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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Istanbul - The Turkish Delight

From Constantinople to Istanbul – Click here for more Photos

 

L1000465 Istanbul at Sunset

 

L1000516 Maiden's Tower, featured in one of the James Bond movies in 1999 "The world is not enough", sits on a small islet located in the Bosphorus strait off the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul, Turkey.

 

DSC_0645 Grand Bazaar

 

DSC_0646 A tea house in the grand bazaar – Photo of Sultan Muhammad Fatih in background.

Muhammad II or Mehmet II (Muhammad the Conqueror) is considered the true founder of the Ottoman Empire. He completed the conquest of the Byzantine Empire by successfully storming (1453) Constantinople after a 50-day siege, for which he constructed the largest cannons the world had yet known and by transporting his navy overland, an unbeatable and unmatched achievement of naval history. Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI fell in its defense. Muhammad moved his capital from Adrianople to Constantinople and restored the greatness of that city by settling there the populations of other conquered towns. To Greek and Armenian citizens of Constantinople he granted the privileges that they were to enjoy throughout Ottoman rule, including the freedom to practice Orthodox Eastern Christianity. The Church of Hagia Sophia became a mosque.

Muhammad then conquered the Balkan Peninsula, taking Greece, Bosnia, and several Venetian possessions in the Aegean islands. The khan of Crimea became his ally and vassal. However, his further advance was checked at Belgrade by John Hunyadi, in Albania by Scanderbeg until 1478, and in Rhodes by the Knights Hospitalers under Aubusson. In Asia, Muhammad annexed the empire of Trebizond, ended most independent Turkish dynasties, and subdued the emirate of Karamania, putting to death its ruling family, who were Seljuk Turks. In 1480 he captured Otranto, in Italy, but the expedition had no results.

 

DSC_0775 Topkapi Palace

L1000307 Topkapi Palace was the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years of their 600-year reign, from 1465 to 1856. Initial construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople.

 

 

L1000327 Tpokapi Palace, with Golden Horn in background

 

 

DSC_0630 Enjoying turkish tea

DSC_0792 and kababs…

 

L1000179 more kababs…

 

DSC_0584

 DSC_0840 The Underground Basilica Cistern

 

DSC_1325

 

DSC_0749

 

L1000341

 

Click here for more Photos

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