Connecting Civilizations and Continents
Istanbul is incredible. It is nothing like the Middle East. This is a European city with a long heritage and intoxicating culture. Being in Istanbul, it is impossible to imagine that this is a Muslim city. This is why I suppose Islam was perceived so differently before the caliphate was dismantled.
Things work like clockwork. Industry and commerce are as ubiquitous as the wonderful architecture found everywhere. The good of the population is clearly visible as the primary objective behind these massive, marvel of engineering and ingenuity. The good of the people was the greatest law.
Istanbul is split along the Bosporus into three distinct, yet homogenous and cohesive cities. The different suburbs each have their own distinct culture and claim to fame. They are a proud people but very hospitable to strangers in their land. I hope many more opportunities come up to come back.
“Though remarkable for patient and laborious thought, the true German is a joyous child of freedom, fond of manly sports, a lover of music, and a happy man generally”
— Frederick Douglass
“Turks were a great nation even before they adopted Islam. This religion did not help the Arabs, Iranians, Egyptians and others to unite with Turks to form a nation. Conversely, it weakened the Turks’ national relations; it numbed Turkish national feelings and enthusiasm. This was natural, because Mohammedanism was based on Arab nationalism above all nationalities.”