A Complete Turkish Dinner from the Kutays

A Complete Turkish Dinner from the Kutays
My father came to the US as a student enrolled at Berkeley in 1939 and met my mother when she was working in a soda fountain. They married, moved to Turkey where she learned to speak Turkish and cook Turkish cuisine. They moved back to Los Angeles where I was born and raised on delicious Turksih dishes all my life. Three common delicious dishes that were always on the table in Istanbul when we visited relatives, and frequently served at home in California are below.     When my sister learned to make the walnut chicken dish, she made me--her younger brother--hand squeeze the oil out of the walnuts to drizzle over the dish before serving. These recipies are delicious and easy to make for a complete and authentic Turkish dinner, especially because all three dishes can be served at room temperature.    Walnut Chicken   One whole roasted chicken...
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3 Reasons Why Travel to Turkey is #1

3 Reasons Why Travel to Turkey is #1
The most frequent question people ask me as the founding director of Wildland Adventures is: "What is your favorite destination?" Depending on my mood I might say Manu National Park in the Amazon of Peru, or tiger viewing in India , or the wilds of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. But most of the time I declare my #1 destination is Turkey. I qualify that choice by simultaneously acknowledging that it's not just because of my Kutay family Turkish heritage. And I'm not the only one who rates Turkey #1. Among all our Wildland Adventures around the world, Turkey is the one destination we most often hear from returning travelers they didn't expect they would be so surprised, so amazed, and so delighted; that their Wildland Adventure in Turkey was one of the best trips ever. 1. Why so surprised? These days there is some initial trepidation traveling to...
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Welcome to Urunlu Village in Turkey

Welcome to Urunlu Village in Turkey
Welcome to Urunlu, a small Turkish village in the Taurus Mountains above the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. For the past 25 years we have been the invited guests of the Topkara family where we spend the night in their summer home en route from Cappadocia to the coast on our Turquoise Coast Odyssey . When we first made arrangements to stay with the Topkara family in their village home in 1989, the parents Shefika and her husband made all the arrangements and their young children were delighted to have foreign guests coming to stay. On one Wildland trip, when the multigenerational Whitmore family arrived with their 10 year old grandson at the front door, the Topkara's grandson Onur, who was also 10 at that time 10 years ago, he took his new American friend by the hand and they disappeared down cobblestone pathways to explore and play in the village...
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Travel to Turkey Now

Travel to Turkey Now
If you are planning to travel to Turkey but are concerned by what you might have seen on TV about the recent demonstrations on May 31, don’t let the news reports stop you! I am writing this blog from Istanbul after being here for the first anniversary of the Gezi Park protests. What started out last year as a sit-in occupation of a local park to stop government from cutting trees for the development of a new mall in the heart of Istanbul, has now turned into a longer-term social movement for democracy calling for change of an increasingly autocratic prime minister.     So we joined the gathering this year around Taksim Square to see for ourselves the local conditions for the safety of our travelers coming here this season. Upon arrival we stayed at the Senatus Hotel in the historic touristic Sulthanamet district and then moved across the Golden...
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Travel to Turkey breaks all time record in 2013

2013 was a great year for tourism in Turkey, and Istanbul’s total number of international arrivals last year proved that.      Istanbul broke the all time record welcoming 10.474.867 tourists in 2013. The Tourism Directorate said that the number of foreign tourists visiting Istanbul increased 11.7 per cent compared to 2012.   The number of tourists visiting the city also increased 15.6 per cent in December compare to December 2012. 754.789 tourists arrived to Istanbul in December 2013.   Most of the visitors in Istanbul were from Germany with 1.179.397 tourists which is followed by Russia with 573.528, USA with 503.019 tourists is in 3rd, and France with 478.258 tourists in fourth and UK with 456.172 tourists made the 5th place.   I gave a presentation last weekend about our Wildland Adventures in Turkey and someone asked the same question we get every time: "Is it safe to travel...
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