FAT BOYS – the love affair between Australia and Turkey
hotel names, special tours, Gallipoli and even a Kiwi carpet shop for Oz’s trans-Tasman cousin
So how did a sign with Fat Albert end up in Göreme Turkey?
Well Australian girl met Turkish boy, they fell in love and so it began. They established Fat Boys, a popular eatery in the very touristy yet small town of Göreme in Cappadocia Turkey. This land of fairy chimneys and ‘prehistoric’ rock formations is a must stop on any tour of Turkey that lasts more than a few days.
It is a sort of convergence point for travellers all across the country: the hippie backpack travellers, the adventure tour groups and the 5 star crowd all cross paths here where early morning balloon rides and extensive tours of a bunch of rocks are the order of business.
This area, which includes rock formations shaped by erosion, an open air museum, remnants of underground towns and sacred space within the rock walls, is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the European part of Turkey, Gallipoli is an oft visited site by Australians and New Zealanders. Though the campaign here in 1915-1916 was considered ‘unsuccessful’, its significance is imprinted in the psyche of these two South Pacific nations (and Turkey too).
Australian travellers to Turkey will find eating establishments that serve Vegemite and a number of Australian-friendly businesses and services. The battle of Gallipoli is jointly recognized every year with official ceremonies in both countries.
Note: As of the publishing of this post, October 2016, there is a travel advisory in effect for Turkey, particularly for Istanbul and Ankara, due to political unrest, demonstrations and terrorist attacks.
While travel to Turkey is currently not recommended, travel to Australia is. Since the 1967 agreement between the Australian and Turkish governments that allowed citizens of Turkey to immigrate to the land down under, the Turkish presence in Australia has grown.
It is always revealing and insightful when travelling to explore the origins and influence of cross-cultural interaction.
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