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This is in the centre of Rize, the capital of the province with the same name in northeastern Turkey, less than two hours' drive from the Georgian border. I spent a day and a night here in 1971 and took this photo in the morning on my way to the bus station.

Here is a larger version.

I probably thought that a mosque and a few persons could be worth a photo. I was surprised to find out recently that this mosque, called Şeyh Camii (meaning Sheikh Mosque) was almost brand new then, having been built between 1953 and 1965 on the location of an earlier 18th century mosque. If you click at Map: view you can join the little yellow Google man in this street.

The sky was grey and a heavy shower had stopped only minutes before. In the background you can see some of the green hills that characterize this province. The climate and the fertile hills make Rize ideal for the production of tea. Practically all tea consumed in Turkey has been grown and processed here. It's worth noting that Turkey has the highest per capita consumtion of tea in the world, even higher than the UK. The tea from Rize is very aromatic, with an aftertaste that reminds me of raisins.

Just across the border the same kind of tea is grown in Georgia.

As happened nearly everywhere on my journey in Turkey in 1971, someone took upon himself to spend hours taking care of me and showing me around. In Rize this involved getting into a taxi to a tea factory on the outskirts of the town. My guide, a very talkative man, talked us into the office, where he talked the staff into giving us a guided tour of the factory, where we were shown the drying, sorting and packaging of the tea leaves. Of course several free glasses of tea and a long chat were included.

I have scanned this from an Agfacolor CT 18 slide.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10815 W: 536 N: 20990] (91892)
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