Images from Turkey (Istanbul and Cappadocia)

Paul Bourke
March 2010

The following are a selection of images captured during a trip to Turkey, along with some brief notes. It is certainly not intended to be a comprehensive collection from this fascinating country, especially since it is only a selection from Istnabul and Cappadocia.


Views of the city

Views across the Bosphorus

View of the Bosphorus from the Galata tower.

Galata tower on the hill.

Huge span bridge across the Bosphorus.

Street vendors

Standard fare of twisted bread available all around the city.

Roasted chestnuts, also prevalent.

Of course, plenty of Kebab restaurants.

The pickles are nice enough but the liquid is rather "biting".

Lovely fresh fish.


The grand bazaar is quite huge, supposedly up to 4000 stores. Most of them are rather targeted at tourists but if you are looking for something special in can be found, especially check out the antiques section. It's easy to get lost so keep your whits about you.

One unique aspect of shopping is how shops selling particular items are grouped together. So there is a street with dozens of lighting shops, another with lots of musical instrument shops, other areas dedicated to marine products, electronics, and so on.


Topkapi Palace

Galata tower

A tower located in a prominent position and built in 528 during the reign of Emperor Justinianus. It certainly has wonderful views of Istanbul, especially the Bosphorus, although the crumbling masonry at the top does not always fill one with confidence. Unfortunately somewhat touristic and a modern elevator to take visitors up the 60m to the restaurant and viewing area at the top.

Panorama 1453








Hacibektas Museum

Haci Bektasi Veli lived from 1248 and 1337) and is a well known Sufi thinker. He taught tolerance, peace, love and equality and many of his principles were mirrored in the University Human Rights Declaration. The Hacibektas Museum includes a shrine where he is buried.

Seek and find
Educate women
Do not hurt even if you are hurt
Whatever you seek, seek within yourself
Be master of your hand (actions), tongue (words), and passions
Wise men are both pure and purified
The first stage of spiritual wisdom is right conduct
Humans perfection is the beauty of his/her words
Do not do to others what comes hard to yourself
Do not blame and human and nation
A path not guided by science goes to darkness
How happy is he who illuminates the darkness of thoughts
Do not forget even your enemy is human
The prophets and saints are Gods gift to humankind


Underground churches

There are a large number of these churches cut from the rock. The Elmali church, also known as the Apple church, has 4 columns which are of course totally unnecessary but included in the excavation to copy columns in traditional churches. Dated between the 11th and 1th century the walls are decorated with geometric designs similar to St Basil.

The Tokali (also know as the Buckle) church is the oldest known rock cut church in the region. The oldest part of the church was built in the 10th century and acts as the entrance to the newer parts. The life of Jesus is told on the panels of the vault.


Quite incredible underground city originally built around 3000 years ago. Even though only the first four floors have been excavated it is a rather impressive undertaking. The corridors and rooms contained everything necessary for the inhabitants to hide away during waring periods, this includes grannaries, wine cellars, churches, and living quarters (toilets haven't yet been excavated). Large stone wheels blocked the entrances and sealed off layers of the underground complex.

Chez Galip

One of the more delightful characters is the owner of the pottery of Chez Galip, perhaps one of Cappadocias most well-known individuals. Location the outskirts of the town Avanos, the shop and workshops are built into the rock of a large stone outcrop. The town of Avanos has been a centre for pottery from the Hittite times as early as 2000 BC.

Not only does Galip provide an entertaining demonstration of his potting craft but he holds a Guinness book of records "Unusual collections" of hair. He collects womens hair along with their contact details for a monthly draw, the winner of which gets to learn pottery from the master. He's being entertaining visitors for a while and the hair collection is "extensive".