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Two weeks in Turkey

(September, 1999)

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.


Aya Sophia 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

Classical Ruins

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.
Ottoman Architecture 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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