Tag Archives: Turkey

Sultan_Ahmed_Mosque_005 Sultanahmet Mosque  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Temple Sightseeing Ottoman Landmark Istanbul

Sultanahmet Mosque – Istanbul, Turkey

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Sultanahmet Mosque

Sultanahmet Cami, 34122
Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

www.bluemosque.co

OPEN HOURS:
daily except during daily prayers

Sultan_Ahmed_Mosque_003 Sultanahmet Mosque  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Temple Sightseeing Ottoman Landmark Istanbul

Visible from many spots around Istanbul, the Sultanahmet Mosque dominates the skyline. Commonly, it is known as the Blue Mosque, because of the blue ceramic tiles of different tulip designs, from Iznik city (Nicaea), that line it’s interior.

Sultan Ahmed I, had it built between 1609 and 1616 over the site of the ancient hippodrome and the palace of the Byzantine emperors.  Facing the Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet Mosque was desigened by royal architect Sedefhar Mehmet Ağa.

The  tablets on the walls are inscribed by the  17th century calligrapher Ametli Kasım Gubarımare with the names of the caliphs and verses from the Quran. One will also find beautiful examples of Arabic calligraphy by Seyyid Kasim Gubari.

The upper levels of the Mosque’s interior are dominated by blue floral drawings and stained glass windows. The coloured glass for the windows was a gift from the Signoria of Venice to the sultan.   Unfortunately time and poor taste have replaced many of the windows with modern versions with little or no artistic merit.

The mosque has six minarets each with three balconies (Called Şerefes).  This was unusual, and a cause of public unrest, as most mosques only have four minarets. Six was a number reserved only for Mecca.  As a good solution, more more minarets where added to Mecca – and the conflict was settled!

The design of the Sultanahmet Mosque is the culmination of over two centuries of both Ottoman and Byzantine temple development.  It incorporates Byzantine elements, from the neighboring Hagia Sophia, with traditional Islamic architecture.  This wonderful structure is considered the last great mosque of the classical period of the Ottoman Empire.

The Blue Mosque is an active religious site, so it’s closed to non worshipers for a half hour or so during daily prayers.   Before stepping in to Mosque, be sure to take off your shoes, women should bring a large scarf to cover the head and shoulders (but if you forget  you can rent one at the door).  In a kind of kitchy but fun actvity,  you can book  a photo shoot with traditional Ottoman Costumes in the Blue Mosque via the Ottoman dream studio.

The Sultanahmet Mosque is on the must see list of any good site-seeing tour of Istanbul.  It is a true marvel and a testament to builders of another age.  The complexities of its vaults and tiling is a site to behold.

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Great-Palace-Mosaic-Museum_036 Istanbul Mosaic Museum  -  Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Museum Mosaic Istanbul Byzantine Archeology

Istanbul Mosaic Museum – Istnbul, Turkey

Great-Palace-Mosaic-Museum_030 Istanbul Mosaic Museum  -  Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Museum Mosaic Istanbul Byzantine Archeology

Great Palace Mosaic Museum

(90)  212 518-1205
Hacımimi Mh., Lüleciler Arastası Sk,
80200, Istnbul, Turkey

www.muze.gov.tr/mosaic

OPEN HOURS:
Variable:  Better to call before visiting.

A small side stop next to the Arasta Bazaar is the Great Palace Mosaic Museum Museum.  There, restored and displayed, are a myriad of Byzantine mosaics that used to decorate the pavement of a peristyle courtyard circa (r. 527-565).  Quite interesting in terms of style and complexity.

Here is a link to a 3d rendering of the www.byzantium1200.com/mosaic.html.

Great-Palace-Mosaic-Museum_036 Istanbul Mosaic Museum  -  Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Museum Mosaic Istanbul Byzantine Archeology

 

Great-Palace-Mosaic-Museum_034 Istanbul Mosaic Museum  -  Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Museum Mosaic Istanbul Byzantine Archeology

Great-Palace-Mosaic-Museum_033 Istanbul Mosaic Museum  -  Istnbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Museum Mosaic Istanbul Byzantine Archeology

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Kanyon Kanyon  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Shopping Ondina Istanbul Cool

Kanyon – Istanbul, Turkey

2485661526_a3876cce95_z Kanyon  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Shopping Ondina Istanbul Cool   (above Photo © Refik Anadol)  to be confirmed

Kanyon Mall

(90) 212 344 0150
Buyukdere Cad. No:185 Levent,
Besiktas-  Istanbul, Turkey

www.kanyon.com.tr

OPEN HOURS:
10:00 – 22:00 Daily

Ok- for whatever reason when traveling we always wind up at a mall.  We could look at it in a low-brow way and say its due to our innate consumerism – or high-brow and look at it as the apex of a cultures economic stature.

Whichever view you take, the Kanyon Mall is worth a visit purely for it’s architecture -courtesy of Jerde Partnership and Tabanlioglu Architects.  It is an open air experience with multitudes of shapes and voids that create dynamic visual experience. It is definitely sci-fi movie set worthy.

Embedded in a large modern office and residential complex, Kanyon is  a destination for local luxury shopping.   While there, you can grab one a the an excellent bite at their incarnation of the House Cafe.

2534769436_6dc0e112ba_o Kanyon  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Shopping Ondina Istanbul Cool   (above Photo © Mathias Matzat)  to be confirmed
 2306165422_218268f45a_z Kanyon  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Shopping Ondina Istanbul Cool   (above Photo © Jan Martin)
5625487557_b4e8c13c19_z Kanyon  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Shopping Ondina Istanbul Cool   (above Photo © Robert Gall)

9296068017_ff6cab7a04_z Kanyon  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Shopping Ondina Istanbul Cool   (above Photo ©  Ioannis Stampoulis)

Karadeniz_005 Karadeniz  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food

Karadeniz – Istanbul, Turkey

Karadeniz_006 Karadeniz  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food

Karadeniz Restaurant

(90)  212 258-6290
Başka Şubemiz Yoktur
Istanbul, Turkey

OPEN HOURS: 
12:00pm  7:00 pm – daily

After visiting the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, we walked around the corner to a very touristic arcade bereft of the food options we’d come to expect as our due in Istanbul! The market was a small passage full of shops selling higher quality handcrafts (for the most part), at very high prices with only a few places worth.  We were going to write off the whole market when ….

Towards the end of the passage we came upon a group of men eating some exceptionally yummy looking food, and us being quite hungry at the time, started staring and wondering where did they get their delectable dishes!  Not a minute passed when the men, with true Turkish hospitality, asked if we wanted to try it!  Of course we did 🙂  After a single scrumptious sample, we got the convoluted directions and after a short walk (and couple of wrong turns) we ended in a closed alley with a few local cafeterias, of which  our destination – Karadeniz – was one.  Oh how lucky we can sometimes be 🙂

We ordered the kiremitte kebap, a lovely stew of tomatoes, herbs an eggplant;  – that dish what we had sampled from the men in the arcade.  The Çoban Chopped Salad and a Pide Turkish pizza.

If you are in the area, and wish to eat like locals, then a side bar at Karadeniz is a must.

Karadeniz_005 Karadeniz  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food   kiremitte kebap
Karadeniz_002 Karadeniz  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food   Çorba, a red lentil soup with lemon
Karadeniz_004 Karadeniz  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food   Çoban Chopped Salad

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Ciya_009 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food

Çiya – Istmbul, Turkey

Ciya_002 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food

Çiya Restaurant

(90)  216 30-3190
Caferaga Mah. Güneslibahce Sk. 48/B  –
Kadiköy, Istmbul, Turkey

www.ciya.com.tr

OPEN HOURS:
11:00am  10:00 pm – daily

Located in Kadiköy, on the Asian side of the Bospherous, Çiya is not an obvious place, but is quite renowned.  We had the luck of chatting with Yonca Erol manager of the Sekerci (Confectioner) Cafer Erol and after exchanging passionate  stories of food, she literally held our hand and walked us up the hill, via narrow streets, all the way to Ciya.  There, she introduced as vegetarians to Zeynep Çaliskan (part owner and wife of Musa Dağdeviren) and ordered for us.  The exquisiteness and the flavours and freshness of every ingredient were astounding throughout our entire meal.

Opening in 1987, the excllelence quickly expanded.  There are now 3 of thier restaurants on the same road –   Ciya Sofrasi, Ciya Kebap & Ciya Kebab II (where you can get about 40 different kabob flavours!)

Chef/ proprietor Musa Dağdeviren has amazing knowledge in the various traditions of Anatolian, Ottoman, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Turkish, Seldjukian, Armenian, Ottoman, Syrian, and Jewish foods.  He has lectured at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California and written articles in about by every major food publication – worldwide.

Fortunately for many of us chef Musa and his lovely wife Zeynep Çaliskan have decided to share with the world the results of his extensive research in the culinary traditions of this vast region.  This is distilled into a seasonal publication called Yemek ve Kültür (Food and Culture) The Magazine is beautifully designed with traditional folkloric illustrations

Highlights for us included:

  • Eggplant and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses
  • Cheese and spiced apricot phyllo ‘cigars’
  • Stuffed dried eggplant
  • Carrot and pistachio fritters with chili yoghurt sauce
  • Oregano Thyme tea – as a digestif;
  • grape extract
  • “lahmacuns” – a kind of thin-crust pizza baked with mince, onions and tomatoes
Ciya_016 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food   lavaş bread
Ciya_020 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food
Buda (wheat meze),  Sikma Kofte  (bulgur onion and yogurt dip)
Ciya_021 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food   Sikma Kofte  (bulgur onion and yogurt dip), Seaweed, Mahammara (red peppers and walnuts dip), Moa Mara (curry pasta),  Risvat otu yogurt bulgur soup
Ciya_017 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food   Nebrus (keme mushroom kebab),  Zaffron cheese, Sibma kefta (bulgur balls)
Ciya_023 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food
Ciya_024 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food   Black mulberry extract
green elixir of mint, apple & parsley
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above from left Zeynep Çaliskan & Yonca Erol from Cafér Erol
Ciya_010 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food
Yemek ve Kültür
Ciya_009 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food
Yemek ve Kültür
Ciya_006 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food
Yemekve Kültür

Ciya_025 Çiya  -  Istmbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Vegetarian Turkey Istanbul Food