Poping in to Istanbul

Trip Start Aug 18, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Getting the Syrian visa took a week, during which I saw the Hagia Sofia, which me and Yols had skipped due to being drenched and cold after the Blue Mosque and Topkapi. It's a beautiful old cathedral.

On the Monday I went for a drink with Ozgur, who I met on the bus from Izmir. A captain in the Turkish army who had been stationed in the south-east, he described his job as 'hunting kurds'. I was keen to find out what the situation really was and how strongly he felt about it. He was actually a fairly level-headed guy, but with little optimism for any kind of resolution to the conflict between the Kurds and Turkey.

The Pope paid a visit on the Thursday, which promised anything from 'seeing the Pope' to 'seeing the Pope assassinated' but turned out to be a dead loss. Security was so tight we were left guessing which blacked-out saloon contained his favourite flunky. On the Friday I finally boarded a bus which would take me over the mountains of central Turkey to Gazi Antep in the south and put me back on track.
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