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TheGuardian Writes “Why I love Turkey?”

Nemrut
Large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC
Anakara, Anitkabir
Capital of turkey Ankara, Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Istanbul
Greatest city of Turkey, no need to write more...
Cappadocia
Fairy Chimneys, a hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland
Mardin
It is known for the Artuqid (Artıklı or Artuklu in Turkish) architecture of its old cit
Hagia Sophia
Orthodox Christianity Church converted into a Mosque in 1453

Kevin Gould who is a writer at Saturday Travel Section of TheGuardian posted his sights about beauties of Turkey. Below, you can find this writing, but before let us give a brief information about him.

Who is Kevin Gould?

Kevin writes Eat Like A Local for the Guardian’s Saturday Travel section. Having been a chef, a grocer, a restauranteur and a caterer, he and his stomach now travel the world meeting food producers, and looking for where the tourists don’t eat. Kevin’s favourite place is right here, right now; his favourite food is parsley.

From www.guardian.co.uk;

I fell in love with Turkey 28 years ago. Denim jeans were a rare western luxury then and every time the politicians got uppity the army rolled in, imposing swingeing curfews and outlawing anything cultural that seemed vaguely fun. How times change – yet it’s Turkey’s culture and history that makes her so attractive today. Nearly 2.5million Brits will holiday in Turkey this year. The face she shows most of us is thoroughly modern – sort of like Italy, but with moustaches and headscarves. Outside of the eurozone but with Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea coastlines, the country offers everything the fun-hungry all inclusive traveller wants. But a step away from the tourist areas is a Turkey of such original beauty that you’d need a thousand lifetimes to spend here, and there’d still be more to discover.

I’ve spent nearly 30 years travelling in luxury coaches, dodgy taxis, Dolmus buses, army helicopters, by boat and on foot and never fail to be thrown by the sheer diversity of a country that’s more like a continent.

Hip, cultural Istanbul is where many travellers start their voyages of discovery. Like New York isn’t America, Istanbul isn’t really Turkey, but a state in it’s own right. Unlike New York, Istanbul has 3,000 years of civilisation to inspire herself with. On the same latitude as Rome (and also built on seven hills), this was the perfect capital for the Emperor Constantine to establish the Eastern Roman empire from, just when old Rome was tearing itself to pieces.

The Byzantines came next. They were Greek-speaking Christians that were nonetheless mullah’d by thuggish crusaders, who carried off her many treasures (check out the golden lions in St Mark’s Square, Venice, for example), leaving the door open to the (Muslim) Ottomans, whose empire stretched from the gates of Vienna all the way round the Med to Mauritania. Istanbul is still the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox church. Awe-inspired pilgrims thought Haghia Sofia’s great dome was suspended from heaven by a golden chain as even you might today. Gorgeous churches, chapels and synagogues are yours to happen upon in her huddled quarters.

Check out the sixth-century Kuçuk (or, Little) Haghia Sofia around the corner from the crowds at the Blue Mosque. Properly known as the church of St Sergius and St Bacchus, its fresco’d and mosaic’d saints look so sharp and fresh, they could have been dressed by Vivienne Westwood.

Boating 10 minutes over to Asia for a cup of tea, or taking the slow ferry to the traffic-free, bougainvillea-crazy Princes’ Islands for a seafood lunch or hilltop picnic you may well be the only British traveller, but you’ll still be amongst friends, for the Turkish welcome is as genuine as it is legendary.

A meander up the Bosphorous brings you to the Black Sea with its shoals of anchovies and wild waves. Within an hour of Istanbul you’re in an Alpine land of tea gardens, hazelnut coppices and Laz-speaking, line-dancing locals who trace their roots back to Jason and his Argonauts.

Turkey’s north east, bordering Georgia and Armenia, is little visited, but the Kaçkar mountains are the intrepid walker’s paradise, with lost valleys, endless vistas and rare wildlife. The village of Yaylayar is home to 130 types of butterfly alone. Englishwoman Kate Clow has previously established two spellbinding walking trails in the Taurus Mountains; her latest is here in the Kackars.

Inland from here is Ankara with its art deco embassies, established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as Turkey’s modern capital; from here Çatalhüyük, is an easy drive. This is where wheat was first cultivated: Neolithic people lived here in organised towns about 9,500 years ago.

At school, I was rubbish at history but in Turkey, history is easy to read, and worn on everyone’s face. Turk’s ancestors were once subject to those great colonising, civilising empires, so you see pale-skinned Slavs; ginger-haired Syrians; grizzly Alpine mountain villagers; oval-eyed horse-riding farmers; triangular-faced Mongolian steppe-dwellers; flashing Arabs; proud beautiful Kurds; faded, haunted Thracians; boat-bound Aegean islanders. You see history also in every town and village.

Cappadocia is established on the tourist trail, but its pastel-painted underground churches are definitely worth the visit. Cut from the soft tufa rock, this is where early Christians hid from marauding Romans – a case of true faith made concrete.

Van, near where Turkey meets Iran, was the capital of the Urartu people in the ninth century BC, and is also famous for its swimming cats. Further south is Upper Mesopotamia, where the great Tigris and Euphrates rivers rise. Urfa is by legend where Abraham was born and Job learned his patience. Gaziantep is where baklava was invented, and Malatya is where your supermarket’s dried apricots come from. In Mardin, people speak Aramaic, just as Jesus did, and if you carry on west to the Mediterranean, you fetch up in ancient Antioch and Tarsus, where St Paul was born.

Turkey’s coastlines are beautiful, and her waters, er, turquoise. The Datça peninsula is as rocky, bird-loud and gorgeous as anywhere in the Med. As you follow the Aegean north, there’s Ephesus, of course, which is beautiful in the late afternoon after the tour buses have left. Meryem Ev is where the Virgin Mary is said to have spent her last days, and when the sun’s setting over these graceful Grecian ruins, you might want to stay here forever, too.

Izmir is olive oil and wine country – Turkey is one of the world’s largest grape producers, and Turkish wines can now take their place with the best of the New World. Even if they’re really from the Ancient one.

Before you hit Troy there are the tiny Aegean islands of Bozcaada and Gökçeada, famous in Greek mythology and also as where Allied troops waited before wasting their lives at Gallipoli. Gallipoli, like neighbouring Trakya (Thrace) is wild, weird and possessed of a hauntingly empty beauty. This is where the Persian king Xerxes had the Dardanelle Straights whipped because their currents would not obey his majesty when he so badly wanted to invade Greece. This is also where I love to eat garlicky clams and salads of sea vegetables, and drink cold Truva beers.

Along the Marmara Sea you’re back in Istanbul, having travelled thousands of miles and through ten thousand years of history. Turkey’s climate ranges from snowy Alpine through wind-whipped steppe, waterless desert and balmy Mediterranean. You’ll have eaten some of the most delicious food in the world, and the Turks you’ve met will have treated you with kindness and joy. The truth is, Turks just love having visitors.

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Miniature Arts

Ottoman Miniature Painting
Distinctive features of Ottoman miniature
Miniature Portrait
Ottoman girl is painted with miniature art
Miniature Painting
Actual events adhered to the traditional canons of Islamic art
Story of The Painitng
Important events of the day and circumcision feasts are conrened with paintings
Mevlana, Sufi
Miniature painting of Hz.Mevlana
Miniature of Semazen
Portrait of a Semazen with sufi whirling

The basic characteristics of form, design, colour and representation in Turkish art developed primarily in the realm of miniature painting. The Turkish miniature style was influenced by many trends and developed over the centuries from the empires of Central Asia to the Seljuks and from the foundation of the Ottoman Empire to the conquest of Istanbul and the Tulip era. It was during the Seljuk era that miniature painting attained the stature of national art. It was during this period that Nakishane (schools of embroidery) were established. An exchange of miniature artists about the same time between Turkey and Iran further influenced these arts in both countries.

miniaturearts2The Ottoman style in miniatures made itself evident in the 15th century, leading to the production of classic examples in the 16th Century. The romantic scenes of landscaping in Persian miniatures were simplified in Ottoman miniature by the reducing detailed landscape scenes to plain backgrounds. Human figures, buildings and other main elements of the subject predominated. In classical Turkish miniatures, lines are straight, colours are vivid and the style is narrative. Miniature art is known for its strongly built heroes, simplicity, selection of themes from real life and the powerful concept of colour. The most important studies on miniature painting after the Republican era began were carried out by Ord. Prof. Süheyl Ünver. Courses are supported by the Ministry of Culture with a view towards popularizing the art. Work on miniatures is carried out in Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Izmir, and Kütahya provinces. Turks had the tradition to illustrate manuscripts during the cultural periods before Islamic belief. Paper that could be rolled started to be made in China with plant fibers in 105 B.C. No written or illustrated document has yet been found from the time of the Chinese Han dynasty, of Huns and Göktürks. Nevertheless, the large quantities of stone engravings, textiles, ceramics, works of art made of metal, wood, leather which have survived to the present day, prove that the above mentioned cultural circles were quite developed in other fields of art. The oldest examples of Turkish pictures for walls are from the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries. The withering influence of natural conditions have prevented the survival of these first examples. The conquest of Istanbul was the first step into a new phase of the Ottoman cultural life. The characteristics of the period in the field of paintings and miniatures may be summed up as the meeting of the eastern and western painting schools, as the widespread interaction and communication and as the widespread availability of display. While the Italian painters called by Mehmet the Conqueror continued their activities, Turkish artists—on the other hand—carried on the domestic traditions. We can see this dual influence in the works of Sinan Bey from Bursa, who was the pupil of Hüsamzade Sunullah and Master Paoli. Meanwhile, upon closure of the Heart academy for painting in the beginning of the 16th century, its famous instructor Behzat was met with a deserved esteem in Tabriz in 1512. His pupils began to produce works in his style. Their works reached the gates of Istanbul. Sultan Selim Iran and Aleppo to Istanbul after the seizure of Tabriz and he ordered his men to create favourable conditions for those artists’ work. Soon after Shah Kulu from Tabriz was leading these artists in an academy which was called by the Turks “Nakkashanei-i Irani” (The Persian Academy of Painting). “Nakkashane-i Rum” (The Ottoman Academy of Painting) was established upon the reaction of the Ottoman painters. It goes without question that the period beginning with Mehmet the Conqueror and ending with Sultan Selim I, was one of the most interesting and important phases in Turkish painting and miniatures. Various styles and ways of expression were searched, the influences were a guide and syntheses were attained. Now we shall take a look at the Turkish Academy during Süleyman the Magnificent reign. Turkish miniature lived its golden age during that period, with its own characteristics and authentic qualities. The most renowned artists of the period were Kinci Mahmut, Kara Memi from Galata, Naksi (his real name Ahmet) from Ahirkapi, Mustafa Dede (called the Shah of Painters), Ibrahim Çelebi, Hasan Kefeli, Matrakçi Nasuh, Nigari (who portrayed Sultan Selim II and whose real name was Haydar: he was a sailor).

You can see related products at: Ottoman Miniatures

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