I say Istanbul is one of the world’s five greatest cities (In no particular order, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Paris, Sydney, San Fransisco). Yours?
With Turkey in a rough patch since the Gezi Park protests sixteen months ago, and now with its incipient and possibly defining grappling with the Kurdish question, and fearing its reluctant coming battles with ISIS, maybe it’s time for a few fan photos of Istanbul in the good old days.
Here is the fabled Golden Horn, with the Galata Tower across the way. The Bosphorus is out of the frame on the right, the Sea of Marmara behind the photo and the Black Sea at the end of the Bosphorus at two o’clock from here.
Outside the Grand Bazaar. Through that gate and down in the bazaar, march in and get yourself thoroughly lost. Wander for half a day. I once asked around for the Afghan section and came away with three fine pakols, tailored to my head size, from a milliner from Kandahar.
Again, the Galata Tower in the center back. Ferries like these ply the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus over to Asia, carrying commuters to work at dawn.
The fabled Haydarpasha Train Station in Kadaköy, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. On arrival from London via the Orient Express, from here well heeled tourists could travel on to Ankara, then Kars, then Baghdad and Teheran.
Day labor at the break of dawn. Happening every day in the Grand Bazaar.
The Blue Mosque.
This is seven photos stitched into a 180 degree panorama. Each photo consists in turn of seven exposures combined into an HDR image. We are looking west into the Golden Horn at dawn, the Bosphorus Strait at our backs. See each end of the Galata Bridge on the far left and right.
Here is the Ortakoy Mosque in a trendy part of town some way up the Bosphorus on the European shore, the bridge behind leading to Asia, on the far side.
And Taksim Square, foreground. Gezi Park, a green space and the focus of the protests a couple of years ago, is just below and behind this vantage point. From here you can see past the Golden Horn and out into the Sea of Marmara. From this vantage point the Bosphorus, to the east, is just off to the left.