Yasar and David …off again!

David got caught up in his Sudoku at Starbucks this morning and was a little late but Yasar was there waiting. The plan was the Sultan’s Palace then to get some Tea for David’s ongoing sore throat and stuffed up sinuses.

Excuse me, do I know you?

Entrance to the Palace

View from the terrace

Marching band

He needed to call Orhan too to see about meeting him the next day but had thrown out the number that he wrote on his Suduko puzzle.  The Palace was impressive and reminded him of Alhambra in Spain.  It was a city within the city surrounded by walls.  The kitchens alone had huge two story ovens and cooked for 20000 a Day!  There are no more Sultans left…only their Jewels, Thrones, Palaces, Gardens, etc.

David in the Hajia Sophia
Hajia Sophia

We walked to the Spice Market and stopped for Tea on the way.  I invited Yasar to return there after the Spice market and have lunch with me.  Yasar took me to the Rustem Pasa Camii Mosque and presented me with a Quran in English.   Hmmm, I haven’t even read the Bible and have Dracula (Devil in Romanian) , the second most read book in the world on my list. I am almost done the Dublin a Rare Old City and bought a Turkish Nobel Prize Winning author to read.   I’m sure I’ll find time to browse the Quran.

 We went on to get a Mix of different spiced Teas for my cold, stopped to get a replacement hook for the one on my bag that broke then returned for lunch. Yasar accompanied me back to the hotel by Trolley and I bid him goodbye when he inquired about his  pay for the day?  I thought it was understood I paid him in full yesterday for the whole tour.  He said no it was 85 Lira a day.  I said yes…two mornings…half days make one full day but that isn’t how he understood my offer the day before so I paid him again.  It still wasn’t a bad deal but I should have made it clear or went with the original plan and done the whole tour in one day.  Live and learn?

Then I went to the tour agent next to the hotel and booked an early morning bus to Varna Bulgaria for Thursday and paid twice the price for that convenience.  The bonus was that it was a first class bus and the others left at 10:30 at night.

Tonight people with set up tents, and make shift huts and places to eat when the sun goes down.  This will be the completion of the first day of fasting and everyone gets together to share their food.  People buy exotic and special foods to celebrate Ramadan and make spaces outside their homes for everyone to join each other in feasting.  There is music concerts outside and inside of the Mosques also. Over 98% of the 75 Million people in Turkey are Sunni Muslims.   12 Million live in Istanbul that increases to 14 Million during tourist season in the summer. 
The commander of Turkey’s armed forces, as well as the chiefs of its army, navy, and air force, resigned in protest following the arrest of about 250 officers on charges of conspiring against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is developing a new
constitution to improve Turkish democracy.  Another thing was to restrict Internet access and content throughout the country???  Why…to protect the children. He closed down You Tube and I think over 3700 other web sites.  The reason that so many resigned is because he arrested their fellow officers without cause…only suspicion and was not allowing them due process.  He has aligned himself with the Head of Libya, Syria, Iran, and broke off ties with Israel.  Turkey is a powerful country and a power keg along with Russia.  What is going on in Syria is so far being sanctioned by the world and allowed to continue. We are in for a major crisis not only with the economy but with the world.  It will effect all of us and is doing that now. Turkey also has major problems with domestic violence. Liberal Muslims allow some rights for their women.., another big plus is Starbucks and McDonald’s hire them…you don’t see women at Mohammed Kebab . Strict Muslims say the women’s place is at home taking care of the children and their men! If a complaint about domestic violence is lodged against a Muslim man with 5 wives, it’s the job of a Muslim Policeman or investigator with 5 wives to bring charges and a Muslim Judge with 5 wives to oversee the case?

I found Orhan’s number and had the front desk call him for me.  He had hoped I would stay over at his place at least one night but I explained about the hotel that I was paid in advance.  We agreed to meet at 9:30 the next morning at my hotel.  He said dress to ride on the back of my 1200 BMW Motorcycle.  He travels with it quite a bit.  He also collects vintage Motorbikes and has 8 of them…2 are WWII German Nazi Motorcycles…he also has a vintage Jag Convertible and is a professional Electronic Engineer.  He is a bit of an artist, photographer, who enjoys jazz,skiing, Scuba, and travel to include Argentina to dance the Tango…another of his joys.

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