... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

5000 Degrees

Turkey’s President Erdogan has cracked down since the coup attempt a week ago today in his country. Roughly 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants and teachers have been suspended, detained or are under investigation since Friday’s military coup attempt. A three month state of emergency has been set in place which allows the President and his cabinet to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms as they deem necessary.

Rights and freedoms…

This reminds me of something I saw during a visit to the resort town of Side (pronounced see-deh), an ancient Greek city on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

I like to be where the natives are when I travel, so one afternoon I left the pool area of the hotel and meandered down to the ocean hoping to see some locals along the shore.

What I saw troubled me: women covered in burkinis which are swimsuits specially designed to hide the body–the entire body–head included; others were dressed in black robes also with their heads covered.

It was 5000 degrees outside.

The ocean, turquoise blue and crystal clear stretched to the horizon–breathtaking.
The women and girls frolicking in the water and emerging weighed down by their garments–godawful. The men and boys all wore swimming trunks. ‘Normal’ attire for swimming, in my mind. They all looked like they were having fun!! The women and girls looked like…like…well, they looked like quite a sight for my westernized eyes.

I moseyed on over to a group of young women sitting on a blanket atop the golden sand nearby. I crouched down in the sand and because I don’t speak Turkish, began my question of why the women wear all the garb swimming, by pointing at their clothing, the ocean and gesturing. Fortunately one of them spoke English. She explained to me that this was for traditional, cultural and religious reasons. The aim is to maximize coverage and secure modesty.

It was 5000 degrees outside.

“But aren’t you hot?” I asked her.
“We’re used to it,” she said.

Hmm. . . Used to it because it is forced upon you, I thought. You have no choice. Perish the thought of rebellion.

It was 5000 degrees outside.

Too hot for me to delve into conversation and or debate on culture, religion or issues of faith. Or power. Or freedom. For these women, you cover the full body whenever you go to a public place. Even when swimming. Even when it’s 5000 degrees outside. And that is just what you do. Period.

I pondered over the rights and freedoms of these females as I strolled down the beach toward some camels.

I concluded that sometimes it’s just best to keep your mouth shut and get on your horse camel and ride.

Peaceful weekend everybody.