Posts tagged with "Turkish"

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, Travel, Food

Your Essential Guide to Crete

Crete is one of the most stunning islands of Greece, and visiting it is a holiday that you’re sure to remember forever. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit and really turn your holiday into something special. 

Accommodation

Where you stay is one of the most important decisions of your trip, and it’s worth spending a little more to make sure you get the best quality. Choosing one of many villas in Crete is a different but exciting way to give your visit a little extra kick – absorb yourself in the true, luxurious experience and invest in a villa you can really relax in after a long day of exploring. Plus, with many including a swimming pool, it’s never been easier to live the good life and rock your holiday in style. You can find accommodation here with Blue Villas – they are an award-winning agency dedicated to finding the best quality for you. They have consultants who will handpick choices from over 150 villas so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for, meaning the whole stay is personal to you.

Scenery

One of the main draws of the Greek islands is the breath-taking scenery – whether you’re looking for beaches that wrap the coastline, hidden coves, valleys that envelope villages lined with narrow cobbled streets, mountains that are sprinkled with snow, or rough cliffs that are soaked with frothy, splashing waves, in Crete you’ll find it all. Don’t forget to bring a camera – you’ll need it, as every moment is picture worthy, and you won’t want to forget a second. There are countless orchards, gardens and plateaus for you to get your fill of the local wildlife and plants, and see the true beauty of what grows in Crete. 

Activities

Crete is full of ways for you to spend your time, whichever way you choose to spend your time – if scenery is your thing, take one of the many walking tours (some free) of the island to gain an insight into the history and culture of Crete, as well as get the opportunity to take in some of the most beautiful sights. Take time to explore your surroundings and decide which areas you’d like to see the most – the more you explore, the more hidden gems you’ll come across to make your trip even more special.

If you’re looking for a little bit of paradise, Rethymno is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, and is the perfect place to explore and relax by the gently rippling sea. One of the most bustling parts of Crete is Hania, where you can venture down narrow lanes and explore old Venetian and Turkish architecture, as well as get a taste of the old town and its history. 

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, we recommend hiking the Samaria Gorge – this is Europe’s longest gorge, and gives you access to some of the most incredible views in the world, allowing you to get a glimpse of the raw, untouched beauty of Greece. You’ll even get to explore the abandoned village of Samaria – an experience like no other, and one you certainly don’t want to miss.

History and Culture

If you’re looking to learn a bit more about the history and culture of Crete, it’s not hard to find – there’s plenty to see! You’ll find ruins and remnants of societies been and gone, one of the most prominent being the Palace of Knossos, with plenty more fortresses and mansions scouring the island thanks to the variety of different invaders that have taken a fancy to Crete, along with mosques and Turkish bathhouses. 

The villages in Crete are still untouched, particularly those hidden in valleys and mountains, and they give you a deep insight to life for locals on Crete as well as the chance to immerse yourself in the culture. There are lots of customs and traditions that many of the locals still enact with pride, from dances and instruments (the lyra is a popular instrument in Crete) to local festivals, which occur often and keep the place alive and colourful.

Food

Greek cuisine is one of the finest in the world, and is not to be missed if you visit, particularly in Crete. Since many of the villages are tucked away from mainstream tourism, this is where you’ll find the most authentic and delicious food. Many tavernas make their own food including cheese, olive oil, raki and wine, and often will raise their own meat and catch their own seafood, meaning you’re bound to get top-quality, homemade food straight from the locals. There are plenty of food trails and wine-tastings so you can expand your palette and really explore the world of Greek cuisine and what it’s all about.

Crete is an experience like no other, and with these tips, you’ll be able to make your holiday an extra special one that you’re certain to never forget. Have fun!

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

ATIYE

Atiye  was  born  on  the  22nd  of  November  in  Bremen. She was raised in West  Germany  by a  Turkish  father  and  Dutch mother  and  spent much of her  childhood  in  Germany,  the  Netherlands,  the  United  States  and  Turkey.   The  second  album  by  Atiye  was  self-titled  and  released  under  Sony  Music.  It  spawned  a  number  of  hits  for the  artist.  The  lead  single  “Muamma”  and  the  second  single  “Salla”  became  huge  hits  in  Turkey.  They  peaked  at respectively  No.5  and  No.3  at  the  official  Turkish  chart. Magazine  Covers  include:  ELLE,  Women’s Health,  Home  Style,  Avon and  People. In addition, she received the ELLE  Style Award for “Best  Dressed  Artist” and dubbed as the Best  “Turkish  Act”  at  the  MTV  Europe  Music Awards.