I am travelling alone in Turkey at the moment (and can't figure out how to produce a comma with a Turkish keyboard. Oops. Ill try to work around this). I had an interesting (traumatizing?) thing happen to me the other day and im dying to talk about it because I think its a good story... but I dont want to freak out my dear family and friends who already have reservations about me being young (19) and female and travelling alone so everything2 gets to hear about it.
I am volunteering on an organic farm with Turkey's version of WWOOF (a program that gives you free room and board in exchange for around 5 hours a day of farm work a very very good program for budget travellers and people who like nature!!). This Sunday was my first day off so I used it to bus into to Fethiye which is the nearby town and which is quite lovely. My goal was to see the town buy a hairbrush and wait for a call from my mother because on the farm there is no reception.
Fethiye is from what Ý could see a typical well to do seaside tourist town. It had a wide pedestrian street by the bay various open air seaside restaurants and a lot of little shops. It was all very familiar there were a lot of people out for a stroll and I felt very safe and spent two hours walking around. I wasn't being very observant. When I got tired I sat down at the base of one of the Ataturk statues for a minute and was approached by a middle aged man who began to talk to me in Turkish. As I am often approached (in every part of the world that I've visited) by middle aged men who want to chat as soon as I take a seat in a public place I chose to be irritated so I put on my not interested face and snapped at him that I didn't speak Turkish. So did I speak English he asks? Why yes. So he told me:
-I've been following you for the last half an hour while you walk around Fethiye. I'm following you because there are two other Kurdish boys who are following you in their car. They are on your left. Don't look. They plan to grab you and force you into their car as soon as you walk off the main street. If you need help I can help you.
I didn't know how to react. So I got up thanked the man and walked back onto the main street. I did'nt even look around for the car for a minute. My first thought was to stay on the main steert until my mom called in one hour. Then I realized that that was a very stupid idea and that I should go to the police. But I convinced myself that as had let the guy who claimed I was being followed get away I would have nothing to present the police with. (Being honest with myself I know that I didnt go to the police because I am scared of the police and it was surreal to feel in danger in comfortable turistic familiar Fethiye). But also im still not sure if I believed the man. Maybe it was my initial reaction of him thinking he was coming to harrass me made me sceptical of everything he said but I didnt trust him. And if he'd known for half an hour about this plot to spirit me away why didnt he tell me or even better the police as soon as he'd found out? And what did his weird remark about protecting me if I needed it mean? And maybe it's not important but how did he know the boys were Kurdish (I thought that Turks and Kurds were physically indistinguishable tough I suppose they could havbe been speaking in Kurdish but in that case the man would have to know Kurdish as well to understand) and why did that have any bearing in the story? What I should have done is have gone straight to the police and I should have took the man with me. And I should have been more aware of my surroundings before hand and I should have realized that walking for 2 hours around a small city was bound to get me noticed. But I didnt and I wasn't and luckily for me im ok. I did the second most sensible thing which was to get on the bus and leave.