July 9, 2014

Bodrum, Turkey. October, 2011

A lovely stop in the ancient city of Halicarnassus, home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Tomb of Mausolus (from which we have the term mausoleum.) I saw most of the city and its outlying neighborhoods during my morning run along the seacoast and inwards. This boat caught my eye, mainly because my nickname when in Turkey is Ekmek Kadayif (a rich, syrupy dessert made from bread, sugar, with optional clotted cream on top.) What could this mean on the side of a rowboat?


  1. My favorite Turkish lahmacun vendor says it means: "Bread Boat" ... probably because it is shaped like a "pide."

  2. Here's a translation I'm sure you'll like: Boat of sustenance.

  3. Okay, here is the "ekmek teknesi" low down from my Turkish barbers. After posting that earlier remark, I went to the "Star Cut" barber shop today and as I was settling in to the barber chair, I said: "I have a question about a Turkish word ..." and before I could get any further, all five barbers had gathered around me in an instant to hear the question. They said that, literally, it means rowboat of bread, but that it is an idiom meaning "the tool with which I earn my livelihood". So in the case of the rowboat it is a nice pun. Then they gave me lots of examples. A cabbie's taxi is his ekmek teknesi, a writer's computer is his, a chef's cookery implements are his, and so on. One barber held up his clippers in one hand and his comb in the other and said: "These are my ekmek teknesi!"