History

  • Top Ten Churches in Istanbul – A Christian past

    Tell-tale signs of a Christian past are littered throughout the city. The diverse selection of Istanbul’s churches is a reference to its multi-cultural past, when it led as a cosmopolitan...
  • Hagia Sophia’s History – A cathedral, mosque and museum

    Hagia Sophia, history, facts,
  • Izmir: The Center of It All

    Many questioned me when I explained that I was moving to Izmir. The automatic, almost robotic response was, and still is sometimes “Why not Istanbul?” Of course, Istanbul is a...
  • The Many Historical Names of Istanbul

    A quick guide to the transient names of Istanbul over its history. With a transient past of ownership and religions, it’s no surprise the city of Istanbul has a chronicle...
  • Pastimes at Pierre Loti

    Unlike its Bosphorus brother, the Golden Horn did not inherit bold beauty, luxury mansions, suave cafes and swanky restaurants. Having spent the better past of history remaking its image, it...
  • Büyükdere: An Erstwhile Cosmopolitan Enclave on Bosporus

    Büyükdere, the most northerly borough of Istanbul, is one of the historic neighborhoods on the European side of the Bosporus. It is famous for its beautiful promenade, wooden houses, cafes...
  • Turkish-Greek Friendship Concert of Izmir

    This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a very special concert in Izmir. “Egen’nin iki yakasindan esintiler: Turkiye-Yunanistan Dostluk Konseri”, which translates to “Aegean’s two breezes on the...
  • Nargile: Lounging with the Sultans

    One of my favorite ways to relax is to have a good Turkish nargile while drinking endless glasses of Turkish tea.  Nargile, the famous tobacco waterpipe staple of the Middle...
  • History on Horseback: The Evliya Çelebi Way

    In my previous post, I talked about Evliya Çelebi, a Turkish traveler who journeyed through the territory of the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands over a period of forty years...
  • Mastic: The Aegean’s Ingredient that Bonds Two Cultures

    The Greek island of Chios (Sakiz in Turkish) lies off the coast of Izmir, directly across the shore of Çesme.  For years, there has been a special connection between the...