Feb 18 2012
Today was a full day here in Istanbul. We were up early, ate breakfast out-took the bus and the tram to Sultanmahment Station and saw all the usuals: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. The last item is huge and can consume a whole day in and of itself. Sadly-for some reason the Harem was closed, which was the one thing I really wanted to see there. I guess the concubines heard I was in town.
Two days ago, a new movie premiered here, Fetih 1453. It is a big budget Turkish epic about the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It premiered at 14:53 on 16 February 2012. You can't miss the posters-they are literally everywhere. The trailer is here:
Now depending on your point of view-the fall of Constantinople was something of a disaster for the West-putting a whole bunch of Turks within striking distance of "old Europe". On the other hand-they owned everything but the city by then anyway-such was the state of Byzantium at that time. And there are those who say this event probably helped jump start the Renaissance. That said-I can't help but be just a bit disturbed by some of the imagery in the trailer. The Ottomans are looking like they are having way too much fun killing Christians-and in a Turkey where Islam seems to making a jump from Fridays to the rest of the week, I wonder if that is such a good thing. Attaturk would not be happy about all the Abaya's I saw out and about today. The S.O. thought they might be tourists from Iran-could be, but I don't recall seeing that many when I was last in Turkey in 1995. Then again, I wasn't in Istanbul either.