Tag Archives: Turkey

Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

The service on the Azerbaijan Airlines flight was appalling. Having been treated to an atrocious pre-flight video, an attendant who clearly desired to be everywhere but there started thrashing around cups of weak coffee and tried, indolently, to sell stale … Continue reading

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Notes from the fringes of the Empire: Yerevan.

Yerevan lies in a bowl shaped like the tongue of a cat, delimited on one side by the Hrazdan gorge, and on the others by steep hills, on which stand strange perches and other abstruse relics of the Soviet past. … Continue reading

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Away from the Golden Horn – what lies outside Istanbul’s centre (1/2).

Symbols you won’t find on your keyboard: Beşiktaş and Örtaköy. I turned a corner on Beşiktaş caddesi and basically run into them. Milling around on civilian buses and police vans, sitting besides the mammoth hydrants that usually turn up, at … Continue reading

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The places in between: wanders through Fener and Balat.

I saw them from the above, a rare treat for a city like Istanbul, where landings seldom come from the north: huddled close together, squashed between the Golden Horn and the minarets of Ottoman mosques, were the houses and streets … Continue reading

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Börek, burek, byrek, byorek, bouréki: a food pilgrimage.

In 1389 a momentous event happened, something that changed the landscape of the Balkans, and of much of Central Europe, for ever. The armies of Murad I, no longer held in check by the Byzantine empire, swarmed into the Balkan … Continue reading

Posted in All things food, Balkans, Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A six-hour layover – snapshots of Istanbul in black & white

My inbound landed at 18:00. My outbound wasn’t due until some 6 hours later, at about half past midnight. Six hours that I could’ve spent wandering aimlessly through the airport corridors, boozing in a lounge, ending up – inevitably – … Continue reading

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Stray pets.

Recently, in some of my travels at the fringes of the European continent or in the Middle East, I stumbled upon many stray domestic animals. Even though I’ve always seen cats happily going about, minding their own business, the sight … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Random memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hagia Sophia – a tour through an icon’s history

The Hagia Sophia museum has an entry price which is nothing short of a rip-off. Outside, you’ll be harassed by street sellers and impostors posing as guides. Inside it’ll be full of noisy and disrespectful people either yapping on their … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Faith, Istanbul, Overlooked locations, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Overlooked places – Moda, Istanbul’s Asian side

“Çai tea Çai tea…” the litany resounds from aisle to aisle in the open deck of the ship, echoed above by the tremulous shrieks of seagulls trailing in our wake. The ferry waiter, immaculate in his white shirt and blue … Continue reading

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Beyoglu: on the trail of Istanbul’s revolts

Intrigued by my enthusiastic reviews, my boss and his partner visited Istanbul earlier this May and, as it often happens when visiting a new place whose non written rules and behaviour are unknown to us, they merrily walked straight into … Continue reading

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