...and not necessarily for the better.
I'm not even going to get into talking about the political situation at the moment, other than to say that democracy is dying and we are heading very quickly towards a dictatorship.
People are becoming more materialistic. They want all the latest technology and cars, but sadly most don't earn the money to pay for them. So they get into debt or they turn to crime.
I'm afraid a lot of Turks think that foreigners are wealthy. I suppose relatively speaking, they are better off than a lot of Turks, but many expats have worked hard and saved for their retirement in the sun, and live here on their pensions. They're not rich, they just have a better standard of living than they would if they had stayed in the UK. So based on this idea that Turks have, there has been a dramatic increase in burglaries in recent years. Not to mention the way that foreigners are sometimes ripped off when it comes to buying property.
A lot of the restaurants in tourist areas have two differently priced menus...one for Turks, and a more expensive one for tourists. Often foreigners, even those who have lived here for a long time, are charged more in markets and shops for goods. I get the impression from people who have come to Turkey regularly for years for their holiday, are becoming disillusioned, and feel that the country and it's people are not the same as they once were.
On the other side of the coin, some tourists (particularly British I'm embarrassed to say) come here with a strange attitude towards Turks. They can be rude and offensive and treat restaurant and hotel staff like they are inferior. They get drunk night after night, get into fights and generally make nuisances of themselves. The Turks tolerate this behaviour well. They have no choice. They have a short summer season in which to earn as much as they can to survive the winter when there is no work.
Sadly, the introduction some years ago of All-inclusive holidays has, I feel, had a detrimental effect on tourism. People don't leave their hotels where their food and drinks are included in their holiday price. As a result local businesses lose out. So when restaurants do get customers, they over-charge them. They rip them off in the markets. They are so desperate to earn money that they are less than honest in their attempts.
It's a vicious circle.
Something has to change for tourism in Turkey to be as good as it was years ago. I don't know how it's possible to get things back on track, or whether it's maybe too late.
PS. I typed this post last night, having heard from Mr A that his car which he parks overnight just outside the hotel was damaged. Sometime during the early hours of the previous morning, someone had smashed all the windows. This act of mindless vandalism made me stop and think about how when I first came to live here, this sort of thing would never happen. You could safely leave your car overnight, even with the keys in the ignition, and it wouldn't be touched.
Shopkeepers would leave their stock outside their shops overnight and know that nothing would be touched.
It saddens me to even think about how much things are changing in this beautiful country.