Home again... Eastbourne Bandstand, reflections on Turkey....

Here we are, back at home. The weather is scorching, with no sign of rain. Obviously not as hot as Turkey, where it was 38 degrees, but somehow more humid and enervating - and of course, you have to do things here, not just lie about.  In the last post, I deleted a couple of paragraphs about the political situation in Turkey - did not fancy joining other bloggers in a Turkish jail, but will include them now. Our first outing after returning home|? The 1812 and fireworks night at the Eastbourne Bandstand with the WI.


      Philosopher and I had never been to the Bandstand, despite saying 'we must go' every time we pass it. 
      It was the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Concert Band playing a selection of favourites including the 1812 overture with fireworks. Not, probably my first choice - I'd have gone for Abba Tribute, or Northern Soul - but it was fine. Of course, being mid-summer, it took ages to get dark. Some of the music was a bit dull - selections from Phantom of the Opera, yawn, but the fireworks were excellent - I had expected that local authority cuts would mean one man waving a sparkler, but there were plenty of spectacular bangs and flashes.


 
     The weather was beautifully sunny, but we got a bit chilly - we were huddling under blankets like real oldsters, We all went on a coach - very jolly.
Bandstand and Pier

Sunset

      It is always hard getting back to normal life after holiday - and we had a really lovely time in Turkey. We have booked to go back next year already. 
       I gather that apart from fear, some people choose not to go to Turkey because they don't want to support the Erdogan regime. I can see that, but folk in places like Cirali would lose their livelihoods without any visitors, and also, it's important to remember that not all Turkish people support Erdogan.
       I mentioned before that 48.7% of Turkish voters voted 'No' in the recent Referendum about giving |Erdogan more powers. It is strange to reflect on the similarities between Turkey, Trump's America and our Brexit/Tory situation. In all three cases nearly half the population declined to support the populist line. I read that those in Turkey who voted 'No' were apparently 'influenced by terrorist sympathisers'. Sound familiar to you, British mass media?  As well as increasing his own authority, Erdogan's policies are around dismantling Ataturk's secular state and moving towards conservative Islamification.  Only the other day I read that they are scaling down the teaching of evolution in schools. While here, our dear Tories, of course, now have their Creationist DUP chums signed up....   Erdogan has also imprisoned many people with liberal views, including bloggers, and freedom of the press and mass media is severely curtailed.
     But for all that, Erdogan is different from loony Trump and the barmy Brexiteers, who will all quickly take their countries to notoriety, rack and ruin. Under Erdogan, Turkey has achieved massive leaps in prosperity, and until very recently, people have seen their standard of living improve year on year.  The economy has stalled now, I read, due to the collapse of tourism and falling international confidence in the regime, but even so, the decision to vote 'No' can't have been clear-cut.
     The political situation in this country is thoroughly depressing. The Government is hanging on, apparently still committed to soul-destroying austerity. Brexit lurches blindly towards the cliff edge. The Grenfell Tower survivors still struggle. The Queen has got another pay rise, apparently without thinking it might have been a nice gesture to offer some of it to help cash-strapped councils remove dangerous cladding from tower blocks.
      Ah well. Here are a last couple of Turkey photos - our last breakfast time, and the view of Mount Olympos from the petrol station on the road back to Antalya airport.
Last breakfast time...


Final view of Mount Olympos

    

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