This is the third post in what appears to have become a series of gripes about this country. Make no mistake, as far as holiday destinations are concerned, Turkey takes some beating. But living here in this village is no holiday.
This is a beautiful area. You've seen photos of the views from our house near the top of the hill in this village. Scenery to die for. Watching the sunrise early in the morning from behind the mountains can make you feel so good about life.
However, not everything is rosy. There is another side to life in this village, which isn't so pleasant.
Rubbish. Tons of it. Everywhere.
We have been here nearly four and a half years. During the first two years I had a running battle with the Muhtar to get bins installed as far as our house. It happened eventually. We had one placed just below our house. I carefully wrapped all rubbish before placing in the bin, but my neighbours didn't bother. They just emptied everything including rotting food straight into the bin. You can imagine the smell, particularly when temperatures reached almost 40 degrees.
We never knew when the bins would be emptied. The Muhtar would have to arrange for someone with a tractor and trailer to collect. This didn't happen too often and we could sometimes wait 4 or 5 weeks. Eventually in desperation Mr A would have to empty the bin and set fire to the rubbish.
It didn't work, so the bins were removed. Apparently this village should at some time in the future come under the control of the council in Milas. It has started in a small way because they have installed two large wheely bins with lids down in the village. I still wrap my rubbish well, and I take it down to the bins. When the elderly man in the old house below us died and his wife left, there was a huge pile of rubbish in their garden. In spite of complaints to the Muhtar, it remained there for over a year, until Mr A went down and set fire to it all. There was so much of it, it burned for days.
He needn't have bothered, because my neighbours don't take their rubbish to the bins in the village, they just dump it in that garden.
Last week, one of Dursune's large chickens was killed, either by a fox or stray dog. She took it round to the hill behind our house and dumped it there. I asked her not to, because this is where my dogs run and I didn't want them eating rotten chicken. It would also encourage more street dogs and rats. She just ignored me and left it there.
Sure enough, my dogs discovered it, and a week later, they brought it down to the road outside our house and started tearing it apart. Can you imagine what state it was in? After a week in this heat? I'm afraid I got quite angry with Dursune. I'm not sure she understood me, but I tried to tell her that she should either dig a hole and bury it, wrap it up and take it to the bin in the village or burn it. She ignored me, and left it outside. Although I did (using a long pole) scoop it up and threw it over the wall into her garden. She will probably not even notice the smell from the rotting chicken, because the stench from her garden is getting worse by the day. It's so bad that I now avoid sitting outside when the wind is blowing from her direction. Needless to say one of my dogs had an upset stomach which was probably as a result of trying to eat the rotting carcass.
I have also noticed recently that early in the morning Dursune can't be bothered to go around the side of her house to the outside toilet, but will squat and pee in the garden instead. This seems to be a quite common habit here...another rather unpleasant aspect of Turkish village life.
OK I'm a foreigner. They already think I'm odd because I keep dogs as pets. And they think dogs are dirty and disease-ridden. In actual fact my dogs are cleaner and healthier than a lot of people in this village.
Maybe I have no right to complain? But this is the 21st Century, not the 19th. We have electricity and running water in this village. The inhabitants have toilets and showers, even if some are outside.
Most of them have televisions. A lot have access to the internet, judging by the number of members on the village Facebook page.
I don't get it. Why do they still insist on living this way?