Category Archives: Turkey

Caravanserai Fort Hosts Whirling Dervish Ceremony

Whirling Dervish

We visited in the town of Nevsehir in the Cappadocia region, where an old caravanserai fort hosts Whirling Dervish ceremony. I had heard various things about this sect of Islam, that it had been outlawed for a time after Ataturk’s modernization programs began, for example. But I wanted my understanding to be more than anecdotal. […]

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Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia Look Surreal

Multi-dwelling high-rise

The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia look surreal, otherworldly, as though you’ve just walked onto a fantasy movie set. Part of the drama comes from traveling quickly from sea level to the thousand-foot elevation comprising central Anatolia. The formerly lush, green seaside vistas have become a high, wide plateau, brown and plain. Mile after mile, flat […]

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Modern Artisans in Cappadocia use Caves

Plate 4

I’ve seen ceramic arts studios in many places, from airy classrooms to home garages to outdoor patios, but I was amazed to see that modern artisans in Cappadocia use caves. Yes, those elegant displays of Turkish ceramics found in museums often originated in a region where artisans over the ages have hollowed out rooms in […]

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My Friend Doubts Topkapi Palace

Gate of Salutation, Topkapi Palace

My Friend Doubts Topkapi Palace can be understood any better through my firsthand experiences than her armchair tourism via books and videos. In other words, I have a friend who wonders why I travel. She believes that she who reads extensively can gain as much as I do who endures the travails of airports, suitcases, […]

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Trojan Horse Stands by the Wharf

Artist Izzet Senemoglu's Trojan horse 1975

A massive Trojan horse stands by the wharf in Çanakkale, Turkey, where the ferry boats dock after leaving the peninsula of Gallipoli. We could see the horse grow in size as we approached, having crossed the Dardanelles, a narrow strait connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara, a water access extending through the […]

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Gallipoli Must Not Happen Again

Lone Pine

Gallipoli must not happen again. That was my overwhelming response to visiting the site of the WWI tragedy. And yet I know it has. Again and again and again. On and on throughout human history. And it always turns out the same. Good men die. We arrived at Anzac Cove (an acronym for the Australian […]

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Istanbul is Constantinople is Byzantium

The Spice Market

Istanbul is Constantinople is Byzantium and I love this city. I’m trying to figure out why it rings such an emotional knell with me. It must partly be the layering of history that’s almost staggering in its depth and complexity. When you go to the Hippodrome area of Istanbul and discover that the three columns […]

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