Thursday, June 21, 2007

LIVE Blogging - More Istanbul photos

There are cats in Turkey too, naturally.

One of the restaurants where we had dinner in Istanbul had a small Whirling Dervish show each evening. Apparently there are few if any actual practicing Dervishes today but it is still considered a Muslim dance. The men who perform for the tourists do respect the form and solemnity of the original dance even though they are not doing it as religious experience. It's very peaceful to watch.

The Dervish show was at one end of the outdoor café and by turning in the other direction we could check on the progress of the sunset behind the Blue Mosque. (This particular dome is outside the main building of the Mosque, but clearly part of the same complex.)

The next day we went inside the Blue Mosque and Lisa discovered a way of using the camera to get great pictures without flash even in relatively low light; for example, the ceiling of the Mosque, which is too high for the flash to reach. Her technique involved setting the self-timer and then either propping the camera against something stable or simply placing it flat on the floor, as she did for the picture below.

The Blue Mosque is a sacred site and is still in daily use. Many Muslims who live close enough attend the five daily prayers at the Mosque, and many travel from far away in order to have an opportunity to pray there, if only once.

Tourists are permitted to enter except during the actual prayer times. Appropriate attire is required (and explained on signs outside the door), and simple sheet-like robes are available for anyone who would like to enter but is not appropriately dressed. Shoes must be removed, and plastic bags are provided for those who would like to carry them in rather than leaving them at the door. Voluntary donations are accepted at the exit, and receipts are provided.

In addition to marveling at the photo, I would ask that you consider how Lisa took it and then think about some of the possible reactions that might occur if an apparently Muslim individual were to enter a Christian high holy place (or significant historical site), press some buttons on his or her "camera," set it on the floor in the middle of the room and step away while it lays there flashing its little red light.

Same technique later that day at the Hagia Sofia, which was the most important church in Christendom in its day. When the area was conquered by Muslims they added minarets and converted it to a mosque. They needed to remove the Christian symbols, but rather than destroying them they simply painted over them. Today the building is preserved as a museum and you can see parts of both types of decorations, with restoration work still going on.
And that's enough for now. I'm getting better at these Turkish keyboards but they still require a lot of concentration. The only letter that is in a different place is the lower case "i," but almost every single piece of punctuation is somewhere other than where I expect it to be. And on this particular keyboard the Page Up/Page Down/Home/End/Delete and Insert keys are also rearranged. What's a touch typist to do?

5 comments:

Scott June 21, 2007 10:09 AM  

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sandy June 21, 2007 12:32 PM  

where was this one green eye, one blue eyed cat when you took it's picture? Looks like it's made itself at home in your room? And is that fabric it's laying on? Have you quilting ladies bought any fabric on this trip? Lisa, GREAT job with the ceiling pictures! You know your stuff, lucky for us!

Jennifer June 21, 2007 12:48 PM  

It's lying on some t-shirts outside a stall in the Grand Bazaar. It's actually one in a small series of "Cats lying on stuff outside of stores."

I did go into a couple of fabric stalls at the Bazaar but they were all fancy synthetics - there were like 10 cotton fabrics, not pretty and too thin to be very good for quilting, so all my textile purchases have been in the form of products, not materials.

Saturn July 04, 2007 1:43 PM  

I wish if i can share and invite you to view 3D Models of Blue Mosque here.

Jay

Saturn July 04, 2007 1:43 PM  

I wish if i can share and invite you to view 3D Models of Blue Mosque here.

Jay

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