ANCIENT & MODERN TURKEY
Join host Arica Hilton on a magical journey to the ancient yet modern civilization of Turkey.
Our adventure begins in Istanbul, where we will visit the homes & studios of artists, architects and poets. We will tour artist studios, galleries, museums and archaeological sites and dive from one gastronomic delight to another.
Our local guides will be architects, artists and poets along with professors of art history & literature. Artists will open their homes and studios, workshops and kitchens for a dining and aesthetic experience unparalleled in travel.
The cuisine of Turkey is one of filled with vegetables, fish, olive oil, lemon and fruits. In Istanbul, you will be able to taste traditional dishes from the various regions of the country to the latest new restaurants that are the rage of Europe!
Our first stop will be CAMHANE (GLASS HOUSE), the ancient Byzantine gallery & workshop of artist Yasemin Aslan Bakiri. situated 500 feet from the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus with two rivers draining into it. It is considered to be the world’s largest natural harbor and separates the European shore of Istanbul into two. The two 1000-year-old Byzantine structures were excavated by the Istanbul Municipality in 2005 to create one of the most authentic art spaces in Istanbul.
We will also visit the GLASS FURNACE, where in the spring of 2012, Lino Tagliapietra participated in glass blowing demonstrations to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the international non-profit glass school in Istanbul. Artist Meral Deger will take us on tour of the studio where she creates her award winning glassworks that were exhibited at the Venice Biennale.
One of our evenings, we will participate in an art walk of some of the most modern art galleries in Istanbul.
Of course, no one can go to Istanbul without taking a day to visit the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the world's oldest and largest shopping mall, the GRAND BAZAAR.
Shopping in Nisantasi, the most fashionable shopping district and affluent, secular residential area will be de rigeur on this journey. This quarter forms the background to several novels by Nobel Laureate Turkish novelist, Orhan Pamuk, who is a local resident. Afterwards, we will take a ferry on the Bosphorus take in the views of both Europe and Asia simultaneously.
Once we have dined on exquisite cuisine, filled our senses with art and made everlasting friendships with the artists, we will go on a BLUE VOYAGE on the Aegean & Mediterranean waters (known as the Turquoise Coast) on a "gulet" a traditional 2 or 3 mast wooden sailing vessel.
The Blue Voyage, or Blue Cruise, as it is sometimes called, will revive, refresh and relax. The Turkish Riviera (Turquoise Coast) is a term used to define an area of southwest Turkey encompassing the provinces of Antalya and Mugla, and to east toward Aydin, Southern Izmir and western Mersin. The combination of perfect climate, warm sea, and more than 1000 kilometers of shoreline, abundant natural and archaeological points of interest makes this stretch of Turkey's coastline one of the most sought after destinations in the world.
Among the archeological points of interest are two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: The ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
On our BLUE VOYAGE, we will sail to ancient cities, harbors and intimate beaches in the numerous small coves, lush forests and streams that lace the Turquoise Coast.
Pricing, Flight and Hotel information soon to come....
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISTANBUL:
Istanbul was the capital of two of the greatest empires of not only their times but also in history: Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) and Ottoman Empire.
In 324 Constantinople was the capital of the Roman Empire after Emperor Constantine moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium (Istanbul). After the final division of the Roman Empire into West and East in 395 and the ending of the Western Roman Empire in 476, Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, popularly known as the Byzantine Empire.
In year 361, Constantinople was the world's most populous city with a population of 300,000. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.
In 1453 the Turks headed by Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror conquered Byzantium. It was a turning point in European and World history. Istanbul continued to be a center of power in the world stage even after Suleyman the Magnificent's reign. The Ottoman Empire began its decline following wars with Russia in the late 18th, early 19th centuries.
In 1600, during the Ottoman period, between 400,000-700,000 people lived in Istanbul making it the world's second most populous city after Beijing. The population numbers are significant because they relate to power and wealth concentrations of those times.
In 1923, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, abolished the Ottoman Caliphate. Besides being a military genius and a charismatic leader, he instituted comprehensive reforms including the institution of the Swiss Legal Code as a substitute for the Canonical Law (religious law-Seriat Kanunu.) He believed it was essential for the Republic of Turkey to be westernized in order to progress towards the level of contemporary civilizations and to be an active member of culturally developed communities.
On a side note, Ataturk adopted a 12 year old girl named Sabiha Gokcen who became the world's first female fighter pilot, and the first Turkish female combat pilot at age 23. She was one of eight children adopted by Ataturk. An airport is named after her. Moreover, women received the right to vote in 1934. It took the French another ten years and the Italians another twelve years before they allowed women to vote.
The Turkish art market has been progressively blossoming into a global market. The local art scene has experienced a boom in new art institutions since 2004, from galleries, artist-run spaces, privately funded museums and art centers, to art fairs and auctions. Compared to art markets in the Middle-East and India - the Turkish art market is more developed, with a solid infrastructure to support the growing art scene. With Istanbul being named the European Capital of Culture in 2010, further art infrastructure support and investment has blossomed. In 2009, London Sotheby's had it first ever auction of Turkish Modern Art. The following year, the sales doubled. Modern Turkish art is in high demand, in Turkey and internationally, but Turks also have a global perspective and are collecting artists from abroad. Turkey's transformation is not only economic, but also cultural, especially since the launch of the Istanbul Biennal Contemporary Art in 1987.
Turkey has become one of the most sought after travel destinations for it's breathtaking landscapes, perfect climate, archaeological treasures, overwhelming hospitality and culinary delights. As the saying goes, you come to Turkey a traveler and leave as a friend....
“My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will, every man can follow his own conscience provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow men.” ― Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
To learn more about travel in Turkey click here to read ISTANBUL ART LIFE
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT TURKEY:
1. ST. NICHOLAS, also known as Santa Claus, was born in Patara and became the bishop of Myra (what is now Demre, on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas,
2. According to Wine Spectator Magazine, mankind's long history of cultivating grapes for wine began in southeast Anatolia, located in modern-day Turkey.
3. The famous Trojan Wars took place in Western Turkey, around the site where the Trojan horse rests today.
4. The oldest church built by man (St. Peter’s Church) is in Antioch (Antakya) Turkey.
5. The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey
7000 years ago.
6. Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Bodrum) are located in Turkey.
7. Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi) in Eastern Turkey.
8. Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
9. The Dutch purchased their famous tulips bulbs from the Turks. .
10. Istanbul is the only city (and Turkey the only country) in the world spanning two continents.
11. Istanbul was chosen by the European Union as the European Capital of Culture in 2010.
12. Writing was first used by people in ancient Anatolia. The first clay tablets in the ruins of Assyrian Karum (Merchant Colony) date back to 1950 B.C.
13. The first Neolithic paintings found on man-made walls are in Catalhöyük, Turkey.
14. Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, such as Homer (the poet), King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history) and St. Paul the Apostle.
15 Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" in Turkey when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.
6. Marc Antony had a gate constructed for Cleopatra's entrance into the city of Tarsus where he summoned her to meet him in 41 B.C.
17. The first church dedicated to Virgin Mary (where she lived her final days) is in Ephesus.
18. Cherries were first introduced to Europe from Northern Turkey
19. Turkey has hundreds beaches and marinas which have the "Blue Flag" (A European award for the best clean water) on the Mediterranean and Aegean.
20. The first recorded international treaty in the world was the Treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite and Egyptian Empires, Hattusilis III and Ramses II, in c.1275 BC.
21. King Midas lived in Gordion, capital of Phrigia.
22. Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot near Ankara. The double knotting technique used in Turkish rugs is also called as Gordian Knot.
23. The Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis was said to be watered by a river which separated into four streams as it left the garden; two of them the Tigris and
Euphrates rise from the mountains of Eastern Turkey.
24. Sultan Beyazit II dispatched the Ottoman Navy to bring the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and had them brought safely to the Ottoman lands.
25. Poetry is the dominant form of literature in Turkey.