SuterAN's Travel Journals

SuterAN

 
What was the dumbest thing you ever did while traveling?

I told the taxi cab driver the wrong port in Spanish and almost made other people late for our boat back into the Amazon.

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

May 11th 2012

4th Day in Turkey

May 11th 2012

Turkey Istanbul, Turkey  |  May 17, 2012
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Turkey 2012

Log Entry May 11th 2012

Amanda Suter

Spring 2012

Istanbul, Turkey 2012

May 11th 2012

          On our fifth day of travel, we started out by visiting a Jewish synagogue in a poorer part of town. It was informative to see how the Turkish working class lives and what types of shops residents had in their local communities rather than the tourist shops we have seen thus far. To continue, I had never been inside of a synagogue before and was very intrigued as to the set-up and arrangement of altars and pews within the building. In the synagogue, we discussed as a group the roles of Jews throughout time in both America and Turkey. Apparently, in Turkey, there has never been any type of persecution of Jews similar to that of  the Holocaust for  example. By combining such faiths which require such devotion as the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian religions all within a close proximity to each other, I would assume much turmoil would occur because of this, but, according to our tour guide, this has never been a problem in Turkey or even Istanbul.

          Our next venture was to the Chora Museum. This monument was built and its mosaic artwork completed in 13th century. Following its operation as a Christian church, the building was one of the many churches in Istanbul that were converted to mosques. Until today, I had never really seen mosaic artwork, most certainly not this antique of mosaic artwork, displayed before. This was beautiful and the chronological storyline told by the mosaics was very intriguing and informative. I myself, am not a Christian but found the fact that the bible and many other forms of spreading the bible do not tell of the Virgin Mary's childhood and how she was blessed, and a good portion of the church's mosaics were dedicated to this.

          We then made our way to lunch via a cable car and was fortunate enough to view the city from an extravagant perspective. Throughout lunch, we had literally a front row seat to Friday noon prayer, which in the Muslim religion is most important time to pray. There were hundreds of followers of the Muslim faith

This was undoubtedly something I may never have a chance to see again and I did my best to pay attention to every detail. Some followers were dressed in very conservative dress, mainly the women, and some looked more westernized. All of the women were covered, however, even if they dressed in more modern style of clothing.

          After lunch, we boarded a small tour boat which took us around the city. On the boat, Hannah and I discovered a true Turkish bathroom, more like a urinal for women and men alike for both bathroom uses.To continue, the boat tour gave us the opportunity to pass under the Bosphorus bridge which connects Europe and Asia, see the residential as well as the wealthy side of Istanbul, and meet other travelers. So far, I have yet to meet anyone else traveling from the U.S., although there have been many individuals from Germany, India, Brazil, Poland, etc. When I have mentioned to true residents of Istanbul that we are from the U.S., they don't seem too enthused. I have yet to receive a smile and have even been ignored by a waiter throughout our meal after mentioning we are Americans.

          Throughout this entire trip, my worldly perspective and knowledge of religions, peoples outlooks and opinions of the United States, and ancient history of Empires has increased more than I could have predicted. I most definitely have a better grasp on the history of this land but also of modern day perspectives of what others perceive America's role in the world is. As a potential life member of the United States Navy, I take each view and perspective of other's to heart to work to understand where America's true place is in the modern world.

Answers to previous questions:

1.   Jewish Turks were never persecuted against in the Turkish culture like they were pretty much everywhere throughout the Holocaust and World War II

Goals for tomorrow:

1. To see how the wealthy Turks live.

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  • May 11th 2012

    May 17, 2012
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