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art and travel journal from a round-the-world art adventure


TURKEY | Saturday, 18 April 2009 | Views [549] | Comments [1]

There was a rally at the Blue Mosque Istanbul yesterday. It was political – commemorating the death of former Prime Minister Turgut Özal, who died in office in 1993 - with crowds of people, television cameras, stages, and huge, truck mounted screens to broadcast to the assembled crowd.

But it was also people gathering to sit in the sun. The organisers were handing out bottled water and Turkish delight with the image of  Özal printed on the side. I took some with me, courtesy of the Turgut Özal Association for Thoughts and Action. It was much enjoyed, later, sitting at a bus stop in the Plaça Maria Christina.

It is spring here, and the tulips are everywhere in bloom. The parks between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, the two buildings that dominate the skyline of the Sultanahmet district, are full of the sensual flowers that are so prevalent in the art of Turkey, Iran and the Subcontinent. Tourist and locals step over the low white fences to be photographed among their bright colours and green foliage.

Of course the rally put paid to plans to visit the mosque that morning. One of the things the television screens showed was the large crowd gathered inside the mosque.

So I sat in the garden and enjoyed the sunshine before returning to my hotel to begin the journey to Spain, and the next part of this adventure – a one month studio residency at Can Serrat in El Bruc, a 45 minutes drive from Barcelona, and set among the hills and mountains of the Monserrat National Park.



My name is Al from Delhi India. I am thinking of traveling from India to Pakistan then Iran, Turkey and all around Europe.
I just read your blog and it was really great and informative, but I would really appreciate if you could help me by answering my questions.
1. How did you see Iran in terms of development , beauty, culture and economy? How do you compare that with turkey? Which one is more developed?

2. how safe is it for Travelers?
I am looking forward to hearing form you.
With many thanks,

  Al jafer Aug 22, 2010 10:25 PM

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