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Turkey or Morocco? And work possibilities?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Matt99fish

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:13 AM

Hi All,

Planning on getting just a bit off the beaten track in my upcoming travels and would love to check out one of the two countries listed for anywhere from 2-6 weeks. Obviously this is largely subjective, but to anyone who has personal exerience with them, would either stand out as better choice? Do they both have active food scenes across the spectrum from street food to higher end? Also would love to get a short term job while I'm there but not sure how likely that is. Has worked out in a couple countries already but none that were quite so foreign. Would it be possible to find some cooking job (possibly even English speaking) for a month or so to fund my time there? Any insights would be appreciated.


:Edited to specify job type

Edited by Matt99fish, 17 September 2013 - 06:15 AM.

#2 annabelle

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:21 AM

They are both hotbeds of unrest and danger.  Don't let your sense of adventure get in the way of your good sense.

#3 pastameshugana

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:45 AM

I've been all across Turkey (and various other places on Earth) and I love it. Mr's Meshugana and I love Istanbul so much that on one trip to the Middle East we booked an extra day just to stay there. We were able to get a nice, affordable room within walking distance of the Bazaar and Haggia Sophia (Hagya Sofya).


You could easily spend weeks just in Istanbul, truly one of the great cultural experiences. The Grand Bazaar alone could suck up a week.


Something peculiarly spectacular about waking up to the sunrise Muezzin's call in Istanbul, looking across the city and seeing hundreds of minarets silhouetted in the sun.


And the food!


If my life were my own I would spend weeks there, but, alas...

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#4 heidih

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:24 AM

EatingAsia's Turkey posts are worth checking out http://eatingasia.ty...ingasia/turkey/

#5 Hassouni

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:32 AM

They are both hotbeds of unrest and danger.  Don't let your sense of adventure get in the way of your good sense.


Not really....borderline not at all. Especially when compared to regional neighbors like Libya, Egypt, Syria, Israel/West Bank, Lebanon, Iraq....


Matt99fish don't let paranoia get in the way of your adventures!


I haven't been to Morocco, but I have to say it looks very cool - I think the places most of interest foodwise would be Marrakish and Fes.


Turkey however I am very familiar with, and it is one of the best countries anywhere - for almost everything! The food is near universally awesome (except the bland white bread in Istanbul and the Marmara region, but that can be got around), and Turks are very serious about their food, and it is DEFINITELY a street food kind of place, and has plenty of places doing higher end spins, both traditional and modernized on Turkish food in the larger cities. (I would imagine Morocco has less on the high end)


Beware though that getting a cooking job in English in Turkey will probably be very unlikely unless you get hired by an Anglophone embassy. Turkey has a large enough population that bilingualism hasn't really set in, and only the very educated elite or those in the tourist trade speak English, and then not always well.

#6 Hassouni

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:35 AM

EatingAsia's Turkey posts are worth checking out http://eatingasia.ty...ingasia/turkey/


Also, our own Sazji's Istanbul foodblog:



#7 Nicolai

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:03 AM

Very different countries. Turkey is more aimed at the Tourist market and Morocco as well but with much lower traffic.


Tourism is big business and great for any economy, unfortunately, Tourism also brings the other side of the coin and when the Antique or Curious shops were native, they become commercial and tacky, this applies across the board including food. This is the case of Turkey.


Food is also asepticized to cater for the foreign taste and thus is the case of Turkey main cities and tourist centres.


Morocco with a lower Tourist traffic is still at the stage where the food is still native and hopefully to remain so.

Street food in Morocco goes way beyond Turkey or any other country in the world if you simply visit Jemaa-El-Fna in Marrakesh:



Turkey does not even have anything close to that!


You want local color go to Marrakesh

You want tourist color go to Istambul


Finding work for a month in any city will depend on luck more than anything else.


I would go to Morocco


Let us know how it goes.




#8 Matt99fish

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:13 AM

Thanks for all the responses. Seems like both are great options. Hard to believe Istanbul has turned touristy, still relatively "exotic" by the American view. Suppose any city that big and international it will be bound to happen though. Still not sure what my plan is but will try to fill in with some details and pictures wherever I end up.

#9 Hassouni

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:48 AM

The oldest part of Istanbul (Sultanahmet) is touristy, but the rest is much less so. There is good food there, but most of the great food is in Beyoğlu/Taksim, further up the peninsula on the Sultanahmet side, and on the Asian side. The food is NOT "asepticized." Turkey is a much richer country, so in large cities everything looks more developed, but I'd stop there. The vast majority of food there is "native" - There are only two disappointments I had anywhere. 1) the standard for bread among long-urban western Turks sucks, you want the Anatolian style bread. 2) The döner places at Galatasaray Meydanı are pretty bad, so avoid those. Otherwise, there are absurdly good fish restaurants in Istanbul, which cater to rich locals, Superb kebaberias (both on the low and high end), places reviving Ottoman court cuisine, and the delicious every day food of the people, whether it's from a food stall or a small canteen. Plus, if folksy is what you're after, travel into Anatolia and it gets "villagey and authentic" really fast.

Edited by Hassouni, 19 September 2013 - 09:50 AM.