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We booked our trip to Turkey about two hours before the big earthquake. The media were filled with hysterical warnings of disease and chaos, but we decided to go anyway.
This disaster was set against the backdrop of Kurdish separatist Abdullah Ocalan's trial, terrorism, separatist guerilla fighting in the east, and a Russian incursion into Chechnya.
The few western tourists who did not cancel their trip due to the terrorism, cancelled due to the quake. As a result, we toured largely empty sites, ate in completely empty restaurants, and no, we didn't see a single piece of rubble or any physical earthquake chaos.
Oh, and we left a day before the second big earthquake.
My Top Twenty Picks
|Top Twenty||My favorite images.|
The ancient landmark cathedral, a major symbol of Istanbul and Turkey.
A few more
|Notable Mosques||The Blue Mosque, the New Mosque, Suleymani Camii, and Eyup Sultan Camii. A few more|
|Monuments||Byzantine monuments around the Hippodrome and the Sultanahmet. A few more|
|Topkapi Palace||The residence of the Ottoman monarchy. A few more|
|The Bosphorus and Golden Horn||Istanbul's major waterways, and sights along the shores. A few more|
|Other Istanbul||The Covered Market, street scenes, water pipe "gardens," and other items spied around Istanbul. A few more|
|Ephesus||Efes, the ruins of a Roman city on the Aegean Sea. A few more|
|Perge||A Greek and Roman village. A few more|
|Aspendos||A well-preserved Roman theater near Perge.|
Cappadocia, Antalya, Ankara...
|Cappadocia||Fairy chimneys, underground cities, beautiful pottery, and rocks, lots of rocks. A few more|
|Göreme Open Air Museum||Churches, monasteries and frescoes carved into the Cappadocian rock. A few more|
|Antalya||The main city on the central Mediterranean coast. A few more|
|Ankara||The capital of Turkey and Ataturk's mausoleum. A few more|
Travel in Turkey, Everyday Sights
|Miscellaneous||Meryemana, smoking fines, smoking while cooking, a sunset, the airport, and such.|
|Things to Buy||Touring Turkey can easily devolve into a shopping trip.|
For architecture fans only -- examples of the Ottoman vernacular. Wooden houses and everyday buildings.
A few more
|John and Anne||Actual pictures of the actual tourists. Unexpected, yes?|
|Four Seasons Istanbul||Far and away the nicest hotel we've ever stayed in.|
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