We are grateful to Allen Lai for sending us the second part of his photo essay on his recent vacation in Turkey. He continues to relate his amazing travels through the country.
After Istanbul, we drove approximately 6 hours to Safronbolu city, another UNESCO world heritage site. Here, the appearance of the Ottoman period is completely preserved. There are not many modern buildings in the local area, and the residents still maintain a simple temperament. History has left a deep impression here. With its typical buildings and streets, the city played a key role in the caravan trade since the 11th century. Being here is like stepping back in time 600 years. It is more of a museum-city. Its cobblestone streets, hill houses and natural beauty are evidence of its worthiness of being declared a cultural asset, home of the precious saffron flower.
The Anitkabir Mausoleum
From Safranbolu, it’s another 3 hours to go to the capital of Turkey, Ankara. There I visited the Anitkabir Mausoleum.
I mentioned earlier about the Turkish people being polite and educated. One person had a very strong influence in this. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) was an army officer who founded an independent Republic of Turkey out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. He then served as Turkey’s first president from 1923 until his death in 1938, implementing reforms that rapidly secularized and westernized the country. Under his leadership, the role of Islam in public life shrank drastically, European-style law codes came into being, the office of the sultan was abolished and new language and dress requirements were mandated. So to understand today’s Turkey, we have to start with this person.
The Changing of the Guard was an amazing and solemn ritual. My first thought was that the video had been intentionally slowed down but this is actual speed of the soldiers taking part (SGW).
On the way to Cappadocia, we passed by Lake Tuz. (Tuz = salt) Lake Tuz was once the second-largest lake in Turkey. Flamingos flocked there to feed and nest and people visited to witness the pinkish lake.
The Yunak Cave Hotel
Stewart Goes Walkies is very grateful for this latest part of Allen’s travels through Turkey. His photos and descriptions certainly bring the country to life.
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