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Robert College (Turkey)

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This is our Team
Our city: Arnavutkoy, Istanbul
Our country: Turkey
Our timezone: Israel (GMT +2)
Our longitude is: 41° 1'
Our latiude is: 28° 58'

We wear these clothes: People living in the cities wear modern dress. Some people in rural areas prefer traditional clothes.

We eat these foods: There is a very unique Turkish cuisine which is very rich in desserts and all sorts of kebap.

We grow these foods: Nearly all vegatables and fruits are grown where I live, excluding the exotic fruits.

We practice these religions: All three major religions; Islam, Christinaity and Judaism is practiced in harmony with each other.

We speak these languages: Turkish

These animals live in our area: A wide variety of animals inhabit the Anatolian peninsula. A very special type of cat, whose each eye has a distinct color is bred in Van

These industries support our local economy: Textile, agriculture and food processing

We use these types of transportation: It is mainly commuter transport.


These are our Nominees
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Ali Bey
Age:--
Religion:Islam
Resident:Istanbul, Turkey
Photographer:Can Kalayc?o?lu
It was late at night, the sky black as coal. Street lamps and the neon of the nightclubs showed late night wanderers the way. ?stiklal Street*, with its hundreds of side streets, was windy as always. Couples walked cuddling each other, trying to warm one another; large groups of people went by chanting or singing very loud; lone walkers dug their heads inside the neck of their coats. Everybody had their own way of dealing with the cold.
There was one man I knew, no correct that, there's one man I know who bears the harshest weather conditions without a single complaint every day and every night of the week. His name is Ali.
He was born in Kahramanmara? in the southeastern part of the country. He later migrated to Istanbul and spent long years of struggling to establish a stable life. He then started selling homemade i?li k?fte his wife made. ??li k?fte is a special Turkish cuisine. K?fte means meatloaf in Turkish, it also stands for meatballs. ??, the root of the word i?li, means inside, hence i?li suggests that there is some sort of stuffing or filling on the inside. What's really etymologically interesting, and why I think it suits Ali Bey** that he should be selling i?li k?fte is that i?li when describing a person can mean sentimental, or that the person being referred to has gone through a lot in his/her life.
He has a stand, a white cubical box with the top open and a big crucible-like pan inside containing the i?li k?ftes. On the white box, the words ?Sab?rta?? ??li K?fteleri?. Sab?r means patience, and ta? means stone or rock. Sab?rta?? is an adjective which describes the person it describes to be as patient as a rock. In this context, ?Sab?rta?? ??li K?fteleri? means the i?li k?ftes of the man who is as patient as a rock.
As if sitting in a chair in front of his stand selling i?li k?ftes, and mant?, another traditional Turkish cuisine, all day isn't enough to prove he is worthy of his nickname, he has been doing this for 19 years now.
Actually, two years ago he finally opened up a restaurant on ?stiklal, the street which had helped him earn his life for 17 years. For about one year, he was busy with the restaurant; but now, once again, since last year, he can be seen in front of a movie complex, or a small caf?, or a sporting goods shop.
Ali Bey has been through so much, endeavored so many difficulties and struggled for so many years that when I see him, smiling as always, no matter how awful the weather or his business is, I forget about every single one of my petty worries. I don't mean that when I think of all the hardship he's been through, I feel bad and selfish complaining about my 'privileged' life, I mean when I see that sincere and warm smile on a dark, foggy night, I remember the things that really matter in life.
He is simply an inspiration, a live proof that human will can conquer all difficulties. The proof that instead of making up excuses and creating imaginary barriers, we should simply try harder. He is the ultimate concrete support of the argument that if you want something badly enough, and try hard enough, you'll get it. He's the reinforcer of dreams.
I can honestly and say that despite all he's been through, Ali Bey is by far the most honest and friendly person I have ever met and I don't think I'll ever meet anyone up to his caliber. If you don't take my word, go ahead, go to Taksim***, ?stiklal Street, find the man in the white coat sitting behind his stand and talk with him ? I guarantee he will talk back no matter how long you talk - over a delicious homemade i?li k?fte. You won't regret it.



*?stiklal Street is one of the oldest and busiest pedestrian streets in ?stanbul, with many shops, movie places, caf?s and bars on either side and on its many side streets.
**Bey is kind of like Mr., only it comes after the first name; the purpose is basically the same
***Taksim is the district which ?stiklal Street is in.

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