by Reshide Atesh MORALI
I'm headed for Bozcaada again! I should never have visited this little island, which seems to be guarding Troy, for then I would not have had the strong desire to return to it over and over again. Granted, I love islands and was born on a small island and lived a great part of my life on an island, but those islands were very different from charming Bozcaada. Here, I can take a solitary walk through the countryside and be close to nature. The island is still, and you can hear yourself think, which is such a relief after having lived in big cities or in seaside resorts, some of which are plagued by noisy holidaymakers who can spontaneously decide to celebrate at unearthly hours. Sometimes, it is good to be with those noisemakers, but a constant diet of loud music, partying and late nights can run down your motor and then it's necessary to give the body and spirit a rest and you can do just that in Bozcaada. The Aegean atmosphere is addictive, and as I said previously, once you visit the island you'll be drawn there again and again.
The sight of the impressive medieval fortress located in the harbour area is alone worth the trip from Canakkale. Upon disembarking, the air is full of excitement, however there is a certain serenity too which immediately becomes apparent... You are physically away from problems and the hustle and bustle of modern life. Here the lifestyle is slow-paced. Everyone knows everyone else. After all, its only natural, for the inhabitants of the entire island amount to only about 2000 souls. They are obliged to communicate with Canakkale for many of their needs. This is the old Turkey. Folks sit in the coffeehouses and while away the time.
They are gentlefolk and very proud of their island. Folks who have migrated from the island to other areas and countries still come to Bozcaada to spend the summers there for they miss the friendships that have grown over a great part of a lifetime. Bozcaada is their home. No need to worry about protein when you live on this island for the waters abound in fish. As of late, the word has gotten around in the international yachting fraternity that Bozcaada has an excellent harbour and if you sit by the harbour drinking some tea or coffee you'll see flags of many nations flown from the masts of all kinds of ships. Bozcaada was once very famous for viniculture, but now the number of vineyards has declined due to economics. It just isn't profitable to grow grapes anymore, but still there are those folks that take pride in the grapes of Bozcaada and they are struggling to keep viniculture alive on the island. A very special tasting grape is raised in Bozcaada... It is different from any other kind of grape I have eaten in Turkey and goes way back into antiquity. Legends reveal that Dionysus and Poseidon got drunk on the island at one of the banquets held for the gods. Ancient dieties were conceived as living in the mountains and the peaks were their thrones. No doubt, Zeus, Artemis, Aphrodite and the rest got tired of sitting on their thrones, that is, the mountain peaks around Troy and decided to come to Tenedos, which was the name in the Iliad that Homer used to refer to this little island. Prince Tenes, who ruled the island, was a staunch supporter of Troy in Anatolia and when the Greeks attacked Troy, he hurled boulders at their ships in an attempt to stop them. He paid for his efforts to help Troy with his life, for Achilles came ashore and murdered him. A shrine on the island was built for this heroic Anatolian Prince, but it was forbidden that a flute be played on the island nor could the name Achilles be muttered. Achilles tried to capture Tenes' sister but the earth was merciful and swallowed her up. Here, we again see, the ancient Anatolian idea existing from Neolithic Anatolian times that a crevice in the earth is really a birth canal to Mother Earth, the great Anatolian goddess, who has been an ever-present element in the syncretism that spanned many millenia in Anatolia. Returning to Mother Earth was a way of ensuring rebirth and so Tenes' sister was swallowed up by the earth from whence she had come in order to be reborn... If I had my way, I'd never leave this island... City life holds no attraction for me anymore. It's a wonderful feeling to be disconnected from stress carriers and those who make their problems yours. On this island, I can tune in on the world and tune out at will via television and the telephone but I believe that my television will also remain disconnected and perhaps even my telephone. I brought some fruits, vegetables and beans with me from Canakkale and some wonderful cheese that is still in brine so it will last for some time. All I have to do is to make some fresh bread which is rather easy for me to do. I've got my manual typewriter, so if there is a power failure I'll still be able to type. I'm ready to settle down to 10 days of rest and relaxation and pretend that I'm on a desert island which will take a lot of imagination because this place abounds in greenery, and is far from being a desert.
I'd like to tell you how to make Turkish kidney bean salad which I'll be preparing here. My dad used to always serve it with liver prepared Albanian-style or Arnavut cigeri as we call it here in Turkey.
For the salad, place in a pot 2.5 cups of white kidney beans and 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. If you are using dried beans then soak them overnight before cooking. Simmer the beans from 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Drain and mix in 1 teaspoon of salt and a half of a teaspoon of a mixture of paprika and a little cayenne. Let stand until cooled. Mix in 1/4 of a cup of chopped parsley and two tablespoons of chopped fresh green pepper. This is a very versatile salad which may also be served with all kinds of meat patties and is great as one of the salads on a buffet table. I always sprinkle a vinegar and olive oil dressing over the salad. Afiyet olsun! YUKARIDAKİ YAZIwww.byegm.gov.tr/yayinlarimiz/NEWSPOT/1998/Aug/N14.htm ADRESİNDEN ALINMIŞTIR. SAYIN MORALI'YA BU GÜZEL YAZISINDAN DOLAYI ÇOK TEŞEKKÜR EDERİZ.