Found in a shop window in Jerusalem.
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.
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.
Moving away from Anatolia now, but remaining in the Middle East – some would say the center of the Middle East. Here, pedestrians walk through a Palestinian neighborhood just outside Jerusalem’s Old City.
In front of a shop on the street in Ankara. From top to bottom: a hand-woven kilim, probably Armenian or Moldavian; a hand-embroidered souzani, possibly from Uzbekistan; and an old hand-carved wooden trousseau chest made in Turkey, whether Ankara, Istanbul or one of the towns closer to the Black Sea.
The Lord of the Rings movies were fairly popular here, which goes to show that no matter where you are, beauty is beauty, truth is truth, we all like a story where the world gets redeemed and we like it when the good guys win. So here we have Gandalf (and Legolas, hiding behind him), fresh off duty in a Burger King happy meal or whatever, and commiserating with some Kutahya porcelain, what looks an Ottoman Janissary, Santa Claus, and a curious young lady who might be one of Tinkerbell’s friends, in a second hand shop on one of Ankara’s back streets.
The shadow of the Ottomans is still visible in many clothing styles worn throughout Turkey today. Although I haven’t seen Ottoman-style leather slippers like this worn by anybody I know in Ankara, presumably somebody wears them if they are on sale at the shop in the Ulus neighborhood where I took this picture. Then again, they could be just for tourists. That doesn’t mean that old-fashioned Ottoman dress isn’t still alive and well in many parts of the country. Shalwar pants like those worn as far east as Afghanistan are still in fashion for men and women in southeast Anatolia, starting in Tarsus.