Tied only by the love of grandkids
BY MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer
Monday, February 25, 2013
2/25/13 at 7:27 AM
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A few years ago I had the privilege of eating dinner in the home of a Kurdish tribal chieftain in a rural area of far eastern Turkey, not far from the Syrian border.
I was one of a dozen people on a study tour of Turkey. As we approached the house, surrounded by lush, green farmlands, it looked more like a hotel than a family home, three stories tall, spacious, elegant.
We were greeted warmly and invited into the dining room, probably 25 feet long and 15 feet wide, with an immaculate marble floor covered with cushions and mats, but no table and no chairs.
We reclined on the cushions with family members and other guests, some sitting, some sprawling, as our hosts brought in huge plates of breads, fresh fruit, meat, vegetables and desserts and placed them on the floor in front of us.
The serving and the eating and the conversation went on for three hours.
I asked the son of the chieftain where his parents ate their dinner when they had no guests. The room seemed cavernous for just two people.
"It's like this every night here," he said, as leaders in the community meet to solve problems and conduct business. Nothing goes on in that region without his father's knowledge and approval, he said.
The chieftain, a dignified older man with a gentle smile, sat on the floor, leaning back against the wall, grandchildren on and off of his lap.
Fast food and sitcoms about silly fathers seemed very far away.
Bill Sherman 918-581-8398
A library is one of the buildings that has been restored in Ephesus, Turkey. BILL SHERMAN / Tulsa World