What was your biggest culture shock going to Turkey?

I LOVE this question! But I can’t answer with only one thing!

I’ve been on a long journey that started the beginning of February 2019 and spanned many countries and cities: Dallas, Tx. Paris, Fr. New Delhi, Agra, & Goa, India, (Istanbul, Turkey for 2 nights) Jerusalem and Tel Avi, Israel, and finally Bangkok, Krabi, Thailand.

But let me go back to last year when I said jokingly: “I could live out a suitcase!” And that’s a big thing to say when you are 72!

I decided to take myself seriously and after decades of working full time, I liquidated my life, put my photos and important papers into one suitcase, grabbed my knapsack with my computer and my iPhone X and took off! Turkey was not on my list when I planned this amazing voyage. But, I planned all this through a company that specialized in long trips (mine was over 4 months) and Chris said, “Lynda, layovers are free. Stop in Istanbul.” He and Istanbul changed my life.

Why do I LOVE Turkey and what shocked and surprised me? First. two days were not enough. So I came back to Istanbul after Thailand loved it so much I recently applied for a long term visa!

YES, I was shocked in an amazing way, with Turkey. Let me share the reasons why:

  1. The #1 Country for the Sexiest Men in the World is Turkey Yes, it’s true. Just walk through Sultanahmet Square where the Blue Mosque is and you will see what I mean!
  2. I LOVE the call to prayer. Do you know that there are over 81K mosques in Turkey? Over 3100 are in Istanbul. I was brought up Catholic and spent a year in the convent. But I don’t truly identify with any organized religion. The call to prayer happens through loudspeakers at every mosque, 5 times a day. I find it soothing and very special.
  3. Islam. Turkey is a Muslim European country. Of the 17 million people of this thoroughly modern and gorgeous city, 96.4% practice Islam. And from what I’ve learned since I arrived here, the religion is not anything like what we learn and hear about in the West.
  4. The people are genuinely kind. I’ve never experienced any violence whatsoever—not that it doesn’t happen, I’m sure—but I walk the streets at night, take the trams, wander endlessly, come home from dining through the city, walking down the hills from Taksim, and never once have I ‘felt’ unsafe. Btw, it helps to have a built-in-danger alarm.
  5. And if all of these things alone didn’t surprise me, I must say the language drives me nuts!! Hah, I walk around with google translate, although most people involved in tourism speak English. I feel so stupid. I can’t wrap my tongue around the words. I can’t relate them to anything—I have some French, Spanish, and of course English. I can even understand some Italian! But Turkish, even though I watch Netflix Turkish cop shows, I still don’t get it!
  6. Food! Don’t get me started! If you haven’t tried Turkish Ice Cream—it’s so creamy—you have not lived!The food is so good and so plentiful. And do try the varieties of baklava, and chocolate, and Turkish Delights!
  7. The night. Istanbul never sleeps. You can find restaurants open at 2 a.m all over the city!

My “shocks” have all been positive—except the damn language!! haha.

Answered in Quora!

Lynda Filler is the author of 15 published books on Amazon. Award-winning Target in the Sun is .99c today.

Kick Start Creativity

Do you lead a creative life?

It’s 12:30 noon on Sunday the 6th of October in Istanbul, Turkey where I’m currently living. It’s almost 3 pm in New Delhi, 4:30 in Puerto Vallarta, and 11:30 am in Paris where my son lives! I refer to the world clock often on my phone. It’s a way for me to keep track of friends, family, and readers that I connect with online.

The world clock also connects me to my travels, my imagination, the events I encountered and the work that I do when I write. I mention all this because many simple things can Kick Start your Creativity.

Here’s something that will inspire you today. Can you imagine life 5000 years ago? Do you believe we are born again, that our souls pass on to another form, another body and continue through generations and centuries?

Have you ever been somewhere and had the feeling of déjà vu? I felt it when I visited Jerusalem in March 2019.

I don’t have the answers but as far back as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by these things:

5,000-year-old Canaanite megalopolis found in Israel could rewrite history

Archaeology

Don’t you love her wisdom?

We (Cree and Elizabeth Gilbert) are walking through France right now—wandering at our own footpace, following the whims of the day.

I want to tell you a story about Cree. Sixteen years ago, right before I took off for my EAT PRAY LOVE journey, I went to say my goodbyes to Cree. She had seen me through the ugliest days of my divorce. At that time, she was a stay-at-home mom, with two preschool children.

When she hugged me goodbye, she folded me into her arms and said: “Take us with you in spirit—all of us women who made different choices than you, and who are now staying home with our families. Don’t forget about us!” It was such a touching thing to say. I replied: “I’ll do one better than that, Cree. Someday we’ll go traveling together.”

Now here we are, a decade-and-a-half later. Cree’s wonderful kids are in college, and she and I are meandering up the Brittany Coast—two free women, doing just as we wish.

The other day, Cree posted this very photo of us on Instagram, and someone commented: “Flâneurs!” God, that made me happy. Flâneur is a 19th Century term for a “stroller” or a “loafer”—a man who saunters up the boulevard in aimless enjoyment, going wherever he pleases for the sheer delight of it. Traditionally, there is no such thing as a female flâneur—because allegedly the world is not safe for lady wanderers. In fact, I recently read a novel where two characters discuss the fact that the closest thing to a female flâneur is a “shopper”. (Excuse me?)

Well, hell…you wanna see some female flâneurs? HERE WE ARE.

Women, I want to tell you something: Your life will have SEASONS. Your tomorrows will not look like your today. You will not always be so tired. There will be seasons when you are taking care of others (babies, old people, the sick and the dying) but those seasons will pass, and then you can be a flâneur.

The world is safer than you think, and the time of your freedom is sooner than you know. Tag a friend who is feeling stuck or homebound, and make a promise to someday wander and stroll this world together. Remind each other of your wild nature. Make a plan to be free. Where will you go? Who will you bring? Onward❤️ LG

This woman influenced the lives of so many. I hope she does the same for you! I don’t know about you, but this made me cry.

Sikh Politician Goes Viral For Calm And Powerful Response To Anti-Muslim Attack

A Canadian politician is winning praise on social media this week for his surprising response to a racist attack at Sunday’s MuslimFest in Mississauga. Gurratan Singh, who represents the Ontario district of Brampton East, went viral for declining to correct a man’s ignorant string of Islamophobic comments directed at him ― despite the fact he is not Muslim.

“I will never respond to an Islamophobe by stating, ‘I am not a Muslim,’” the Sikh politician tweeted.

“Instead, I will always stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters and say hate is wrong.”

In the video of the incident, which has been viewed more than 1.2 million times since it was posted on Sunday, Singh condemns the man’s Islamophobic comments and tells him it has “no place in Canada.”

“It’s not hate, it’s the truth buddy,” the man says at one point, denying repeatedly that he’s a racist. “What about sharia? Political Islam? You’re hiding bud. I’ll debate you anytime.”

The man in the video is Stephen Garvey, the leader of a minor federal political party called the National Citizens Alliance (NCA) which is known for its anti-immigration policies.

NCA streamed the same incident live to Facebook, stating “National Citizens Alliance’s agenda is Canadian First, and opposition to political correctness and third world migrant populism.”

Singh’s brother, leader of the federal New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh, famously told a heckler he loved and supported her in response to racist remarks in 2017.

Check out the video. Wow!!

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sikh-canadian-politician-viral-anti-muslim-attack_n_5d6dbf26e4b09bbc9ef36baf

My comments:

In my trip to India this year, I was overwhelmed with emotion when I visited a Sikh temple in New Delhi. I was so totally unprepared for the love and the kindness of the people that I started to cry. It was one of the most profound moments of my life. There is no room for racism in this world. We are all one.

Sikh Temple New Delhi
Thousands of free meals are made and distributed daily to anyone who is hungry.

Reasons why Istanbul should be #1 on your Bucket List

How I ended up in this city is pure serendipity. But here I am and I LOVE it.

  • Everyday I learn more and more. 17M people live here, but it feels like any other city in the world, only more historical and beautiful. Let me tell you why I love it.You walk amongst historical sites like it’s part of everyday life. Take a look at this view. The Blue Mosque is in the foreground and the Hagia Sophia in the background. If you make an arrow straight from the left of this photo over the Bosphorus Strait, that’s where I live. It’s a 15 minute tram ride to the Blue Mosque.
The Blue Mosque at night
  • The Old City Walls are intact and can be seen in various forms all around the city. Imagine driving on ultra modern bridges and highways, with a view of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople that saved the city many a time during its wars against the Avars, the Tartars, the Russians, and the Bulgarians.

Photo Bob Phillips thank you! Fine Art America

  • The food is fun, delicious, nutritious, and colorful! And I LOVE the chocolates!!
Fish Sandwiches under the Galata Bridge
  • The mix of old and new is felt in both the architecture, the culture, and the Islam religion. The unique ability for a 96.4% Muslim country to live side by side with all religions and cultures is felt in the welcoming nature of the people. As a secular woman I dress in my comfortable secular attire, and walk side by side with fully robed and casually attired Muslim women. There is no criticism, nor evil eyes, only nods of recognition that we are all one.
  • I LOVE the Call to Prayer, the Muslim tradition of the Quran prayer that reminds the devout five times a day, to stop what he/she is doing and say a prayer. Most of us have a belief in a Higher Power. It’s expressed by a variety of religions and ideologies, but the tenets are the same: We are all one and God is Love.

I was given a second chance at life in 2008 and I am determined to make the most of it! LOVE the Beat Goes On

Thank you for following my blog and I hope I gave you a small taste of life in Istanbul, Turkey.

A Coup? What was it like in Istanbul 2016?

Three years on, July 15 continues to be etched in people’s memory

REPRINTED THANKS TO: ŞEYMA NAZLI GÜRBÜZ@SeymNazliISTANBULPublished15.07.201900:07Updated15.07.2019

People stand their ground against the tanks of the coup plotters, July 15, 2016.

People stand their ground against the tanks of the coup plotters, July 15, 2016.

The coup attempt has its place within the Turkish people’s minds as one of the most catastrophic days for the country, with some even defining it as an ‘apocalypse’

There is no doubt that the bloody coup attempt of July 15, 2016, has marked its place in Turkey’s recent history as one of the, and maybe the most, significant challenges that the republic has faced. The official numbers on the night and its aftermath alone show 251 civilians killed during the coup attempt and thousands charged afterwards for having links to the terrorist group behind it, the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), tell the importance of this night in the republic’s saga. The real story of July 15, however, lies in average people’s memories, especially the youth, who still recall the shocking development of the events and define the day as the “apocalypse of the country.” “I remember every detail of that day,” said 35-year-old Mehmet, who recalled having an ordinary evening with his friends in Taksim, the heart of Istanbul.

“Normally in Taksim, there would be some security forces present. However, I realized that day there were none, which seemed suspicious to both me and my friends. Yet, we assumed that there was some kind of a bomb call or something like that,” said Mehmet, adding that he did not pay much attention to this at the time. However, Mehmet’s peaceful night did not last long as a friend called and informed him that there was a coup attempt. “At that point, I screamed. ‘What? A coup? In this century?'” Mehmet cried again, with enthusiasm, remembering those moments. Mehmet’s shock was actually a very common feeling, especially among the younger generations of the country, as others also expressed similar feelings while recalling the dark day.

“When I first heard that there was a coup, I was in shock. I suddenly felt very helpless. In a million years I never would’ve guessed that such a thing would occur,” said 25-year-old Neslişah. “Yet,” she said, “It did really happen.” Despite the surprise of the youth, Turkey is actually not a stranger to coups as there have been four of them, starting in 1960. However, the latest one took place in 1997, when Mehmet was only a child and Neslişah was just three years old. It also had a different pattern than its predecessors and was called a “post-modern coup” as it did not have soldiers walking around and taking control over places. Instead, the coup took place via a series of “recommendations” from the military to the era’s government. When the 1990s were left behind, however, things seemed quite smooth, especially after the rise of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which created an atmosphere that seemed to insure the elimination of coups from the country’s politics in people’s minds. Thus, when the July 15 came, and it was revealed that this was truly a coup attempt, the waves of shock spread all around the country very quickly.

“When I finally realized that this was really a coup, I decided to go home. On my way, I crossed paths with some local tourists, who were hitchhiking and scared. I welcomed them into my car. However, soon after, the coup plotter soldiers stopped me and did not allow me to go on. So I had to continue on foot,” said Mehmet. For Mehmet, the next couple of days became full off sadness, surprise and complexity. The very next day after the coup, he had to attend a funeral of his neighbor, who was killed during the coup attempt, and then leave his shock behind and start to participate in public occupations of squares that lasted for a while after the coup attempt as a signifier of the people’s victory.

‘IT WAS LIKE A PAUSE TO NORMAL FLOW OF LIFE’

“If things had not gone as before, my life would have crashed. For a moment, I felt very threatened,” he said, recalling his feelings.

In Neslişah’s opinion, the day was like dealing a big blow to the normal flow of time and pausing it somehow.

“I thought that my future was taken away from me,” she said. Remembering the day after the coup attempt, Neslişah said that she had never seen people in Istanbul in that way.

“I was staying with a relative so I had to leave the house to go home. However, I felt very nervous and couldn’t make myself leave the house. And when I finally stepped outside, I remember seeing blankness in people’s eyes, a reflection of something unforgettable that just happened. I remember seeing tanks everywhere and feeling chills all over my body,” she asserted with a trembling voice.

According to Kaan (26), the day was like the “apocalypse of the country.” Indicating that he felt nervous at first, Kaan said that when he saw President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan calling on people on TV, he felt relaxed and confident. “I thought that they are [the government] doing something about it. I found it [the president’s speech] very effective,” he said.

“I stayed up all night. I felt concern for my future and my loved ones, who might have been in danger at that time,” Kaan said, adding that it had only been a month since he started his first job when all this took place. “I questioned if I’d be able to go to work on Monday. I thought ‘what the hell, is this my luck or what’?” he asked, underlining that he felt very unfortunate and desperate for awhile.

The thing that gave Kaan his self-confidence and trust that there will not be coups no more, however, was the discharging of groups and people from public offices that might have caused such a threat.

Since the coup attempt was quelled, thousands of people have been detained or arrested for FETÖ links and actively participating in the coup attempt. The Interior Ministry recently announced that 30,709 people were taken into custody for their links to FETÖ following the coup attempt and another 19,329 people were convicted of FETÖ membership and related crimes.

How do you see the world around you?

I always find find photography to be an inspiration in my writing. I use places and people that I meet along my way to create characters and locations for my stories. My walk in Istanbul yesterday morning and the tram ride to Sultanahmet Square in the afternoon, are great examples.

I’m currently working on Code Raven 7 which features Turkey and the Middle East. One of my key characters in this book is a DJ named EM+EM. He’s currently on the trail of terrorists after a horrific event during his wedding the night before. He is taking a jog from Kariköy to the Blue Mosque and these are photos of things he would see during his run.

I hope you enjoyed a slice of my life. If you wish to see more, please join me on Lynda Filler Author and/or Lynda Filler Creates on Instagram

Code Raven 7 is untitled but will be out late fall. In the meantime, don’t miss the fun! LYNDA FILLER AMAZON Code Raven Prequel it’s $.99 and gives you the background on who is Luke Raven?

I refused to die!

If you were writing a memoir about your life, what story would be the most important to tell? Lynda Filler, Writer, Novelist, Top QUORA Writer 2018 at Lynda Filler Author (2009-present)

I published my first memoir, LOVE The Beat Goes On, in 2017 because I wanted to save lives. No, I’m not a medical doctor, nor do I have any kind of certification. But in 2007/8 I had a series of events that turned out to be Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

So let me take a moment to give you some back story so you will understand why ‘saving lives’ became a mission in my life. Women tend to neglect their health. It’s not unusual to self-diagnose and keep on going. Unfortunately for me, I was having attacks/gasping for breath and assumed that I was allergic to allergy meds. With what I know today, it’s possible that the allergy meds triggered the attacks. But I never went to the doctor! This went on for almost a year until I sat on a bench in a ski resort in Whistler, BC unable to breathe and suddenly it dawned on me I was having a heart attack.

There were so many lessons to share about my fight to survive, my determination, and my unorthodox methods of healing. People often ask me what I did—I have to respond, get the book! The information is there.

AND it’s on S A L E for $.99 cents.

LOVE The Beat Goes On $.99 AMAZON DEAL https://amzn.to/2Fol8eG

What followed my diagnosis was a series of events, my emotional reactions, my body’s resistance to medication, a cardiologist who advised me I had six months to live, and an amazing Irish GP who reminded me: “You know you can heal yourself.”

I wanted to tell my story, shout it out to the world, because if my body could heal from an “incurable” situation, maybe yours can too. You might not have a heart issue, it might be cancer, or it could be depression or any other ‘dis-ease’.

I began writing my book in 2009, but someone said to me: “What if your healing doesn’t work? What if you die?” So I stopped writing, and put the manuscript away, for several years. Then I had a Dr. Wayne Dyer experience that thrilled me and let me know that it was time to get my story out there. And from the emails, texts on FB, Twitter, or responses to my website and YouTube videos, I know I did the right thing putting my personal life on display. But I must tell you, writing a memoir is super scary: when you write a memoir, there’s nowhere to hide.

Now it’s 2019, I’m traveling the world. Currently in Istanbul, Turkey. I know I’m going to die someday. And it might yet be heart-related. My life has always been heart-centered so I expect that’s how I will exit this particular realm. But while I’m here, my desire is to share my story, my beliefs, and to live life to the fullest. I want to inspire others to do that too!

Photo Blog 2 Istanbul!

She said what? Girls hanging out.
The Boys in Sultanahmet Square. I’d love to take a Turkish coffee with you!
Turkish Delights? But of course!!
Ohhhh, I’m so tempted. Just one more please!

If you would like to know more about my life, and what has inspired me to sell everything and travel the world, please pick up a copy of

LOVE The Beat Goes On on Amazon.

Every single day of my life since 2008 is a gift! #Gratitude