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Istanbul 1999

As I am used to do, after every trip, here I am writing about my last one to "Istanbul". After my visit to Turkey, I can say that I am very surprised, how could a people like this one rule half of the word for long years. But it seems that there ancestors were more clever then them.

I booked for a hotel room in a four-star hotel "Golden age one hotel". But after three nights in this hotel, I can say that it doesnít worth more than three stars.

In the second day I started my excursions:

As you know, up to the Turkish conquest of Istanbul by Mehmet II the conqueror in 1453, the city was the center of the Byzantine Empire. After that date it became the center of the Ottoman Empire. And they transformed churches to mosques. I visited the Hagia Sophia, the most renowned Byzantine cathedral. It was build between 325-360 AD by Constantine. And was rebuild and restored after being burned so many times, and after so many earthquakes. And finally it was converted to a mosque.

We visited Topkapi palace, and Bayazit University. This palace was called "the old Palace". Itís now converted to a museum. Itís from this palace that the Ottomans Sultans ruled all the Arab countries 

We visited also the Blue Mosque, facing St Sophia, famous with its blue Iznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet.

We went to the Hippodrome, the center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. And we saw there the German Fountain, the monument decorating the Hippodrome.

I spent the most beautiful day in the straits of Bosphorus. They run between Europe and Asia. 32 Kms long and their narrowest are 660 m. wide. We took a touristic ferryboat, from the Galata Bridge to the end of the straits. We saw on the both sides, lot of monuments: DolmabahÁe Palace, where the Ottoman fleets used to amass for ceremonial departure on naval campaigns and it was the last resident for Ottoman Sultans with 365 rooms and 22 saloons, and the Ortakoy mosque. We stepped from Asia to Europe in two minutes, on the Bosphorus Bridge.

We went also to the largest covered market in Istanbul, The Covered Bazaar. Mehmet II originally founded it in 1461 in order to provide traders with a safe place to do their daily business. And it was enlarged after, and today it contains more than 3 300 shops. I bought to leather jackets from there.

I realized that there are more than 1500 words in common between Arabic and Turkish. But believe me I couldnít understand any word from them, if my Turkish friend Aysem wouldnít help me. And beside that I can say, in a personal judgement, that not more then one- percent of that people speaks English. And what English, believe me itís more mkassar then mine. And what teased me the most is that every body wants to show you the way, even if he doesnít know. So to visit one place in Istanbul, it could take, if you are lucky, one week! And even more!

I left Istanbul, with the most beautiful souvenir and the most splendid girl that I ever met. I am talking of course about my cyber friend Aysem. Only flawless women as her can give me a fullness sensation. Absolutely attractive, young and enthusiastic, each part of her is an art in creation in itself. I could choose one part of her as the most beautiful, but I definitely loved her in her all! I felt a strange sensation, only when I touched her hand. It was a cool Monday night, in the lanes beside Bayazit University. But it was too late. I already booked in the Thursday flight to Beirut. But I got a promise from her. She will come to Lebanon and I believed her. Who came from Canada to Turkey will not fined any problem to do anything to realize his contemplative wishes. She will come I know it!!! This is my Turkish girl, this is Aysem.