Mehmet Oruç comes across as a jovial man, trying not to be too much concerned with the pressures of life. One morning in the village several years ago, I asked him why we were still sitting at him while several families of neighbors had gone out to work in their vineyards. “We’re lazy,” he explained with a satisfied smile, leaning back against a cushion in a corner of the house. “We have enough to eat, and that’s all we need,” he said, waving his right hand in an essentially Turkish gesture.
“Smoking is bad. Very bad,” he went on, tapping a cigarette in an ashtray on the floor while smoke swirled through the closed room. “But I can’t quit. What can I say?”
Today, Mehmet and his wife Fadimana live peacefully in the village, and there were signs the last time I was there that he may have finally quit smoking. Perhaps he wonders who will look after his vineyards later, with both sons now living in Konya. But if he does, it doesn’t show. Mehmet likes to be happy.