Orient Mintur Hotel - Istanbul
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... private'. The sultans supported as many as 300 concubines in the Harem, although numbers were usually lower than this. Upon entering the Harem, the girls would be schooled in Islam and in Turkish culture and language, as well as the arts of make-up, dress, comportment, music, reading, writing, embroidery and dancing. The sultan was allowed by Islamic law to have four legitimate wives, who received the title of kadın (wife). If a wife bore him a son she was ...
Happy birthday, Dave! An exotic birthday two years in a row now - last year in the Ecuadorian Andes, this year in the historic heart of Istanbul...
The Hagia Sophia, or the Aya Sofya as it's known here, was the first place we went to after breakfast. At 9.30, the place was already really busy, but despite the multitude of selfie sticks (the first time I'd really seen them being used), it didn't take anything away from the magnificence of the place! Neither did ...
... Ataturks Memorial was. After that the tour was complete, we
headed on a car ferry to Canakkale. We were pleasantly surprised to find we had
a 5 star hotel for the night. We were stoked. We had an early night because it
was pretty expensive for 1 beer.
The next morning we headed off to Troy (Troia). This was
really cool to see. Seckin really knew a lot about this and was very good
describing the history of Troia. The Trojan horse was pretty impressive. ...
Hello again, Blogonauts!
Back again with a messy mesh of memories of our stay in Istanbul.
Turkey is a secular democracy ... well ... in as much as the government of any country in Europe could be called secular. The Turkish constitution certainly does not guarantee the clergy seats in Parliament. (Surprisingly, the United Kingdom has Spiritual Peers, twenty-six Church of England bishops who retain membership in the House of Lords).
But in the same ...
... This was the ceremonial entrance into the city for the Byzantine emperors (at that time it was nicknamed the "Golden Gate"), who would make their way through the gate and along the major thoroughfare known as the "Mese" (which still survives as the passageway for the modern tramway/metro line through the old city) before finally making their way to the imperial palace and the church of Hagia Sophia. A few years ago I wrote a paper on the ...