Yerköprü Waterfall like a passionate woman
Wilco Van HerpenLiving in a country like Turkey has made me more streetwise, culture wise, nature wise, people wise and politics wise. As you might know already the Netherlands is a very flat country and for a lot of Dutch people that is a reassuring feeling. The landscape is flat, politics is flat, nature is flat and many times the Dutch are flat (as a character) as well (except after visiting a coffee shop, but that is a complete different story).
The biggest excitement we had in politics during the last 15 (!) years were the murder of Theo van Gogh, the murder of Pim Fortuyn and some crazy racist politician Geert Wilders who won the elections a couple of years ago. If you compare that to what happened in Turkey the last six months (Gezi Park, Ergenekon and the latest news bomb about corruption in Turkey), then the Netherlands is a really boring country. Turkish people really like this excitement, but at the same time, hate it as well. The good thing in Turkey is that most of the country’s problems are solved every night again. We call it Rakı sofrası (Rakı table), a Turkish tradition where friends meet in a restaurant, order mezeler (appetizers), a couple of bottles of good Rakı and start talking about politics. They always manage to solve the problems, drink a last glass of Raki and go back home. The next morning it’s back to reality and unsolved Turkish problems again…
Waterfall is something we don’t know
Do not get me wrong; I love the Netherlands and the people. You can see the warmest Dutch people when it is freezing cold; the rivers and lakes are frozen and everybody is on the ice. People are ice skating, swieren (a traditional kind of ice skate dancing) doing long tours on the ice or just meeting and chatting on the ice. Everybody is happy, positive and willing to help each other. I also love the Dutch landscape with its characteristic trees and clouds so perfectly painted by a many famous Dutch painters. Turkey is, of course, different, completely different. There have been a couple of places that resemble the Netherlands a bit but most of the times the landscape is so very different.
Something we definitely do not have is a waterfall. Can you imagine a land in which history is mainly based on a love and hate relationship with water. We fought with the sea, surrounded it with dikes and changed it into land. We are surrounded by it, living in the middle of it but we do not have one waterfall. So when I came to Turkey and saw all the waterfalls I was really impressed by their power and structure. Especially in the Black Sea region, you can find hundreds if not thousands of waterfalls. But after all my trips in Turkey there is one waterfall that I remember as if I visited it yesterday. Near Mut (Between Karaman and Silifke you can find the Yerköprü Waterfall.
To get to the waterfall, you have to walk for about 2 kilometers in a valley. You know you are approaching the waterfall because the sound of it becomes louder and louder and then, after crossing the stream you can see her. What I did not realize was the waterfall was so nearby. Stepping over the stream, it did not give me the feeling that this would be a big waterfall. No fast streaming river, it was more like a kind of nice little brook.
Male energy feeling
Generally, when I look at waterfalls I get this male energy feeling. With a lot of power and noise the water throws itself down from the upper stream. The only moment when the waterfall becomes “soft” is when you make a picture of the waterfall and use a long shutter speed. The water of the waterfall becomes like an endless floating piece of shiny silk fabric. It looks soft and fragile but at the same time it will remain its power. This is a kind of metrosexual show from one of the beauties of nature.
When I saw the Yerköprü Waterfall, I got a different feeling. The Yerköprü Waterfall gave me a feminine feeling. You are looking at a passionate woman who loves the water surrounding her, floating over her and enjoys the feeling of the water pouring over her with moss covered rocks. The water dances down the rocks, is sliding through the vegetation that over time found a nice place to live on the walls and the rocks of the waterfall. When I look at another rock the water drips slowly down. The sound of the waterfall’s water is like some nice therapeutic music and relaxes me. Imagine all the different tones of green. From the deepest, almost black, green until the fresh spring green. Some branches stick out of the waterfall; other plants are constantly covered under the water; moss growing so long that it covers the rocks and makes its way down toward the water.
The water of the waterfall slowly seeps through those plants in a never-ending motion as if nature created its own perpetual mobile. Sitting there, seeing the leaves of the plants jumping up and down in the water stream gave me such a nice feeling. I could sit there forever. I am sure the Yerköprü Waterfall is not the only one of her kind, but for me this was one of those rare first times. The older you get, the harder it is to see and enjoy those first times, but here, near Mut, I was lucky to find one. I stood up and started to climb the 61 steps that would lead me to the road again.
With every step the voice of the waterfall got weaker, but until today I remember her music.