Turkey – marriage of the East with the West

Time and again, I have often felt the need to disconnect and once again when this thought besought me, I took off – this time, smitten by the ruins of the Ottoman and Byzantian Empire, I visited Turkey to experience the unique blend of its diverse Greco-Roman & Islamic culture with the offshoots of the Western world. Turkey is the crossroad, the meeting point of two continents, Asia and Europe. It is a truly cosmopolitan place, an age-old crossroads where European charm is forever having a love affair with Oriental mystique. It is a gateway between the new and the old, a unique blend of modern and traditional.

I visited Cappadocia and Istanbul – two very diverse places with absolutely different offerings – one is peaceful and serene, the other vibrant and alive.

Cappadocia’s landscape is unlike any other place and arouses images of fairy chimneys, geological wonders, the tranquil valleys and skyful of colourful hot air balloons.

Istanbul connects the two continents, the Old City and Galata districts from the European side which are connected to the Asian side by several bridges. Istanbul is surrounded by beautiful sparkling water, the Sea of Marmara or Bosphorus – adding a gorgeous dimension to it.

Turkey boasts of several historical monuments and gastronomical delight. A mecca for shoppers, it mesmerises the mind and captures the heart. The vibrant colours of the city, its rich art – soulful music and dance – allures one and all, offering something for everyone in its mystical ways.

The Historical heritage 

Ayasofya or Hagia Sophia Mosque, view of its interior

hagia sofia mosquehagia sofya inside

Sultanahmet Camii or Sultan Ahmed Mosque also called the Blue Mosque, one of its arcs

sultanahmet or blue mosquesultanahmat mosque from inside

Inside Sultan Ahmed and Hagia Sophia

inside sultanahmatthe work

Rüstempaşa Camii or Rüstem Pasha Mosque, its exquisite interiors made with Iznik tiles

RustemPashainside RustemPasha

Interiors of Rustem Pasha and the well lit Hagia Sophia

inside rustempasha mosquehagia sofya inside!

Galata Kulesi or Galata Tower and Yerebatan Sarayı (Sunken Palace) or Basilica Cistern  

galata towerbasilica cistern

Topkapı Palace (Topkapı Sarayı) or Topkapi Palace, a fountain inside the palace

topkapi palaceinside topkapi

Minaret at Hippodrome and at the Blue Mosque

tower at hippodromeminaret of blue mosque

Frescoes (Paintings) in churches carved in Ihlara Valley (Ihlara Vadisi), the remains of saint at the Goreme Open Air Museum

church paintingsremains of ottoman king

Panoramic and Spectacular landscapes

Bosphorus

bosphorus!bosphorus Bosphorus in the evening and by the night

by the bosphorusbosphorus!!

Churches and Chimneys churches in the rose valley

the caves and churcheschurch at rose valley

Fairy chimneys

chimneyschimney

The valleys at Cappadocia and Asian side of Bosphorus

rose valleythe asian side  

The Flavours!!!!

The Beverages  

Çay (Turkish tea) and  Kahve (Turkish coffee)

çay - turkish teakahve - turkish coffee

Cherry juice and Orange juice

cherry juiceorange juice

The Main Course

Testi Kebabi – Pottery kepab and vegetables. Cooked in clay pots and served with an assortment of naan, rice, salad and lemon

Testi Kebabi - clay potclay pot

Testi Kebabi - Pottery kepab and vegetablesserved with Testi Kebabi

The Desserts

Lokums (Turkish Delights)

Lokum - Turkish delightslokums - turkish delights

and Baklavas

turkish baklavasBaklavas

Pistachio Aşure (sweet rice pudding), Flavoured Aşure

Pistachio Aşureflavoured Aşure

Dondurma (Turkish Ice cream)

dondurmadondurma - turkish ice cream

The Street Food

Turkish Bagels and  Roasted Nuts

Turkish Bagelsroasted nuts

The vivacious colours of shopping

Mısır Çarşısı or Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar) and Grand Bazaar or Büyük Çarşı

spice bazaargrand bazaar

Spices and the aromas

spices at spice bazaarspice at spice bazaar

Tea for all reasons and cures

turkish teasassorted teas Some for healing and some for ‘love’

the blends and brewslove teas

Delectable Turkish delights in some exotic flavours too

baklavas and glazed fruitsturkish viagra

Mementos to ward the evil eyes off

mementos, magnetsnazar degmes

Hand painted porcelain wares – to embellish the walls

paints in porcelain !!!porcelain hangings

some to make eating more fun

paints in porcelain !paints in porcelain

To adorn the feet – for the young and younger ones

the tradional bootslocal shoes

The lanterns to light up in many hues

the lantern trailthe lamps

Tinted candle-holders

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????candle holders

Turkish carpets and rugs

hand woven carpetskaleen - turkish carpets

Rare stones and gems to indulge

the gemsthe jewellery

And some fresh blooms too

the blooms!the blooms

Even the streets are strewn in multiple hues – some real, some not

colourful buildings at sultanahmetthe blooms!!!!

The fun,frolics and adventure

Hot air balloon ride

hot air balloon ridehot air balloon ride!hot air balloon ride!!hot air balloon ride!!!

Making pots with porcelain and fishing on the street

designing potspeople fishing

Feeding the pigeons and dancing away at Club Reina

pigeon feeding at taksimclub reina

These are just some of the innumerable things I saw. Turkey has so much to experience and absorb that one trip will be doing disservice to self.

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About moodsnmoments

Am a person with ambitions and dreams…though I try to keep a practical approach towards life at all times but in my hearts of heart…am a dreamer… Am just someone who can be described to be made of memories and phrases…someone who lives life in each day and in many phases!!!! Though am a people’s person, I enjoy my own space and often like to get lost in the throes of reading, music and movies. Travel, whether actually being able to do so or even to learn about new places, consumes me. Even in the darkest of hours, when things seem to be going haywire, the little voice within me never ever gives up on hope. A firm believer of ‘ask and you shall get it…but just ask’ is one which keeps me going!!!!
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29 Responses to Turkey – marriage of the East with the West

  1. Ravi Gautam says:

    Turkey is more like a tree with it’s roots in Asia and it’s branches touching Europe.
    Lovely pics though 🙂

  2. globalnewsgarden says:

    Beautiful pictures with a great story attached!!

  3. Lovely pics!! So glad I could see so much from Turkey through your blog! Always wanted to visit (still do) after I read a novel about it! 🙂

    • randomlyabstract, I fell in love with Turkey through a book too 🙂 The author was Orhan Pahmuk.
      I am very happy that you could live through the country through my pics and I wish you plan a trip soon and then share Turkey through your experience.
      Thank you for taking the time out and for appreciating my musings. Good luck, have a great weekend.

  4. Demet Divaroren says:

    Lovely post! I was born in Turkey but my family migrated to Australia when I was a baby. I have travelled there many times as an adult and love the hospitality, the heart and the generous nature of Turkish people. Nothing quite compares to having tea in a fincan at sunset under the Galata bridge. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    • Yes indeed. The Turkish people exude this warmth – whether its in their cup of çay or their spices or just their smiles. I feel happy and cosy thinking of my time there and secretly pray to be among them soon.
      Thank you for letting me re-live some of those times yet again. 🙂

  5. Cupcake says:

    I didn’t know it was so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your experience.. I think I need to take a visit there someday!

    • dear cupcake,
      while posting these pictures and sharing my experience, I never felt it would look that beautiful 🙂
      once you will get there, you will see that my pictures are the least pretty things. that place has gorgeousness etched everywhere 🙂
      a must visit! happy travels.

  6. Jools says:

    What amazing photographs! When you visited my blog from Freshly Pressed, you would not have known that the story I’m writing, and having so much ‘fun’ editing, is set in Turkey. It was a lovely moment of synergy, to land on your blog and see your post and pictures.

  7. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    I AM SOOO JEALOUS OF YOU!!! I have always wanted to go to Istanbul! Hopefully my music will be a success and I will sing there one day! LOVELY images thanks SO much for sharing!

  8. Your pictures are wonderful. I want to go too!

  9. Anne Layman says:

    Pictures are worth thousands of words, it’s nice to see the attention to detail from your end. Thanks

  10. My grandmother was born in Turkey (or Asia Minor as it was known to the Greeks). Her father was a Greek tobacco merchant, but the “population exchange” of 1923 changed everything. She ended up in her “homeland” of Greece in her teens — but, of course, if that hadn’t happened she wouldn’t have met my grandfather, a fisherman from Antiparos.

    My partner, Sean, and I are hoping to get to Turkey this winter or next spring, as I’d like to research my family, if possible, and write about the story.

    Oh, and I really enjoyed reading this, too! You paint a good picture of Istanbul, and Turkey generally, in both words and images.

    • thank you for sharing about your family and I look forward to reading your story if it is for public. Mufidah, you and Sean are kind and am happy that you liked whatever little bit of Turkey I encaptured.
      wish you two a lovely holiday.

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