Istanbul, city of contrasts. Once mighty Constantinople, with a series of empires and occupiers, renamed in 1930. A heady mix of peoples and ideas, bridging East and West, the city has blended many cultures into one uniquely its own.
Evocative of earlier eras, Istanbul’s Galata area with its famous tower, also called Pera, was first populated by Greek farmers, then traders as a hub for the Silk Road, notably, the Venetians and Genoese (11th & 12th centuries), then Ottoman — and most of the city’s Jewish community. To this day the neighborhood continues to encapsulate Istanbul’s rich multicultural heritage and broad exchange of ideas.
[We will be returning to Turkey in a later post.]