Foreigner’s Concerns and Charities
We’re getting towards the end of May now and it has to be said some of the weather we have been experiencing this year has been decidedly unseasonal with some rain and pretty strong winds. In fact I think there have been some days this week when the temperature in Manchester has outflanked the one here in Kaş. We’re all pretty confident that that balance will quickly be redressed though and that we’ll soon be begging for respite from the heat….
There is a local initiative being rolled out in the Antalya region (of which Kaş is a part) to reach out to the foreign communities and investigate what their concerns are and if, possible, to address some of these. To this end a meeting took place this week in the local Belediye (Council) offices. In attendance were a whole array of dignitaries and officials from various departments including Police, Tax, Tourism, the Mayor, and Kaymakam (local governor). Also of course a pretty broad range of expats, mainly English but with a smattering of other European nations and a few Americans. Prepared in advance was a quite extensive list of questions and concerns submitted by the foreign community. All of these were aired in a kind of question and answer format which was rendered a little less enlightening by the limitations of the translator being used. A bit of a thorny issue this one, it goes without saying that as a resident of the country we all should be attempting to use and improve our Turkish, the fact is though that few of us are fluent enough to follow discussion on such subjects as recent law changes concerning foreigners buying land and property, or the necessity for foreign residents to have different number plates on the cars they purchase. So to make any such gathering meaningful an effective translator is required. The issue of translators in official offices like the Tax and Police offices is a different matter and my personal opinion is that if one is not available it is easy enough to get someone who is capable of the task to accompany you. Having said that though I did notice on my last visit to Cheshire that the local authority offices had translations of all their documentation in at least 10 languages including Turkish.
Anyway I think most of us came away from the meeting feeling a little frustrated at the lack of clarity of the translator but also greatly encouraged that such an initiative came from the Turkish authorities themselves and pleased that we were able to demonstrate that we have a presence and are prepared to articulate our concerns. I might add that by far and away the most contentious issue of the whole afternoon concerned the plight of the four dolphins imprisoned in more than unsuitable conditions here in Kas. The authorities are adamant that no licence has been granted for this operation which, I think, was highlighted by Norma Carter in last month’s newsletter. It seems however that they are open, charging admission and offering visitors the opportunity to swim with the poor creatures. The authorities appeared to be completely unaware of this and have promised to respond to everyone’s concern within a 10 day time frame. An on-going issue this one but the authorities were certainly left in no doubt about the opinion of the vast majority of the expat population on this one.Many expats here have become heavily involved with local charities, the two most prominent of which are The Busy Bees Kas4Kids and Kaş Animal Friends. The names of the two probably speak for themselves but the former is involved in raising money to benefit local children and the latter involved in raising money to improve the welfare of local animals (no shortage of cats and dogs around these parts). Both organisations have Facebook pages and lots of work and effort goes in to raising funds and attempting to publicise their efforts and the work that they do. My wife has recently become involved in the Busy Bees Kas4Kids organisation which had a fund raising event as recently as April 23rd here in Kas. There are a great many deserving cases in Kas and its environs and the organisation has many recent and on-going projects into which the funds that they raise are directed.
Amongst them are:
The provision of educational toys to the newly established Kindergartens in the surrounding villages.
Providing a regular supply of nappies to the local baby clinic
Assisting with the cost of transport for sick children who need to attend hospital in Antalya (at least a 3 hour drive this one)
Distributing donated clothes and buying school uniforms for needy children in the area.
If you are visiting the Kas area donations of any kind would be more than gratefully accepted there are collection boxes at Doctor Munise’s surgery, Engin Emlak and Bar Celona bar. Also if anyone wishes to make donation of anything for resale for fund raising purposes they can contact Gwen Gill locally on 0242 8397036. Certainly a worthy cause which be more than delighted to have your support.
Ok now to settle down to long, hot summer and enjoy the upcoming wedding of the year. (More about that next month I reckon).