"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

>now it’s istanbul, not constantinople, why did constantinople get the works? that’s nobody’s business but the turks

>istanbul… vibrant head scarves. ancient mosques. gold leaf mosaics. bosphorus carrying secrets in the deep. harem’s and sultans. stray cats and turkish delight. bulgar wheat and hot breads. viaducts, ancient city walls. constantine. football games and funiculars. koran and arabic prayer chants echoing through the streets. suave waiters. teenage boys throwing water on me for being a woman. religions colliding in a backwards way.

watch these two videos i took of the arabic prayer chants.
http://www.youtube.com/get_player

this video is a favourite of mine:
http://www.youtube.com/get_player

in this video, i’m wandering around hagia sophia, the 1500 year old church (around 550 CE, i think) that was turned into a mosque after the 4th crusades in the 1400s, and then finally restored to it’s old churchyness in the 20th century. since depictions of people aren’t allowed in mosques, all the ancient and beautiful gold-leaf mosaics were covered up 600 years ago. they have been trying to recover them now. you can see the pigeons and the kitties love this church too:
http://www.youtube.com/get_player

some of the gold leaf in this video as you leave the church:
http://www.youtube.com/get_player

i made these next two videos for my mummy who has a degree in byzantine studies and insisted i go to hagia sophia whilst in istanbul. enjoy joanie!

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

the photos. the train from bucharest to istanbul….stopped at border control at 3am.


me and adrian on a bosphorus ferry ride. i met him on the train to istanbul and we spent 2 days exploring together….he’s from canada too!


men must wash their feet before they enter the blue mosque…


men get the entire floor of the blue mosque in which to pray.


women get a sectioned off cubby hole in the back. figures.


all the pals i met in istanbul. l-r: me, adrian from winnipeg, alex and vessy from montreal, and david from toronto. canadians rule this planet.

even old new york was once new amsterdam
why’d they change it? i can’t say
people just liked it better that way

so take me back to constantinople
now it’s istanbul, not constantinople
so if you’ve a date in constantinople
she’ll be waiting in istanbul.

hagia sophia and the gold leaf mosaics


these next few photos were taken inside the harem of the topkapi palace….it housed between 300-500 concubines, and says they were used “for the perpetuation of the dynasty of the sultans and royal family.”

what a nice way to say that the sultans liked to fuck many different young girls stolen from their families….



what they also don’t mention is that once a sultan got tired of all his concubines, he would take them out onto the bosphorus river and drown them all, replacing the harem with all new concubines.

this hallway you see above is called the golden pathway, because the sultan would condescend to throw gold coins to the concubines when he passed through this corridor.

yeah, i’m a feminist, but i’m not bitter.

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: Medusa «

  2. Pingback: Medusa «

  3. The Bosphorus is not a river and the only sultan to drown 280 harem girls was Ibrahim I the mad – he was later strangled by his own people because of his cruelty and mental condition. Just to say that it was not a common or even normal practise back then. However, I’m a feminist, too and don’t agree with harems.

    May 24, 2015 at 6:01 PM

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