 years but produced another lovely son who is now 6 years old.

He told me that when he got back to Chicago, he was taking his young son to Disney Land for a Christmas treat. His son had telephoned him to say he wanted ‘ The Nanny’ to come too. Reza was quite happy but how did his son’s mum feel about this? “It’s my decision,” replied his son. The Nanny is around 22 years old and lovely so no great hardship for Reza. Who knows, maybe she will be wife no 3!

We spent the whole time laughing and suddenly I realized I needed to get to my Gate for my flight. After quick goodbyes and exchanging email addresses I hurried to catch my flight to London.

I have to say it was one of my most fun times waiting at an airport and I have done it many a time, so thank you Reza for joining me on the pink carpet. And I hope you enjoy ‘Your’ story.

Jo Tempest.

Update from Laurel and Hardy

Laurel And Hardy | Jo Tempest

Laurel And Hardy

Hi everyone, I thought it was time for Laurel and I to give you an update on living with Jo. What can I say, it’s wonderful! Especially as I also have my brother Laurel with me. It really beats living on the streets of Selimiye.

I know Jo and her partner, Baris, really love us because they keep telling us how gorgeous we are. But they also tell us how naughty we are! The way I see it is that we are still kittens and there is so much fun to be had in the apartment. I expect we will grow out of it in time.

Jo has a wonderful collection of shells in a tray on the bottom shelf of the hall table but they are just too tempting. I can manage to get a couple out, with Laurel looking on, and they roll really well along the floors. I know I have lost a few under the sofa but Jo hasn’t noticed yet! She goes around picking up the ones she finds and puts them back, telling me to leave them alone. The moment she goes back to her lap top, I creep back as I love playing with them.

Laurel has his favorite game, he keeps going into Jo’s wardrobe and chews the bags of presents ready for her family. He even manages to drag a few out into the room. Jo thought she was being really clever a couple of day ago when she tied up the doors to the wardrobe. It was a bit of a challenge, but we managed to get them undone.

She has taken to putting things in the drawer of the bedside cabinet as we do have a habit of jumping on top and scattering glasses, books and the alarm clock. Apparently, we have broken two alarm clocks already and poor Jo cannot manage without one. Anyway, I thought I would try and open the drawer and I was successful. I found a little torch ( we have a lot of power cuts in the village) and it had a chord on the handle. I was really pleased with myself when I was trotting down to the kitchen with the torch in my mouth just as Jo walked through the front door. She is so great, she just picked me up with the torch, took it back to her bedroom and gave me a hug at the same time as telling me I was a naughty boy!

We rarely use the stairs to go outside as we do not want Jo or Baris to have to keep running up and down the stairs. The balcony of the kitchen has a really convenient tree running down to the garden so Laurel and I have soon mastered this route to outside. The only problem is that when we come back up to get in our home, the door is often closed due to it getting colder. Getting a little fed up with having to sit outside and meow to be let in, we have both now mastered opening the door on our own. It takes a few efforts and is a little noisy but we manage.

We are both very loving and often make a jump from the back of the sofa onto Jo and Baris, making lots of purring noises until we sprawl out on the sofa for a well earned sleep. I made Jo laugh so much tonight because I did my usual leap and landed on her head, and then thought it would be a good idea to nibble her ear. I love her too much.

One habit I have grown out of, is sitting on the window sill to look outside and sweeping anything in my way onto the floor. I did break a couple of glass candle pots and it became a little dangerous walking across the floor until Jo cleared up. I still like to sit and watch the neighbors along with Laurel or wait for Jo to come home. Well, I am going outside with my brother now to chase the chickens so I will let Jo say a couple of words as it is her blog. I think she is going to put a couple of photos on her blog soon to show you what handsome fellows we are. Meow for now. Xx

Hi, Jo here. Honestly, everything Hardy has told you is true. It’s like having a couple of toddlers running riot and I definitely gave them the right names, they are a comedy act! But I am so happy I rescued them as they are an absolute delight to have around, even if they are the naughtiest kittens I have ever come across.

Bye for now.




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