Muslim visitors contemplate a picture of Mecca in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Mosque.
At a wedding in eastern Turkey. As part of the henna celebration, balls of green henna are formed around candle wicks, then set burning to celebrate the marriage.
A visitor looks through a sunlit window into a cave full of centuries-old Jewish ossuaries, or bone boxes, on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Ossuaries have been used for the internment of skeletal remains by many different cultures throughout history, but they were especially popular among Jews of the Second Temple Period (40 B.C. – 135 A.D.). These date to that time.
Here’s a selection of shots from a recent trip to Jerusalem, featuring Christian, Muslim and Jewish sites, mostly focused around or viewed from the Mount of Olives. In future posts I’ll try to put up some shots from the Wailing Wall (or Western Wall) of the Temple Mount, as well as some of my best attempts at street photography from one afternoon in the city. Enjoy!
The deserted, rock-cut village now called Açıksaray (Open Palace) is a fascinating place to explore, in my opinion one of the more interesting and relaxing in Cappadocia, and made more so by the small number of visitors. When we were there in October, we found probably about eight people besides ourselves in the entire site. The village, just outside the Turkish town of Gülşehir, dates to the 10th or 11th century and covers about a square kilometer, containing chapels, kitchens, mushroom-shaped rock formations, and dwellings, probably for monks. This is the facade of the largest complex.
This picture was taken in the Ulus neighborhood, just down the hill from Ankara’s historic castle, which was really the only part of the city to speak of before Ataturk made it the capital of the new Turkish Republic. The castle area has been protected from development for tourism-related reasons and can sometimes seem like a village in the center of the city, which is of course now a modern metropolis with four and a half million people living in it. Meanwhile, the streets around the castle have experienced an increasing proliferation of carpet and antique dealers, including this gentleman offering kilims, cicims, and suzani along with knotted-pile hali carpets, just down the street from a row of copper workers.
A Catholic souvenir shop within Jerusalem’s old city.
Murat and Servet’s wedding in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş was a typically chaotic celebration with plenty of dancing, attended by just about as many people as could comfortably fit on the (very large) dance floor. The entire town is often invited to a wedding in Turkey, and the more people come the greater the honor for the father of the groom.
Hiking through wooded farmland in one of the small villages around Kürecik, near Malatya in southeastern Turkey.
This picture was taken from within the Dominus Flevit chapel on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, commemorating the site where Jesus is said to have wept over Jerusalem, and gives a pretty good ecumenical overview of the city that is central to the three great monotheistic world religions. The cross silhouette visible in the window latticework in the foreground gives way to Jewish graveyards at the base of the east wall of the temple mount, where Jewish belief expects the Messiah to one day enter the city. Behind these rise the shining domes of the temple mount’s current occupant: the architectural marvel of Islam’s Dome of the Rock.