Turkey Shoot

For those of you that read this, aren’t my facebooks friend, and haven’t looked at my flickr (ie probably noone) here are some pictures of my recent jaunt to Istanbul. (they’re bigger if you click’em)

‘Tis a city of many wondrous works such as:

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and

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the former was an early christian church (or patriarchal basilica apparently) but that’s nothing that a few big signs with arabic on them and a lick of paint couldn’t cure. Though someone was bound to start picking away eventually to see what was underneath:

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Anyway, the whole Sultanahmet area is basically one huge museum, with the added bonus of street meat and people selling carpets. The tourist police (they’re the guys with large smiles and small automatic weapons) are only to happy to point you in the direction of any number of stupefyingly amazing old things. This is a city that can get away with calling a 500 year old construction ‘the new mosque’.

Just dotted around the place you’ll see things like this:

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A bronze pillar that was made by the Greeks in 5th century BC from the spears and shields of defeated Persian invaders (it used to have a golden bowl on top, but the Roman soldiers tasked with bringing it to Constantinople ‘lost’ it.)

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an authentic Egyptian phallic thingee:

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and so forth. If you get bored you can go and have a coffee in a 1500 year old subterranean cistern where monstrous blind carp swim amongst thousands of coins of myriad denominations. (Apparently some people think that throwing money into a water tank is lucky.)

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Also, someone was nice enough to hew off and dig up some of the choicer pieces of marble and stone, and place them in a nice climate controlled museum (no meat or carpet unfortunately), which itself is probably worth a day or two:

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And finally here’s me being irreverent:

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next episode: grass and graves at gallipoli

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