In many ways, Istanbul represents the modern Turkey. It’s colorful, and loud, and chaotic. There are century-old mosques and giant skyscrapers housing cutting-edge condos and neon lights. You might get stuck in traffic for hours, only to laugh it off once you arrive at your destination because, well, that’s just how it is. And it’s not only the cars. There are people everywhere, the streets are packed with pedestrians that all seem to have to be somewhere right now. There is yelling, and honking. Sweat might run down your face as you pace through the dusty streets in the midday sun. And yet, serenity is where you least expect it, sometimes just around the corner. It’s men fishing from one of the busiest bridges. Women enjoying a Turkish bath in a Hammam. A tea break on a hill above the city, or in the middle of the bustling Grand Bazaar. Or a boat ride along the Bosphorus.
Istanbul is a city best experienced with all your senses, so a few photos can’t do it justice. But we have to start somewhere. Here is our photo story from Turkey, starting off in Istanbul.
Turkey is not just Istanbul, of course. Between the resort towns at the Aegan Sea in the West and the serene, rural areas in the East, the country is vast and diverse. We headed to the south-west, very close to the Syrian border, to discover a completely different country. It was a land full of holy sights, between fertile grounds and hostile nature, with structures as old as mankind. This is our photo story from Sanliurfa and Mardin.