Friday, May 13, 2011


So I have been back in New Zealand for a couple of weeks and I've been very busy so I've only just got the chance to write about my last couple of days in Turkey. The day before I left some boys from AFS took me around Istanbul to see the sites. We went to Topkapı Palace, the palace where the Sultan of Turkey used to live. It is a huge and it took us a couple of hours to walk around the whole palace. We also went around İstiklal Avenue/ İstiklâl Caddesi which is a big, famous street in Taksim Square. I also tried Turkish ice cream which is really nice.

Topkapı Palace

The boys and I around Istanbul
İstiklâl Caddesi

It was sad leaving Mira, Selim and Ebru. I had a wonderful time staying with them. I am definitely going back to Turkey one day to see them again and I hope that they will come to New Zealand so I can show them our beautiful country .

The other weekend Anday came down to stay with us. This was my first time meeting her. She was fun to hang out with. We went op-shopping, both hoping to find a ball dress and we also went to the Zoo and to Mount Vic lookout. It was nice being able to show someone around my city for a change.

Anday, my mum and I at Mount Vic lookout

Thursday, April 28, 2011


After saying goodbye to my friends I went on a tour of Gallipoli that my host family organised for me. It was fantastic, I was able to see everything that I didn't get to see on ANZAC Day. The tour guide knew a lot about the Gallipoli campaign and taught us all some new things. We went to ANZAC Cove which was really cool. We also visited some cemeteries including Beach Cemetery and Ari Brunu. We also got to see the grave of the Australian, John Simpson Kirkpatrick- the man with a donkey. We also went and saw the memorial sites again, it was very different without thousands of people around. We saw the trenches and communication tunnels which was really cool. I think that was my favourite part. I could have been standing in the exact same place that Herbert stood on 96years ago. I am glad I got to see Gallipoli again, it is a very special place and everyone should try and get there one day.


Communication Tunnels left- ANZAC and right- Turkish

Me at North Beach- Where the Dawn Service is held.

In front of the New Zealand Memorial

ANZAC Trenches

Turkish Trenches at Chunuk Bair

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Goodbye Çanakkale

We are going to Istanbul tonight so today I had my last day at school. It was very sad saying goodbye to everyone I didn't realise how upset I would be. We all cried and hugged and said that we hoped to meet each other again one day. I really hope that I will meet them again. I left part way through the morning and the physics teacher was kind and let the girls walk me down to the car. I am very sad to leave Çanakkale but I will come back one day. I am excited to spend the next few days in Istanbul before my flight on Saturday.

The English Department
My two English teachers

The girls in my class

Monday, April 25, 2011

ANZAC Day in New Zealand

Anday Yalin, an AFS student from Istanbul, Turkey participated in the ANZAC Day ceremonies in Wellington. Anday read a poem at the National Service and laid a wreath on behalf of the youth of Turkey at the Ataturk Memorial on Wellington's south coast.

The National Service

The Official Party at the Ataturk Memorial

Anday with the Turkish Ambassador and his wife

ANZAC Day 2011

By 3am I was at the Kolin Hotel with everyone else who was going to ANZAC Day services at Gallipoli. We went on the VIP buses across to Gallipoli. We arrived at North Beach in time for the Spirit of Place ceremony where names were read of some of the New Zealand and Australian soliders that died. Then the Dawn Service began. I cannot describe the feeling of being at Gallipoli for the Dawn Service. It was unreal and extremely moving, I feel so privileged that I was able to be there. The wind was icy and I couldn't feel the tips of my fingers but I didn't care. After the Dawn Service we went and had some breakfast at a hotel. Then went to Lone Pine for the Australian Service. Afterwards was the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial Service. Then we made our way to Chunuk Bair for the New Zealand Service, this was the best part of my day. It is an odd but great feeling standing on the land that my ancestors once stood on. It was very peaceful and it made me feel so much closer to my relatives that fought at Gallipoli. I cannot thank RNZRSA and AFS enough for this amazing experience, I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.This has been one of the most amazing days of my life and I will never forget it.

New Zealand, Australian and Turkish flags at the Dawn Service

The Australian Service at Lone Pine

Turkish Service

New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Day in Çanakkale

I can't believe I only have one week left before I go home. I don't want to leave so soon, I'm having too much fun. This morning my friends called me and we arranged to meet up so we can spend my last weekend in Turkey together. We went to a really nice cafe where there was the most delicious food- all sweet things. I got a raspberry and chocolate cake which was really nice but I couldn't finish it, it was too rich for me. Then we just hung out for awhile, looking around the shops and just relaxing. They took me to some cute little boutiques and they bought me a really nice necklace. I am going to miss them when I go back to New Zealand but I hope one day we will meet again.

My delicious cake and a Turkish sweet my friends bought me- it's a little like toffee

My friends and also the necklace they bought for me (it's the top necklace)

Some Pictures from my last few weeks in Turkey

One day we all went to the hair salon and got our hair done

Mira's hair and mine


We also all got glitter tattoos at the hair salon

My host mother getting hers done and Mira's one

And mine

Trojan horse at a cafe

The painting I did at Mira's academy. The kids were painting element faeries so I did as well.

I couldn't get a picture of the other kids paintings because they all finished theirs before me and they got put away- the academy is having a show to display all the artwork done by the kids.

The sunset one night. I thought it looked quite pretty.