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  • 27 years old
  • From Washington, United States
  • Currently in Florida, United States

May 10th 2012

3rd Day in Turkey

May 10th 2012

Turkey Istanbul, Turkey  |  May 17, 2012
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Turkey 2012

Log Entry May 10th 2012

Amanda Suter

Spring 2012

Istanbul, Turkey

May 10th 2012

          This day started off with a viewing of a mosque titled 'Sultan the Magnificent'. This mosque had less tourists and therefore, I could feel more of what the mosque intends to offer, solitude and serenity, rather than the bustling of a large crowd. This mosque was dedicated to Sultan Suleyman and his tomb was located just outside the mosque's walls as well. We spent about an hour at this mosque recapping lessons from the prior day such as the 5 pillars of islam which include the following: 1. believing that Allah is the only God and that the Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet, 2. fasting during the Ramadan from sunset to sunrise, 3. at some point in ones life, they must travel to Mecca, 4. prayer must occur five times a day, 5. a fixed portion of your wealth must be given to charity. After learning more about the Muslim religion and understanding more of the Turkish history, it was time to learn more about modern life in Turkey.

          We went to a very elegant and very expensive store where Delik, our tour guide, showed us an accidentally discovered cistern, which was quite interesting. The store also offered many handmade carpets and jewelry,  and we were shown how hand woven carpet is made. Following this demonstration, our group went to the bazaar which consisted of four thousand shops. At these shops, I was able to buy some souvenirs for both myself and for my family. For my sister, I bought a scarf and an evil blue eye bracelet. The evil blue eye is believed to bring good luck within the Turkish culture. Also, I was able to buy a hand-made wool Turkish rug for $130. Haggling is a common practice in the shops and I had a great deal of fun haggling with the shop owner for this rug. It was originally priced at $200, I then talked to him down to $150 and while I was leaving the shop, his final offer was $130, which is what I purchased it for. To continue, after the bazaar, we walked to the Istanbul University.   There were metal detectors at the entrance, just like the museums, and the campus was very beautiful. When leaving the university, I was interviewed by three Turkish girls for their school project about who I was, why and how long I was in Turkey, what I thought of Turkey and what Turkish words I had learned. They seemed very friendly and I think I was able to provide the answers they needed. Also, they laughed when I said the Turkish word I had learned was 'merhaba' which means hello.

          Directly after the visit to the university, we traveled to the spice market where I was able to finish my souvenir shopping for family and friends. I purchased two boxes of mixed dried fruit, turkish delight, and baklava for my parents and boyfriend. In addition, I purchased Turkish coffee for my parents and a small hookah for my boyfriend as well. At the spice market, I was able to try many different types of Turkish delight and I enjoyed most of them. This was the last event with our tour guide for the day. The evening consisted of dinner with our travel group and walking the streets at night to view shops and to get a taste of the night life. Throughout walking the streets, I was able to see a group of Native American performers on the street. I thought it was odd for Native American performers to be in Turkey, but it gave me more insight on globalization. Overall, another great day and I enjoyed engaging in more conversation with the locals and shop owners in order to get a true idea of what modern Turkey is like.  

Answers to previous questions:

1.   The prime minister of Turkey's election process is much like that of the British Parliament and is considered a democracy.

Goals for tomorrow:

1. Learn more about Jewish Turk religion.

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  • May 10th 2012

    May 17, 2012
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