Turkey - The best Italian pizza in the Aramaic part of south-east Turkey

Turkey - The best Italian pizza in the Aramaic part of south-east Turkey

It all began like this: The Grandma of the babywho I was allowed to visit right after the birth, told me in her best German that she and her family had a pizzeria. When you think of pizza and Turkey, you immediately think of pide and I'll be honest: I thought, aha, nice. Nothing more.

But our friends tell us about the best pizza in the world, apparently people from all over the world travel to the mountainous region south of Midyat. The town and the surrounding villages were once populated by Arameans. Today, the population is predominantly Arab and Kurdish.

Despite their long history as Turkey's oldest ethnic minority, the Arameans (tr. Süryaniler) are barely present and largely unknown in Turkish public and politics. Their history is closely linked to Turkey, especially in the south-east, where their cultural traces are visible. Since the 14th century BC, Aramaic Christians have inhabited the area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, the "Mesopotamia", as I learnt at school, which includes parts of present-day Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Their area of origin is the Tur Abdin plateau near Mardin in south-east Turkey. Today, an estimated 20,000 Aramean Christians live in Turkey, 12,000 of them in Istanbul. Their numbers may have increased recently due to war refugees from Syria.

Back to the pizza: of course we wanted to drive through this mountainous and unique area anyway, so why not do it at mealtime? We drive for kilometres through nowhere until we reach Elbeğendi. Only to see many, many parked cars a little later in a village with around 50 inhabitants. They are parked criss-cross in front of Kafros Pizzeria. We also find a place for our Felix and are already standing in a beautiful, rustic and spacious dining room. "You're from Bern, right?" we are addressed in excellent German. "Sit down, the Pizza Mia is our best." Okay, two Pizza Mia please.

While we wait for our pizza, I tell Gerd the family story. (I obviously had a lot of time to listen during the night with the baby.) Many years ago, they left this area for Germany and Switzerland (fled? I don't know exactly). And when the second generation reached retirement age, they decided to return home and work "a bit" there. The result is a really Italian-style pizzeria. The whole family and half the village now work here. It's a hive of activity and the pizzas coming out of the wood-fired oven all look delicious.

Our Pizza Mia also tastes delicious. Eros Ramazotti is playing softly in the background (also a rarity in Turkey: soft music and Eros...) to add to the Italian flair. If I close my eyes for a moment, I'm in Italy. Maybe on Lake Garda?

The Arameans belong to the Semitic peoples and speak a Semitic language that is closely related to Hebrew. (I was able to hear it in hospital, a completely new sound to my ears). The limestone mountain range of Tur Abdin, which means "mountain of the servants of God" in Aramaic, has been the spiritual centre of the local Christians for 1700 years. 80 monasteries of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch once flourished in this region, of which only seven are still in active use today.

After our pizza, we let ourselves drift a little through the beautiful area, marvelling at bizarre rock formations, standing in front of closed monasteries and when the road ends in a mud bath after an hour, we are forced to turn back. Google knows a lot, but unfortunately it doesn't yet recognise knee-deep mud puddles that would clutch Felix tightly.

Sources: https://renk-magazin.de/die-aramaeer-der-tuerkei/ & https://www.kafrospizzeria.com/ & https://www.instagram.com/kafros_pizzeria/

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life

pure life


Merci for "travelling with us

Our first lectures in Switzerland are planned. Others in Germany could follow. We'll see. We would love to take you into the Persian world somewhere in western Germany and also in the Berlin area. We are still looking for venues. If you know anything, please write to us.

Life-pure-lecture-Persia

Lecture & Persian tea time
Camels, cultures & many contrasts
Life-pure travelling with the camper through mysterious Persia

Two dates:21.06.24 or 28.06.24; 7 pm Muri/Bern
21 or 28 June 2024 - start 7 pm, doors open at 6:45 pm RoomZoom - Thunstrasse 162 - 3074 Muri b. Bern

We are happy about 20 CHF per person. Kids are free of charge.Please register by e-mail: andrea.kormann@dakor.ch


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Dirk
Dirk
4 months ago

Hello lovelies, your photos are so beautiful again. But especially your personal encounters! You really get to know the country and especially the people. It's nice to experience a little of what happens to you and how you absorb it.

Kind regards
Maria and Dirk

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