This photo is dedicated to a guard turning a blind eye
There is no city in the world with more mosques than Istanbul. In both old and new Istanbul, there are minarets wherever you turn your eye.
Inside the only mosque designed by a woman
While the Roman Empire imposed its Pax Romana, the Ottoman Empire brought the peace of Islam to a vast swathe of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa for nearly six centuries. That is always something I am reminded of when I visit any of Istanbul’s great mosques.
For some, this tourist trap is a tourist treat
When my friend Caitlyn – a professional bellydancer in the UK – has a six-hour layover in Istanbul Airport, she gets on a bus and goes straight to the Grand Bazaar.
Ferry ride to another world
It’s a short ferry crossing from Europe to Asia across the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The city’s ferries predate the first bridge by more than a century and remain a vital transport link.
Throwing a line towards Europe
For a visitor, it can seem you have to leave Istanbul to see it. Looking back across the Galata Bridge at sunset, the city’s most glorious sights are laid out before me.
Making the world’s most beautiful tiles
Driving down Bağdad Avenue in Istanbul, I see a wide boulevard lined with familiar international fashion brands and local designer labels, shopping malls, department stores and chic cafes and restaurants. I have not come to shop, however. I’m here to visit the tile makers of the İznik Foundation.
Split between Europe and Asia
Hello Istanbul, the only city in the world to straddle two continents. Split between Europe and Asia, it is a place of contradictions, where minarets dominate the skyline, but women wearing veils are banned from government offices and schools. Prospering from its strategic position, free of the Euro and its problems, it is growing in confidence as neither east nor west, but a city that is uniquely Turkish.