I've been hoarding my sketches for no particular reason, and haven't shared any of them in a long, long time, but I plan to unload some on you now. I was travelling around southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border in April, and managed to convince an old gentleman to pose for me in a courtyard of a bazaar. He was utterly confused about why this foreign woman wanted to draw him, but was kind enough to indulge me for a good twenty minutes plus time for a çay (tea). I sipped it slowly. When I handed over my sketchbook to his wrinkled hands for approval, he was speechless, and looked up at me with moist eyes. His name was Yunus, and he signed my book for me.
Later in the afternoon that day, I sat down for a Turkish coffee in another shady courtyard and did my best to sketch a very serious, yet animated man playing cards. Men and women alike in Urfa wrap their heads in deep violet or lilac scarves embroidered with white floral patterns, and whenever I ask for the significance of this style of scarf (I have not seen it anywhere else in Turkey), I get the same vague answer: tradition.
The hammered tin and copper cup I drew on the left is holding ayran, a frothy, salty yoghurt drink that is popular in Turkey with kebabs and summertime. It's an acquired taste if you are not used to it, but really something to try when visiting this part of the world! I regret that I did not sketch the aubergine kebab that had accompanied it, but I was hungry.
See the photos, read the stories on my blog Harika.