I have a confession to make – I love maps. They are such wonderful, infomative things that I can spend hours searching over them, learning them, knowing them. They help make sense of the world.
Some maps are worrying such as this one by Freedom House, showing how low Turkey is on the world scale of press freedom. With a rating of Partly Free, Turkey is on a par with Mongolia, India and Nigeria. Add that to talk of censoring internet access even further and we could end up rated with China, Libya or Syria if we aren’t careful.
Maps can be personal, giving insight into our place in the world, mapping our imagination.
This is my map. It looks plain and clear at the moment, but that’s not a true representation of reality. Maps are notoriously deceptive, they allow us to pick and choose what to depict, what to share.
I live just south of Çanakkale on this map and I’m hoping to take you along as I fill this map in with memories and history and pictures and life.
Troy is highlighted because much as some people want to think the town of Çanakkale is the attraction here, it’s not. Troy was the first place of pilgrimage for three millenia of travellers and it continues to be so. Gallipolli has joined that pilgrimage route in the last hundred years.
Most travellers pass through, possibly breaking their journey in Çanakkale, more often driving on to Istanbul or Izmir. I can’t say I blame them, there are many things to see here, but most of them need a car to get to and are small sites with little information supplied, not suitable for busloads of snap-happy tourists.
But just because they are hidden, shrouded by the amnesia of history, does not diminish their importance. People who came before have left their traces too, hidden footprints that require effort to find.
So here’s to Hidden Footprints and opening our eyes to really see the place we live in.