TURKEY Between Two Worlds






Gogazici Köprüsü (Bosphorus Bridge)

The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge (Turkish: Boğaziçi Köprüsü or 1. Boğaziçi Köprüsü) is one of the two bridges in Istanbul, Turkey, spanning the Bosphorus strait (Turkish: Boğaziçi) and thus connecting Europe and Asia (the other one is the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, which is called the Second Bosphorus Bridge.) The bridge is located between Ortaköy (on the European side) and Beylerbeyi (on the Asian side). It is a gravity anchored suspension bridge with steel pylons and inclined hangers. The aerodynamic deck is hanging on zigzag steel cables. It is 1,510 m (4,954 ft) long with a deck width of 39 m (128 ft). The distance between the towers (main span) is 1,074 m (3,524 ft) and their height over road level is 105 m (344 ft). The clearance of the bridge from sea level is 64 m (210 ft). The Bosphorus Bridge had the 4th longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1973, and the longest outside the United States. At present, it is the 16th longest suspension bridge span in the world.


Bosphorus - Asian side looking to the European side


Eminonu - European side looking to the Asian side


Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, with a population of almost 14 million people

The overused phrase "East meets West" really applies in Istanbul, where the continents of Europe and Asia come together and miniskirts coexist with head scarves


Ortakoy mosque - one of the main Istanbul landmarks


Bezmialem - Valide Sultan Mosque
In the background part of the Bosphorus bridge can be seen. It's the worls fourth-largest bridge. Built in 1973, it's the first of the two bridges connecting Europe and Asia.


Rumeli fortress


View from Karakoy to Suleymiyie mosque


Golden Horn Bridge


Shopping area


Grand Bazaar


Egyptian Bazaar
It was built in 1660 by the architect Kasim Aga for the mother of Sultan Murat IV, Hatice Turhan Sultan. The Egyptian Bazaar is Istanbul's second covered bazaar. It is L shaped in plan, a building that borders two sides of the park beside Yeni Cami. The structure was restored in 1943.The structure of the building is dressed stone with alternating brick courses, fine examples of Ottoman Architecture.

Istanbul has a myriad of attractions for visitors, particularly those interested in history and religion. Previously known as Byzantium and then Constantinople, the ancient city is a layering of civilization on civilization, empire on empire. As a major religious center for both the Greek Orthodox Church and the Islamic faith, Istanbul is the custodian of one of the world's most important cultural heritages and home to some of the world's most opulent displays of art and wealth, most of which were built in the name of faith.


Hagia Sophia


After the church burned down twice, Emperor Justinian built the present, fireproof structure around 537 A.D.


Hagia Sophia served as a Christian church for 900 years until 1453, when Moslem Turks took the city and converted it into a mosque


In 1935, it was turned into a public museum


Hagia Sophia, “Holy Wisdom,” was originally a basilica style church built in the fourth century

St. Sophia Cistern

A legend about the design of the church says that one day during Mass, Emperor Justinian dropped the holy bread from his hands. Before he could grasp it, a bee picked it up and flew away. Justinian sent a message to all beekeepers in the empire to look for the bread in their hives. After a couple of days, a beekeeper arrived with a hive of peculiar design. Upon seeing it, Justinian decided that he would build a magnificent church with the design of this hive as its ground plan.

Church of St. Irene

A first glimpse of the St. Irene church as seen from the garden of the Topkapı complex after entering the main gate



Inside the church looking away from the altar. The church is amazingly large. It is regularly used for - often televised - concerts or other events.


The St. Irene (Haghia Eirene) church, the church of the devine peace. It was one of the first churches in the old Byzantium, and has been rebuilt by Constantine the Great or his son Constantinus. It was the cathedral of the patriarch until the Haghia Sophia was finished. After that church had been destroyued in 404 it became the cathedral for another ten years.


Before the Byzantine era, the city of Istanbul was called Byzantium. The Roman Emperor Constantine I made the site the new capital of the Roman Empire, naming it Constantinople. Shown here is the church of St. Irene. The 2nd church council was held in the church in 381, but that building burned down and was rebuilt by Justinian in 532. It was later enlarged by another ruler.

Topkapi Palace

Mehmet II constructed Topkapi palace atop the Byzantine acropolis around 1500 A.D. and Ottoman sultans after him continued to build up the site. It was the residency of the sultan, his harem, and all the wives and concubines of the former sultans. They continued to reside here until 1909, when the harem was dissolved. Today the four courts and harem are open to visitors.

The Blue Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii) is a mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is one of several mosques known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has become one of the greatest tourist attractions of Istanbul.


Between 1609 and 1616, the Blue Mosque, also called the Sultan Ahmet Camii, was partially built over the hippodrome and partially over the site of the Byzantine imperial palace


Sultan Ahmet I ordered architect Mehmet Aga to construct the mosque, possibly in competition with the Hagia Sophia, located just across from it. It has seven minarets and 260 windows.


Sulaiman tomb








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