Monday, November 5, 2012

Turkish Night

Monday evening, 22 October 2012
4th day of our tour trip
As always, click on any image for larger view.
First belly dancers.  Or were they hip dancers?

Twelve of the 14 members of our tour group opted to attend Turkish Night.  The other couple wanted to go shopping because they had not seen a shopping mall in about 2 years and there was one right across the highway from our hotel.  None of us knew what to expect at Turkish Night except that there would be a very brief demonstration of the Whirling Dervishes.  We had to see that.

 I have already explained the Whirling Dervishes in a prior posting, so I won't go into all those details again.  The exhibition that we saw this night lasted only about 15 minutes.  A real Whirling Dervish ceremony usually lasted far longer, sometimes hours; and the Dervishes appear to go into a trance, although the devotees claim the trance is simply rumor.  The demonstration we saw was exactly as described in my prior post.

2 tables of our group

The lights were dimmed to darkness and the Dervishes entered;did their performance; and exited.  Out of respect to them, no alcohol or food was served during the performance.  Then the lights were brought back up and the Dervishes re-entered.  They twirled a few times for photo opportunities; then exited again.  Turns out that these same young men were the dancers in the rest of the dances we would see that evening.

One of the men's dances

The first dances were performed by men.  Lots of footwork.  Much later in the evening these same men performed a most impressive dance with extremely high jumps.  Heck, bet even our best professional basketball players wish they could jump even half that high!  

Knife thrower -- from his teeth.

This guy on the left did a slightly different type of performance.  He did not actually dance this time; instead, he placed a 14-inch large knife balanced with the tip on his lower front teeth and the side of the blade against his nose.  Then he flipped his head in such a manner that the knife would flip over and over, landing upright with the tip stuck into a large piece of wood placed on the floor several feet in front of him.  How he accomplished this without cutting his nose escapes me.  I've never seen anyone do that.  

Only once did the knife not land tip down into the wooden block.  That once it went flying across the center of the room, stopping well short of hitting anyone in the audience seated at the tables.  Good darn thing that there wasn't a waiter walking by at just that moment.  But I guess they have done this enough times that all the waiters know to stay well clear.  Guess it was really a darn good thing that a customer didn't decide to go to the restroom right that moment.

Headless guy dancing for tips
Going to the restroom apparently was challenging.  I didn't go so don't know if I would have had the same experience, but several people (including Bill) reported how they exited our dining room and found the restrooms easily.  But when returning, they somehow ended up in a different dining room that was identical to ours.  Everything was exactly the same.....except the customers seated at the tables.  The dance teams went from one room to the other so sometimes even the dancers performing were the same as when a customer left his dining table.  Walk into the room and find the same dancers doing the same dance as when you left the table....except you were in a completely different room.  We saw confused faces entering our room all evening; so I guess this was a common occurrence.

Getting his money from Bill
During one break in the dancing, two guys in headless costumes came into the dining room and cavorted around.  They would go up to people seated at the tables and do a sort of belly dance right into their faces.  One did it to me and I could see a $1 USD bill folded into his belt, so I assumed he was asking for a tip.  I didn't have any money and said so and he moved on to another person.  She and her husband had heard me saying "he wants money" and had quickly pulled out a 5 lira bill.  The headless guy proceeded around our tables, ending up seated next to Bill so that Bill could put money into his belt.  

Selma teaching Tony to dance

Selma with her wings

The last 2 dances of the evening were performed by Selma the belly dancer.  She was one of the better belly dancers I have seen.  She arrived with a costume having big silver panels of fabric that attached to wrists and fanned out like wings as she danced.  Those were soon removed and she then danced a short while before bringing up 3 members of the audience to dance with her.  One of the people she selected was a member of our group, Tony.  He was a very good sport about it.  Good selection on her part.

There was one German gentlemen who really got into it.  She had to tame him down a bit.  He was having a great time.  I have included a video of him below, along with videos of several of the dances.

Mark and Dorothy Hazlett from Hawaii
Tony and Elaine from UK

Here are a few photos of some of the couples in our group that evening.

Dennis and Janet Knight from UK

Archie and Liz from Scotland

The way videos are uploaded to this site it is impossible now for me to give each video a label or title.  But be sure and click through until you find the ones of Selma.  The last one should be the best.


  1. Shopping instead of belly dancing?! Looks like a great evening!

  2. You will understand shopping instead of belly dancing when you have been out cruising for a few years and haven't seen a shopping mall in years. The husband needed new shoes. That was more important to him than watching a belly dancer. We thoroughly enjoy the evening.


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