What do you think of when you think of Turkey? Exotic markets? Aromatic spices? Turkish coffee? Flying carpet rides? Turkey is all that — although we’ve yet to see a rug fly — and much more!
Although I can only speak to Istanbul, Frank and I have found the city to be one of the most interesting we’ve visited. Istanbul is where east meets west, old meets new. It is the only major city in the world that straddles two continents. Remnants of the ancient city wall butt up against modern trams and highways. Ancient baths are frequented by well dressed business people. And although you see a mosque on every other block with the call to prayer blanketing the city five times a day, the Turkish government has long enshrined a history of secularism — making Turkey a modern, democratic state. It’s a fabulous city of contrasts and choices — and some really friendly people!
Istanbul – a city of contrasts.
Traditional (and always with cigarettes!)
The young people, as in most European capitals, are trendy and stylish.
Even the cops look like models!
There are many references to America.
Turkish version of “The Voice”
A uniter of young and old is traditional Turkish tea and
Young and old sit at cafes drinking,
smoking and playing backgammon.
Traditional street food is affordable. The semitci tasted like Italian bread with sesame seeds.
Corn on the cob and roasted chestnuts were available anywhere there were a lot of people.
Stuffed peppers are a traditional food
Doner kebab is meat cooked on a vertical spit, much like the Middle eastern shawerma or Greek gyros..
Another popular Turkish fast food is kokorec,. A fspicy meat filling is put into cleaned animal intestines and then it is roasted on a spit. (Can’t say I tried this!)
Fresh Bosphorous caught fish (like this red mackarel) is readily available in the local markets.
And of course, there are the famous Turkish desserts — both traditional . . .
Turkish delight is delightful!
Religion also unites . . .
the old and young. Most of the people in Turkey are Muslim . . .
but there is acceptance of all religions.
The Bosphorous Strait is the lifeblood of the city.
The strait provides food . . .
and also connects the people.
Trams, boats and
many, many taxis connect the various areas of the city.
The Old City . . .
. . . with its many historical sites . . .
and older neighborhoods.
The “New City” with the Galata Tower . . .
and busy Istiklal Steet
(which is hopping at night!)
with Taksim Square at its head.
The Asian side of Istanbul, on the eastern side of the Bosphorous is predominantly upper class.
Here you find many colorful and upscale neighborhoods.
Note how the home owners extended their upper floors out to give them more space.
Shared taxis called “dolmuş” — pronounced doll-moosh — cheaply shuttle people from Kadikoy to nearby beach areas.
Everywhere we went there were a lot of stray cats . . .
and dogs. The dogs were all tame . . .
and they all had tags indicating they were vaccinated.
Another thing we noticed was that shopping was often divided into areas. This street was all wedding dresses (how convenient!)
Other areas were just tools or just lighting or just jewelry. One thing about Istanbul — there was no shortage of shopping anywhere!
Always a lot of choices.
Modern convenience (public, clean, accessible) . . .
4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Turkey”
Oh Wow – that was so interesting! Loved all the pictures! I’ve never seen stuffed peppers that looked that good … and I’m proud to say that I have had a Doner Kebab in Germany! I would love to be sitting at a cafe with a turkish coffee playing backgammon with you right now!! Love your life!! xxoo
Awesome Blog- as always! -Miss You
Beautiful Pictures! So wonderful to experience so much! Hugs!
Post photos of you and Frank! So special to have you wonder the world and see those beautiful places through you both, our dear friends. Seize the moments. xoxo Nora