'I fell in love with the place', Hackney writer chronicles his love-affair with Turkey
- Credit: George Dearsley
A Hackney-born man has penned a book about his adventures in Turkey, which include him being wrongly arrested on accusation of being a spy.
George Dearsley, 71, has chronicled his 49-year love affair with the country where east meets west in a book called Twelve Camels For Your Wife.
His exploits include being wrongly arrested as a spy in Turkey in 1974 during the country's war with Greece over Cyprus. George was also caught in a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Turkey in 1999, which killed 17,000 people.
George, who moved away from Haggerston's Albion Drive aged 21, said: "I first went to Turkey in 1972 with a university pal driving an old van.
"I fell in love with the place and it has given me so many memories and friendships."
The ex-journalist returned every year on holiday.
He now lives in a traditional Turkish village called Kaplan in Izmir province, which is in western Anatolia, situated along the Aegean coast.
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George's wife, who passed away 18 months ago from a sudden heart attack, aged just 58, is buried in the village cemetery.
The years the writer spent in Turkey saw him judge a town's beauty contest, attend a circumcision, see a man swallow a snake and watch from his balcony as Turkey's most famous criminal crashed his sea plane.
George, who is now retired, added: "I was totally overcome by Turkey's hospitality, scenery and culture.
"I started writing the book as a hobby. I hope people read it and learn more about this fascinating country."
The self-published book is available on Amazon and has garnered more than sixty excellent reviews and sold more than 350 copies in four months.
Jack Scott, author of Perking the Pansies, a similar book about expat life in Bodrum, said: "George Dearsley's account of a longstanding love affair with the country is a real delight – an astute, beautifully-penned story of an Englishman abroad.
"What starts as a madcap road trip to Japan in a royal blue Bedford van, twists and turns, anecdote by anecdote, into an entertaining and touching tale of a courtship with the land he now calls home."
To buy George Dearsley's book on Amazon click here.