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Thread: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

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    Default Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    The Turkish Government has finally done it and turned the famed Hagia Sophia back from a museum to a mosque.

    The Hagia Sophia was built 537 as a cathedral honoring Saint Sophia, it was the world's largest cathedral. All built by human labor, from quarry to finished product. In 1435 the Ottomans captured Constantinople and as well as changing the name of the city, changed the cathedral into a mosque and added four minarets, one to each corner. To me these added to the beauty of the current building. In 1934 it was decommissioned from mosque to museum, but now is changed back to mosque. The Hagia Sopia was the most popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.

    Most tourists just view the mosques from the outside, and are dissuaded by their tour guides from entering. The guide doesn't like to have to tell them they are dressed inappropriately for going inside a religious house. So they just tell them it isn't allowed, that way it does not interfere with the tips expected.

    There are dozens of huge and pleasing mosques dotting the skyline of Istanbul and give a marvelous eastern character to this truly oriental looking city.

    I have been to Turkey at least a dozen times. It was the most pro-American city and country I have ever visited. My wife and I spent a couple of weeks in Istanbul and two months backpacking around Turkey using the local bus system as we visited most of the country.

    You are allowed to go inside the mosques, but just like visiting St. Paul's or the House of Commons, you are expected to dress appropriately, respectful behavior and follow the local customs.

    In Turkey, my wife wore a long sleeve blouse, she had bought a couple of long wash and wear local skirts and wore a scarf on her head. and flat shoes. I wore wash and wear slacks and long sleeve shirt and walking shoes, and dressed like that we could visit the mosques and travel out in the rural countryside with no problem.

    The Turks were thrilled to bits that we were honoring their culture, and on the bus, if we were getting off at their town or village would invite us to stay at their homes. We never did, we told them we had made reservations ahead, but they insisted on lunch or dinner with them and to take us to see the local places of interest.

    Back to the mosques. Most of larger mosques in Istanbul had the equivalent of a saint interred inside, usually in the middle with a canopy over the top, and the enclosed coffin behind bars all made out of solid silver and gold trim. You left your shoes outside and inside you would approach the mausoleum slowly then circle it and when you were ready to leave, or a ****** wishing to pray, you didn't turn your back to it, we walked slowly backwards to the door...nobody had pinched our shoes neither...or my wife, like they would in Italy.

    I'm not fluent in German , but speak and read better than passably, though losing my Spanish I am still passable. My wife was passable in Polish and French so we had no problem heading off the beaten path in Europe, and German was the second language in Turkey as many men had gone to Germany for work and loved to practice it with the few foreigners that visit outside of Istanbul.

    The dozens of large mosques in Istanbul add a truly Oriental appearance that one would expect of the Middle East, but sadly does not exist. I've travelled, worked and lived in the Middle East, and except for a few cities like Isfahan in Iran are architecturally boring. Actually the old city of Istanbul is in Europe and the modern part is across the Bosphorus strait in Asia.

    The only bad thing about Istanbul and Turkey was the food, it was beyond terrible. My wife and I ate for ten days straight in Macdonald's. I have never been inside one since.

    Turkey is no longer the friendly country it was, and neither now is the Hagia Sophia the place you could wander in and get dizzy looking up and slowly walk around and marvel at this wonderful building with a gaping mouth.

    Rodney

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    Rodders, this is what will occur in other parts of the world.
    Churches no longer needed turned into Mosques.
    I see the Pope has voiced his opposition to this.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    When Il last visited England and London, I went to Walthamstow/Bombay West, where I was born and lived through the Battle of Britain before being being evacuated to Yorkshire. Walthamstow, gave a new meaning to the word slum, one I wouldn't use in mixed company.

    I went to the old church which was closed and found the graves of my great-grand parents. I was just starting out in my hobby genealogy and I was hoping there was a headstone with dates and a clue. There was a headstone and writing, it said..."Mom and Dad."

    I was told there was talk of it being remodelled, the removal of the bell tower, and turning it into a mosque. I couldn't find out if it was actually done and no desire to return to find out.

    It's strange. I don't understand how somebody could leave a place like the sub-continent, and do everything to turn the new country they have migrated too into a replica of what they left, with shop signs in their native language, news papers, their native music blaring, and trash littering the streets.

    I've been to India twice, The first, and I swore the last, on vacation and the second time on business (no choice). I've seen the Taj Mahal and it looked like diamond in bucket of puke on the banks of a putrid river. You couldn't pay me enough to ever go back. And Walthamstow was a close second.

    Cheers, Rodney

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    Walthamstow is considered to be a 'trendy' town now.

    I visit often and like the area.

    K.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Cool Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    Keith. Walthamstow: I google it and yes a part of what is called Walthamstow is trendy, this is the part that is in the area of Chingford and Walthamstow, dogtrack. That always was considered part of "trendy" Chingford.

    The flat my father lived in was the lower half at 11 Theydon St. I think the main street it was off was Markhouse Rd. . And I think the main area about two streets away, up Markhouse Rd. was Bell Corner. could be wrong about that last name.

    But I'm not wrong about the address. It was everything I said in my above post, a @#$%hole. I have a good imagination, but I can not imagin that area being upmarket. Theydon St. is about two blocks away from the church I mentioned.

    I would very much appreciate it if the next time you are in Walthamstow you could verify that Theydon St. is now gentrified or not. I would be amazed and pleasantly pleased, but I still ain't rushing back to Theydon St. no more than I would expect you to spend a vacation in Harlem, NYC.

    Cheers, Rodney

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    I can make a few enquiries as I have friends living there.

    Will certainly look up myself more of what you mention next visit.

    The dog track eventually closed in the summer of 2008.

    Promoted prior to the current health situation as:

    You've heard the rumours of a haven at the end of the Victoria line, and you want to see it for yourself. As well as being home to Walthamstow Market – the longest in Europe! – and near to leafy Epping Forest, Walthamstow is as close as you can get to the countryside without leaving the city.

    As young Londoners moved further out of the capital in search of cheaper rents and house prices, many found themselves in E17, turning it into an evolving young suburb. It's home to the annual festival Walthamstow Garden Party, a popular London brewery and a particularly special neon treasure. But it's a place that works hard to preserve its industrial heritage, and east London pie and mash spirit. New restaurants, bars and venues are popping up in the area every month, so we've picked a few of our favourites: https://www.timeout.com/london/thing...tow-area-guide

    K.

    .
    Last edited by Keith at Tregenna; 14th July 2020 at 12:26 AM.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    Hi Rod.
    That is one of the things that has always puzzled me with the people who pay people smugglers to get to places like Britain and Aus, why the hell go through all that pain, then, when they get there. try and turn that country into what they had just left. When I emigrated to NZ I embraced the ways of NZ, then after coming to Aus I became an Aussie, embracing fully the life style here. If I had wanted to embrace the Welsh way of life I would have stayed at home, by all means remember your heritage, but not to the extent of trying to change the country you have chosen to live your life in.
    Des
    Lest We Forget

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    #5: Had a quick look last night before kip on line.

    Could see the area you mention but, can say I would
    not have known it as Walthamstow or have I been
    near there, seems to be well out on the old boundary
    and not really near the main areas at all.

    Will look further later but, doubt I would ever need to
    actually go.

    Keith.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    Rodders, many years ago we lived in Northolt not far from Heathrow.
    Near by the suburb of Southall which was taken over by Pakistanis.
    It reached the point by mid 1970's that every shop was written up in their language.

    In the late 80' the Police got a tip off. With customs and excise men they raided half the town.
    The locals were using Pakistan money to trade with so no tax being paid.

    You may recall the area of Marble Arch to Maida Vale a very nice part of London.
    Now more like Mandalay to Marachesh.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia no longer a Museum.

    Last edited by Keith at Tregenna; 14th July 2020 at 08:41 AM.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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