Istanbul, Not Constantinople

The following are the first in a series of photos captured in Istanbul, Turkey, and the country of Cyprus. Photos are dated February 14-20, 2019.

Here’s something to listen to while you browse: NASA by St. Paul and the Broken Bones

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Our plane arrived at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport late on Valentine’s Day. The weather was crisp and the taxi line was maddening.

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On the first day, we embarked on a food tour across the old city in Istanbul and on the Asia side of the city. Aboard the ferry across the Bosporus River, our boat was trailed by a flock of seagulls , to which we tossed bits of Simit (Turkish bagel).

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At night, Istanbul bustles with cafe chatter and the buzz of motorbikes.

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And Kedis (cats). There are cats everywhere—but more on that in a later post.

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On our second day, we traversed some of Istanbul’s historic buildings including the Hagia Sophia.

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The Hagia Sophia may be one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen.

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Around Istanbul, street vendors sell charred corn and walnuts. The corn was great! I never tried the walnuts.

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Did I mention there are cats everywhere?

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We also visited the Grand Bazaar, a collection of shops that contain gold vendors and people selling knockoff designer clothes. There was little middle ground.

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The views at the top of the city are breathtaking. Istanbul is very much and old city learning how to be a new city and nothing makes the point more evident than the architecture.

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There’s also a lot of tea. I drank dozens of glasses of the stuff.

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By contrast, the Turkish-occupied region of Cyprus was much less developed.

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The sovereign side of Cyprus was ripe with graffiti, some simply declaring “Antifa” and other depicting more artful murals.

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All images copyright Jared Holt 2019.