Saturday, June 8, 2013

Politics & History in Instanbul

The last two days in Istanbul have been full of the present and the past.

Turkish Mother says to me: "Should we go to the protest or have a peaceful night at home?"

After some thoughtful deliberation, we find we cannot resist. Turkish Father, Turkish Mother and I head out to participate in a peaceful protest march through the neighborhood in which Turkish Mother grew up.

The street was filled with the sound of energy through the chants, songs and patriotic waving of meaningful Turkish symbols. The future of Turkey may change if the voices of these passionate Turks simultaneously shouting from all over Turkey are heard ...

The flag is everywhere you look and is proudly waved by Turkish Mother.

From the van, Young Turks lead the smiling and responsive crowd.
Afterwards, we sit at a side walk cafe drinking tea and snacking on savory buns. I am completely fascinated listening to Turkish Father explain the history and present state of Turkish politics. And his speculation of the motivations.

We have seen many ancient sites already and my understanding of Byzantine, Roman and Turkish history takes a giant leap ...

Youngest Son looking over the Rumelian Castle (1451) on the Bosphorus. Boys climbed to the top of that tower!

American/Turkish Friend and Youngest Son pick mulberries off the tree and eat them while exploring the Castle.

Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople from this Castle which sits on Bosphorus's European side.
Hagia Sophia with a 1,400 year life-span! A cathedral then a mosque and now a museum.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque commonly known as the Blue Mosque for those blue tiles inside.

Youngest Son on the return fairy ride from the Old City. I chatted with an observant Muslim woman who had formerly lived in Pittsburgh ... new experiences in high gear today!

Not all is history and politics, Youngest Son plays tag with Turkish Prince (the baby of Turkish Friend's family) in a park on the Bosphorus.

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