Union Jack flies in Turkey to celebrate royal wedding

29th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Waving the Union Jack and chanting "God save the Queen", the British colony in the Turkish resort of Didim joined their homeland Friday in celebrating the moment when Kate Middleton said "yes" to Prince William.

Hundreds of Britons settled in front of screens at adjoining pubs in a tiny alley in Didim, on the Aegean coast, to witness the historic occasion around a buffet typically British -- sausage skewers, cheese and pineapple, jelly.

"It is a beautiful wedding, very nice to see the Queen and everybody, the Beckams... They will be a really nice couple, they will be very happy these two," said a joyful Peter Tomlinson, wrapped in the British flag.

"It's is a pity Lady Diana ain't here, she's watching from above us I expect," he said, calling for attention for the national anthem... and for another glass of Turkish beer.

A resident of Didim since last year, the young retiree is a newcomer among expats in the small town, home to at least 5,000 British families since 2000 when Turkey authorised foreign purchase of property in the country.

In this little England, where even Turkish waiters speak Shakespeare's language with an unlikely cockney accent and the smell of grilled bacon overpowers that of the kebab, Susan Goldin has lived like a fish in water for four and a half years.

So much that she even preferred to celebrate the royal wedding in Didim, cutting short a recent trip home.

"I came back especially because I wanted to be here for the wedding... We have a very good English community here, the English had a party," said the sextogenerian, wearing an electric blue robe with an image of the royal couple and matching earrings.

"If I were now where I come from most people would be working so I'd rather come here," she said.

But for some holiday-makers, the street party in Didim was only a small solace.

"I just wish I was there, I wish I was in London. If we were back home, we would be in London to see that... It's nice that they are celebrating it here for us," said Sally, clad in a tight dress of the national colours and full of regret for having booked a holiday before the royal wedding was announced.

For Claire Kahraman, Didim became a second home 17 years ago when she married a Turkish man. But she also trembled with emotion as she watched the heros of the day in her homeland.

"They will be a very popular queen and king, they will bring a good change to the future of England," she exclaimed.

© 2011 AFP

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