Submitted by email. The little “vaportrails” above the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul are because it is a time exposure and there were birds flying over it.
Many say that the area that is now Turkey is the birthplace of cheese, butter, olive oil, money in the form of gold coins, mosaics and similar art forms.
Janet and I thought it humorous that from Houston to Baltimore, most cities that we past were proud to be “America’s Second Largest Seaport”. One hopes that they each used a different way to measure and not just imagination. But, Turkey has some strong evidence for all of these claims. For example, some mosaics here are much older that the Roman Civilization.
We know that the Romans discovered cherry trees here and spread them around the world. The tulip was first raised here and spread by the Dutch.
Turkey and the Tigris, Euphrates valleys are widely thought to be the cradle of Western civilization.
It is certainly the location of Göbeklitepe, which is a large area of stones that appear to have been large buildings, but built about 12,000 years ago BP (before present) or 10,000 BCE or BC. That is 7,000 years before the Pyramids! That is thousands of years before most scientists thought our ancestors stopped being hunter gatherers and invented towns that eventually grew into cities. There have been some arguments over this site.
This is not a collection of Teepees or Yurts. The largest stone is 25 tons and most are covered with excellent art in the form of carved animals. “They” estimate at least 2,000 men were needed to build it. “They” fail to mention how many women. At some time, perhaps 10,000 or more years ago, it was buried which caused it to be very well preserved.
The Turks proud of this, but they are also quick to point out that the “Turkish People” really came from Mongolia in about the year 1000. (This conquest/migration seems to have been very complicated and is somewhat in dispute as to exactly how many people and when each came, some came in about 700, but the big pushes were later (I think) so let’s just say “around 1000 to 1100”). The Byzantine Empire was being conquered and replaced. Some say that the Crusades were started by one group of Turks that were a superb cavalry that supported themselves through conquest of new lands. They kept moving west until the Franks had to mass a major counter attack. Once the Franks were rolling east, they eventually captured Jerusalem.
That is a horrible over simplification of a very long and complicated time of warfare and religion. I suppose that, whenever possible, the victor re-wrote the history and “history” has been used as a propaganda tool for thousands of years. So keep an open mind and expect the unexpected.
If you get a very comfortable chair and Wikipedia and Google, you can learn a lot and get very confused. By the way, they say that DNA research has added to, rather than lessened the confusion.
I think it safe to say that for at least 12,000 years and probably for hundreds of thousands of years Turkey and the Middle East have been in frequent flux. Sort of like today.
We find the Turkish people to be very nice. The stereotypes of the Islamic or Middle Eastern peoples are, as with most stereotypes, way off the mark.
I have to get back to packing for our trip,