Turkey, at the crossroads where Europe and Asia meet, where the Black Sea pours through the Bosporus into the Sea of Marmara then through the Dardanelles into the Aegean Sea, is a photographer’s paradise. This land saw the migration of many groups of people, over time, and was ruled by many different entities. Over time, a number of religions were celebrated here, often choosing to build places of worship on the same sites where previous groups had worshiped in a different manner. As a secular democracy, Turkey is careful to separate church and state, even as most of its citizens are Muslims.
Our photography visit began in Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, which itself straddles the Bosporus, with almost equal populations on both the Europe and Asia sides of the straits.
Istanbul is a city of incredible religious history. It is the center of the Greek Orthodox Church and the home to many beautiful and active mosques. The call for prayer reverberates through the streets, seemingly coming from every direction – as indeed there are mosques in almost every direction wherever you stand in Istanbul.
Istanbul comes together in several exciting and colorful bazaars, where you can find almost everything you want or need – and many things you never dreamed existed!
Among the treasures in the bazaars one can find some of the fine ceramic pottery produced in Turkey, the famous “evil eyes”, and many of the spices that this part of the world is known for!
Next, we’ll leave Istanbul for the central highlands – and meet a king who declared himself a god!