Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire until the revolution of Ataturk, the father of the Turkish homeland. East, trying to erase all the influence of the caliphs and official Islam practiced hitherto, transfer the administrative capital Ankara . Yet Ankara has only been the seat of government and other agencies, as life in Turkey, in all its facets, is still the main focus in Istanbul.
Despite this failure to transfer the reference from one to another Turkish city, meet the intent of Ataturk (which you can view images across the city) is needed to understand the reality of the country and to interpret the way of being of the people there know. Mustapha Kemal Ataturk separated religion from the state and established a secular constitution.
All this has caused the present Turkish population traits unknown in the Muslim world. You can see fully clothed women to the West, often accompanied by other covered from head to toe. Alcohol, except in places near the mosques, is tolerated but its price is high, and even made a couple of good beer brands.
The Sultanahmed Square is often the first visit by a tourist in Istanbul. And it certainly will not ever forget it. Landscaped gardens surrounded by beautiful buildings. On one side, Sultanahmed mosque, known worldwide as Blue Mosque and is named after the color that is within sight due to their windows and on the other hand, Hagia Sophia , one of world’s most recognizable monuments. Built as a basilica in the Byzantine Empire, later passing to function as a mosque and is today a museum not to be missed on your visit to the city. One of those magical moments that occur in life is to hear the song of the muezzin in the square, perhaps quietly taking tea at the cafeteria located in the walls of Hagia Sophia.
And for shoppers, two jewels: the Grand Bazaar (for my taste too focused on tourism) and the smaller but more interesting, Spice Bazaar or Egyptian. And thousands of stalls everywhere.
In short, a place to always go back, that never runs out and that is constantly reinventing
Near them, a small surprise, Yerebatan Saray Cistern . With its countless columns of water supplied to the Palace and is one of the attractions imprescindibles.Y, very near the Topkapi . Forget a quick visit. The Palace is overwhelming, with dozens of rooms, the most striking of which make the old harem.
But Istanbul is much more than Sultanahmed. In fact, it is a boundless city in one visit, requiring many days to cross it whole. Still, there are several visits to be made no excuses.
Suleiman Mosque is one of them. It is the largest in the city, and Elva, majestic, on one of the hills that compose Istanbul. In addition, the road to reach it becomes a pleasant walk, apart from the slopes, of course, where you can discover the authentic life of Istanbul, more than tourists.
Crossing the bridge, Galata neighborhood do not forget to climb the tower that bears the same name. It has one of the best views from around the world, with the string of minarets that stand above the Bosphorus.
Up to Taksim, the shopping area, is a good experience. Especially for the most prejudiced can see that it has nothing to envy to the Gran Via in Madrid or any other European capital. It breathes modernity, with stores in the forefront.
And crossing the Bosphorus, we arrive at Dolmabahce Palace . Official seat of government after the fall of the Sultans, is an example of Ottoman architecture. Spectacular Hall of Mirrors, where we identify hundreds of times.
Not to mention the wonderful journey that can be done by boat on the Bosphorus and brings us right up to the Black Sea, passing the famous Tower of Leander, a small island in the middle of the channel.