Students of Istanbul

Fort Wayne Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 14 › view all entries
I am learning a great deal about Istanbul, down to th club scene, finer musicians, the best soccer clubs and why Raki is so potent...and the politics surrounding it.  A dear friend and I are flying to Istanbul in October and we are both given to making every minute count, in a laid back way.  Each Wednesay we meet over a good wine at alternating houses to discuss our newest bit of research on the city that has been the capital of three great empires an could be considered a city of increasing importance in an era of rising Islam confronting western pressures.  Istanbul is on the fault line and the culture seems the amalgam of every invader who has passed that way and decided to stay.  No one who has been to Istanbul with whom I have spoken has anything but praise for the city an the people.  So now the questions are Fenerbache or Besiktas, how to find Selim Sessler, where to go for the same comfort food the locals eat?  Last nigth we discussed a proposed law in Turkey to require Raki to be sold only in individual serving size containers...the rationale is that adulterated Raki has killed people, so the government wish to protect the unsuspecting.  If the bottle comes to the table opened you should refuse it.  Having been in Russia I can see the point.  The underlying question is whether the Islamic oriented government is trying to chip away at the consumption of alcohol, forbidden by the Koran, with the goal of making Turkey a dry state.  Having lived in Kentucky as a child dry-county, wet-county laws are usually observed in the breech.  So, we study the geography, the culture, the ways and means of Istanbul to prepare us for our trip and to provide excuse to meet weekly over good wine.
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photo by: jimsack