It needs no gainsaying that Turkey is a rich land with a long history. Not only did it once form the Byzantine Empire, the most powerful and influential Christian power in the world in the few centuries after Christ, but it was also home to a number of Greek communities that produced brilliant scholars such as Herodotus, not to mention the fact that it also constituted the Troy of the Trojan War so much sung in Homer’s Iliad. Indeed, even the idea of Santa Claus, now so much part of western culture, had its origins in Turkey.
Today, Turkey is at long last seeing an Islamic revival after over 80 years of secular rule. This is a welcome development having vast implications for the larger Muslim world, as this is a nation that provided the Islamic Ummah leadership for well over 400 years. The capture of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks not only fulfilled a prophecy of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), but was also a defining moment in world history as it ushered in the Modern Age after several centuries of the mediaeval phase also known as the dark ages of Europe.What is interesting to the Muslim world is that it was this European city served as the seat of the Islamic caliphate for well over three centuries, giving political leadership to the Muslim world at a time it was very much needed. The Ottoman caliphate founded in the early 16th century by Selim I came to end in 1924 with its abolition in 1924 by Kemal Ataturk who ushered in a secular state given to western ways. Ataturk’s era came to an end with the changes ushered in by the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) which won a landslide victory in the 2002 elections.
Istanbul – Where East meets West. Istanbul is the only city in the world located at the intersection of two continents -Asia and Europe. The Ottomans while renaming the city Istanbul from its old name Constantinople preserved its ancient heritage while adding to it an Islamic identity with its towering mosques and magnificent palaces, imparting to it a mystique and aura hardly found in any other city in the modern world.
Considered to be the crown jewel and the heart of the Ottoman Empire, Topkapi Palace was the official and primary Istanbul residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465 to 1853. At the height of its existence as a royal residence, it was home to as many as 4,000 people, as well as a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments.
The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, named after the Ottoman Emperor who built it, in Istanbul, between 1609 and 1616. The cascading domes and six slender minarets of the Mosque dominate the skyline of Istanbul
Mehtar Ottoman military band. The Ottoman Military band could be the oldest and first military band in the world. It is believed to have started in the 13th century. The idea of military marching band could possibly be from this Ottoman band.
Ice Cream Seller. The man here is wearing a typical traditional Turkish costume with intricately designed vest and red cap
Pavillion of the Holy mantle in the Topkapi Museum,