Istanbul, February 28–March 2, 2008
On Friday, February 29, I had my doçentlik (associate professorship) examination, by a committee of five, in Istanbul, at Doğuş University, on the Anatolian side, opposite a Christian cemetery.
Afterwards, Ayşe and I walked back to our hotel on the seaside and caught a ferry, in order to attend a seminar at Bilgi University. Then we went with Ali and Özlem to one of the restaurants underneath the Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn.
On Saturday, Ayşe and I tried to follow the tour by Byzantine remains suggested in the book Walking Thru Byzantium: Great Palace Region, which we had picked up in Homer Kitabevi during our last visit to Istanbul.
The masonry column was once sheathed in bronze; this was apparently melted down by the Crusaders.
The rounded end of the Hippodrome.
Sergius and Bacchus
Today the Küçük Ayasofya (Little Hagia Sophia) mosque; it slightly predates the big Ayasofya. When I was inside, the caretaker gestured to a donation box, assuming I wouldn't understand his Turkish. I explained to him in Turkish that I lived in this country, where my taxes were already used to support mosques. He suggested that I would get extra merit by making an extra donation, but I declined.
Note the dogs in the window frames.
By now it was lunchtime, and we went to meet Fatma.
After eating and looking around the jam-packed bazaars for a special kind of Chinese tea (which we couldn't find), we did find the Binbirdirek (1001 Columns) cistern, the end of the official tour. Some models of the old Byzantine building are on display inside. There is also a bar.
The next-to-last official feature of the tour was nearby. There is not much left of this palace, as seems to be the case as well for the sites on the tour that we didn't get around to seeing. These will have to wait for another visit.
Compare with those in Antioch; the mosaics in the Istanbul museum are a lot different, in not featuring deities for example.
We wandered behind the Ayasofya and past the Topkapı palace before meeting more friends over in Beyoğlu for dinner.
Next morning, across the Bosphorus in Kadıköy, a rally was planned in general protest of the government. So the bus terminal outside our hotel window became emptier and emptier, as police cleared the area of vehicles.
Unfortunately I had an infection that manifested itself first as diarrhea. We managed to take the bus home to Ankara somehow, though I suffered for a few days more.