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x0x Dalyan from the sky

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    [See more at: http://turkradio.us/k/dalyan/ ] x0x Dalyan from the sky By AKGUN AKOVA Looking at Dalyan from the sky is like an anatomy lesson where the body is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15, 2006
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      [See more at: http://turkradio.us/k/dalyan/ ]

      x0x Dalyan from the sky

      By AKGUN AKOVA

      Looking at Dalyan from the sky is like an anatomy
      lesson where the body is geography. The canals
      below you spread like green veins.

      "When the waters of the flood receded, the Oaxaca
      Valley was a swamp.

      A handful of mud came to life and began walking.
      Turtle was walking very, very slowly. His head
      stretched out, his eyes wide open,he moved
      forward, roaming to see the world that the sun had
      brought back to life. At a place that stank,
      Turtle saw Vulture eating carrion. `Take me to the
      sky,' he said. `I want to meet God.' Vulture made
      him repeat his request several times. Turtle poked
      out his head to plead, and then, because of the
      unbearable stench, retreated it back into his
      shell. `You have wings; take me up,' he begged.
      Tired of this insistence, Vulture spread his great
      black wings and took off with Turtle on his back.
      They flew through the clouds as Turtle, his head
      pulled in, complained, `You smell revolting!'
      Vulture pretended not to hear.


      DREAMY WATER

      Who knows how many times I had gone through the
      reeds in a boat, over the blue crabs and past the
      nests of birds. Just once I wanted a bird's-eye
      view of all this, all together.

      This bird's-eye view was secured for me by a
      two-person aircraft called the micro-light. It
      could take off from a 200-meter runway, and even
      if its engine stopped could easily land like a
      deltawing.

      Immediately after takeoff we were met by slight
      winds that tested us.

      As we climbed higher the winds eased off, but
      chopping began in the blue of the Mediterranean
      and the green of Lake Koycegiz.

      A minute after we were airborne I looked down and
      murmured, "One day the angels looked down from the
      sky and saw green snakes!" And indeed the water,
      slowly running among the maze-like reeds, did look
      like snakes slithering along the ground. But the
      canals I was describing as snakes had, since time
      immemorial, been reaching the Mediterranean where
      fresh water mingled with salt. Dalyan is the place
      where Lake Koycegiz meets the Mediterranean: a
      dreamy piece of water....

      And where it ends you find the sand dunes of
      Iztuzu, where the sea is rarely tame, as the waves
      chase each other like white-faced children,
      tossing off foam as they batter the shore.

      SCORES OF BOATS

      As we roam through the sky the rays of the sun
      glance off the water and dazzle me. Down below the
      summer visitors are riding forward in boats
      through the maze of reeds, which in the fall will
      turn a golden yellow. Flat boats are used in
      these waters because they don't churn up many
      waves. Riding past as fish known in Turkish as
      `kefal' jump out of the water, the passengers see
      the ancient tombs carved in the rock cliffs above.
      And they float past the fish garths, which are
      slowly collecting their catch in nets. Before long
      the Mediterranean will greet them with a mother's
      embrace of waves. As they run to throw themselves
      into these waves, they will forget all their
      unhappiness, all their heartache, and all their
      hopelessness. The only thought in their minds will
      be that they are dolphins. Dolphins giving
      themselves up to the water in order to swim the
      whole length of the Mediterranean.

      These thoughts were passing through my mind as I
      contemplated the boats, when suddenly a stork flew
      by below us. Meanwhile the archeologists were at
      work in the ruins of Caunos, while on the beach
      tiny people played ball. The planted and plowed
      fields looked like daubs of paint on an artist's
      palette. There are people taking mud baths who see
      us but don't care, their only thought is that the
      mud is giving them health. As we fly over the
      town, the swimming pools in the gardens of the
      hotels look up at us like blue eyes.

      Out on the Mediterranean the cruise boats have
      cast anchor at an island so the passengers can
      have a swim. This island boasts a small
      lighthouse, and because of a hole that resembles a
      cave is called `Delikli Kaya', The Rock With A
      Hole. Divers, tempted by the extremely clear
      water, can pass through the hole in small
      rowboats.

      SEEING THE TURTLES

      The divers are down at the bottom, so I can't make
      them out, but I do see the tracks left by sea
      turtles on the sands of Iztuzu when they crawl up
      on the beach at night to lay their eggs.

      At the door, with a beaming smile on his face, was
      Uncle Osman. He hugged me tight. I was up early
      the next morning. His woollen saddlebag hoisted on
      his back, Uncle Osman had already taken his cows
      out to graze. Climbing among the little streams
      and steep rises, I was breathless by the time I
      caught up with him. We reached the foothills of
      Marsis and, skipping over rocks and precipices,
      wound our way up to its 3200-m high summit. While
      I rested, totally winded, Uncle Osman kept an eye
      on the cows through his binoculars. Ten minutes
      later he stood up again. `Rest up,' he said, `but
      budget your time so you'll get back down again
      before it gets dark; otherwise I'll worry.' And
      with that he vanished between the rocks with the
      agility of a goat. Gunner Osman was still full of
      life, as vigorous as any youngblood.


      In winter he picked the oranges, satsumas and
      grapefruit that he grew in the large garden of his
      house and gathered chestnuts from the forest and
      roasted them on the stove, all the while yearning
      for spring and the yayla season to roll round
      again.


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