Amazing Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey 

“Istanbul Timeless City” Tourism Commercial 

This is the commercial ad for Turkey tourism. Those living in Yishun might find this ad familiar because this commercial has been playing on the big TV screen in Northpoint for more than a year. A tourism commercial shows how the tourism board wants to portray the country to the visitors. I find this commercial ad fascinating because it shows the city of Istanbul has a unique blend of ancient cultures and modern era. An interesting fact about Turkey is that the country is split between Europe and Asia and it is linked by the Bosphorus Bridge which connects the two continents.

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Shoo Ling, Me, Gloria, Carol, Sabasthiyan & Hilmi

My company for this trip is just as interesting as the history of Turkey. All of us comes from different background.. Different nationality (Singaporean, Malaysian & Taiwanese).. Different races (Chinese, Indian, Malay).. and we are here to sightsee and have fun together. 🙂

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Turkish Coffee

We had our lunch at one of the local turkish cafe and I tried the Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee is like espresso, strong in taste and served in small cups but it is made in different complicated way and much thicker. Turkish coffee is taken at hot temperature and is served with a glass of water to freshen the mouth to taste the coffee better. I am definitely not a coffee-lover and coffee is the last drink I will order from the menu unless when I am very tired but I really love this Turkish coffee. It is not like the usual coffee that is weak and watery. I wouldn’t mind having it every morning to kickstart my day!

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Sultan Ahmad Mosque

Our first stop was Sultan Ahmad Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque for its famous blue tiles in its interiors.

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Blue Mosque was built from 1609 to 1616 during the rule of Sultan Ahmed I. Beside being a popular tourist attraction, it is still used as a mosque and it is closed to non worshippers for half an hour during the five daily prayers.

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Me @ Blue Mosque

During my internship days, we did a mini project on some of the must-see attractions in the world and Blue Mosque was one of them. Seeing the real thing is different from seeing it from photos. It is like WOW… Such an impressive and beautiful architecture!

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There is no charge to enter the Blue Mosque, however, visitors have to be appropriately dressed and remove their shoes and put in plastic bags provided at the entrance before stepping into the Mosque. Women also have to wear headgear to hide their hair.

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I was awed at the beauty and serenity of the Mosque. There was a peaceful and calming aura even though there were many visitors.

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Worshippers
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Hagia Sohpia

Our second stop was Hagia Sophia, which is just a 5 minutes walk across the courtyard from Blue Mosque.

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The ticket price is 25 TL (approximately 17 SGD/14 USD).

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Hagia Sohpia (meaning Holy Wisdomhas a very rich and interesting history. The Hagia Sophia was originally built as a church in the 6th century Byzantine Empire, converted to a Mosque by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453 and now it has become a Museum.

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Lights shining in

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Hagia Sophia is a great architectural beauty and the interior is vast and splendorous. I wish I had a ultra wide angle lens to shoot and show you how beautiful this place is.

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There were some restoration works going on and without all these construction, the whole place will look even stunning.

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One of the windows was opened and I managed to take a sneak shot of the Blue Mosque before the security guard closed it.

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Marble Jar

The Marble Jar is brought here during the Pergamon period during the reign of Murat III (1574-1595). It was carved from a single block of marble.

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It was said that if you put your thumb into this pillar’s hole and move your hands to make a complete circle, you will get good luck. I managed to make a complete circle and I really hope it will bring a lot of good luck for me. Heehee..

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Some nice and beautiful Byzantine Murals… 

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Virgin Mary and Jesus, as Isis and Horus

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That was how we spent our day in Istanbul… Even though it was a short one day stay, I am definitely dazzled and mesmerized by the beauty of Turkey.

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Istanbul, I am so charmed by you… Please let me come back soon…