• Koula, 94.7 presenter and F&HE blogger, is loving all things food-related in her travels through Turkey, Greece, Italy and Israel…

    Sunday 19 August

    An early start for our drive out to a town called Hasankeyf in the Batman province (I was so excited about that!). And such a fascinating day! We saw the ‘Old Tigris Bridge’, thought to be the largest bridge built during the Medieval period. I still haven’t developed a taste for Turkish coffee (I’m a coffee lover however this stuff is far too strong for me) but the rest of our group enjoyed some of the most beautifully presented coffee I have ever seen, before we explored the Hasankeyf caves.

    It is estimated that there are between 4 000 and 6 000 caves in the area. Many are multiple levels and have fresh water and were used as homes, churches and cemeteries thousands of years ago. They have the most exquisite view of the Tigris River and beyond that, the lush, fertile plains of Mesopotamia. There are plans underway to flood this entire area to build a dam. It seems tragic that this incredible part of history could be submerged below a river of water but the dam will not only be used for irrigation, it will also generate hydropower and the government needs to think about how to feed future generations and prosper its people.

    I’ve learnt by now that meals are never rushed in Turkey. They are communal – and everyone shares and partakes of the food as a group whilst the meal is savoured. We lunched along the banks of the Tigris, watching young boys swimming and catching fish in the river.

    After lunch, a drive to nearby Dara to look at an ancient cemetery carved out of sandstone. The etchings and detail on the rock too beautiful!

    Then back to Mardin to film the sun setting over the mountain-side town.

    By Serdar Yilgoren