BC: DEPARTED | TURKEY | 22 APRIL 2012
1: TURKEY | TURKEY | ARRIVED 6 APRIL 2012 | With its population of 76.8 million, Turkey lies in the perimeters of Europe and Asia. It borders the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, as well as the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria. | The Global Leadership Symposium APRIL 2012
2: A city bustling with energy awaited us at Istanbul. A beautiful miscellany of both traditional and modern shops, restaurants and cafés were present which matched the rhythm of the busy streets - not to mention the cars that always seemed to show up in the midst of the crowd! Another thing to note, Turkish flags were visible in almost every second or third building!
4: ISTANBUL was once the largest and wealthiest metropolis the Western world had ever seen. Under the rule of Emperor Constantine, the city of then ‘Constantinople’ had begun rebuilding itself. It was officially declared as the ‘New Rome’ or new capital of the Roman Empire in 330. One great way to see Istanbul’s contemporary and antique villages, waterside houses, wooded hills and historic city walls, is to board a Bosphorus day cruise. And that was exactly what we did! It was an instant way to get a short break from the city. We also visited many fascinating landmarks and mosques. The Blue Mosque, to name one, was completed in 1616 and is characterised by impressive minarets, domes and semi-domes.
6: The GRAND BAZAAR is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It is well known for its jewelery, pottery, spice, carpet shops, and of course the ever famous Turkish delight!
7: Built in the 19th century, DOLMABAHCE PALACE was the administrative centre of the late Ottoman Empire. It also meaningful to the Turks because the supreme leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had used it as a residence, and spent the most serious period of his illness here before he passed away in 1938. We are privileged as the palace has now been converted into a museum that is open to the public.
8: AYASOFYA | What an absolute architectural beauty! This mega-structure was built in AD 532 and was completed in 537. On 558, the dome of the church – the biggest dome in the word to date – collapsed due to a December 557 earthquake, and though a new dome was quickly rebuilt, historical records tell us that it was not identical to the original. The BASILICA CISTERN (right), also known as the "Sunken Palace" or "Yerebatan sarayi" in Turkish, was constructed by Justinian in 532 to supply water to the Byzantine Palace primarily.
10: GALLIPOLI | Remembering | the ANZAC | 12 April 2012
11: Lest we forget. The Gallipoli Battle was a defining moment in Australian & New Zealand history. WW1 was the first major war that Australia fought as an independent country and not as a British colony. It also spawned tales of incredible mateship and bravery.
13: Troy, Canakkale | In addition to Gallipoli, another popular site in Cannakale is the ancient Troy. Excavations have identified a sequence of nine principal stratas representing nine periods, in which houses were built, occupied and ultimately destroyed. Troy VIIa, which was destroyed by fire sometime about the 13th century BC, is probably the city of King Priam described in Homer’s Iliad. Homer immortalized Troy in the stories of King Priam, Hector, Paris and the beautiful Helen. A symbolic wooden Trojan horse commemorates the legendary war.
14: Ephesus | TURKEY
15: THE RUINS OF EPHESUS (1st century BC) is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and one of the Seven Churches of Asia in the book of Revelation.
17: PAMUKKALE & HIERAPOLIS Running from springs of a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamuk-kale (Cotton Palace) an extraordinary landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century BC the kings of Pergamon established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments are still visible in the site!
18: We visited various offices where we received some briefings in relation to some of Turkey's most pressing issues such as: its accession to the EU, women's rights, religion, economy, media, education, and the refugee situation. I must say though that my favourite was the visit to the UNHCR. It was not only highly relevant to my degree, but it also appealed to, and challenged my own personal views about war, about people, about opportunities (or lack thereof). It also served as a glimpse of where I may be able to apply my skills and knowledge to contribute to society. | The sessions
20: FETHIYE is a city and district of Mugla Province in the Aegean region of Turkey. The 2 short days that we spent there was probably the most relaxing and refreshing thing I have done in months. We went around the Boar Islands and stayed in a peaceful gulf with stunning blue waters. We also hiked in two of the islands around the place under a perfectly sunny condition – what an absolute pleasure!
24: Farewell Turkey... until next time....