My overriding observation(supported by the other members of the group I think) throughout our travels in the mid-east-Egypt,Jordan,Syria,especially Lebanon,and now Turkey-is that the economies of these countries have suffered greatly over the past 4 years + since 911 due to the increased tensions here, and most especially since Bush's war began. They are dependent on tourism for their economies to prosper, since so much of the area is infused with a long and varied history, with ruins and stories of the past that give us a great wealth of knowledge about our own...where we come from and why we are doing/acting/behaving the way we are in the present. I often feel irked by the vendors until I realize these people have been tourist oriented longer than any other people on our earth...Romans travelled many of these same roads for many of the same reasons we travel them, albeit the history they sought at the time was only a few centuries old, still the weather, the beaches, the mountain retreats, etc. were all here then!
They ache for stability, peace, and justice so they can enjoy their families, their work, their lives without the constant intervention of forces beyond their control which disrupt and otherwise for them to struggle unnecessarily due to governmental interference. In this way as in so many others, these people are no different than you or I! The difference is many times more pronounced here since the disruption comes from ... I leave it to you to answer, I have my opinion, and it is just that, my opinion!
Here in Cesma the town lives on summer tourism fed mainly by Turks from Izmir, Italians, and Germans...the town right now is pretty well closed down, few places to stay and those getting repairs done for the coming season. The A..... Sea is cold, the beach nearby is not inviting so Bon,Todd,&Mari made 2 trips to the internet,Mari went to the beach once,I went to the market once, and we all hiked from the bus station to our pension/hotel and back again at 6 am to catch the bus to Izmir, transfer to another bus at 8:30 am N. to port town of Bandirma(arr. at 12:30) and then tickets to Istambul via the ferry which left at 3:30 arr. at 6 pm!
Travel in Turkey has been quite costly...I have kept records of all of my expenses and so far I am averaging more than $35 US per day!!! Prior to here I never averaged over $28 US per day and then it was for extraordinary reasons(expensive visas,departure taxes, etc.) not just ordinary day to day travel/living expenses.