Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

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Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby Saz » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:25 am

Went to Turkeystan last week. Did Istanbul and Gallipoli peninsula.

Istanbul is actually a very nice city, basically a cross of European and Asian as you would expect. It’s like a nice Mediterranean European city, combined with the scale of an Asian city. There is a old historic center right on the bosphorus, but on the European and Asian side the suburbs are basically huge apartment blocks as far as the eye can see. Very much reminded me of Hong Kong (with an old westernized core and then huge tower blocks in Kowloon).

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Went to Suleyman Square, very nice. This is where the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace are. It’s crazy how old the city is, it really is a second Rome. The architecture is wonderful, mosques are much more aesthetically pleasing than the shit the gulf arabs build. Lost of security everywhere for obvious reasons, apparently there was a bombing here in Jan.

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Hagia Sofia was really interesting. Turns out when the Muslims took over they really couldn't destroy the murals of Jesus because they also believe in Jesus. So they covered them all and when it was covered into a museum the artwork was rediscovered. Overall the Turkish are def chill Muslims, not like their insane Arab neighbors. Easy to get a beer everywhere, tons of sexy women walking around … generally none of the f**k you encounter in other Muslim countries.

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Ataturk is everywhere, as was Erdogan. I was there during the referendum and the whole city was full of Evet (YES) banners. Talks to tons of people and even Erdogan supports are not crazy, they don’t want sharia or any of that nonsense. Chilled with some military bros one night, all were very secular and I actually think the military instills it in them because one friend of these bros bailed on his army service because he was religious. In general, while I think Ataturk is one of the greatest statements of the 20th century, it may have been a mistake to abolish the caliphate. The world would have been infinitely better of if the Turks still ran the muslim world instead of the f**k Saudi’s.

Went to Gallipoli on Easter, about 4 hours outside of Istanbul. Countryside was beautiful but saw a horrible motocycle on the road. Traffic police just showed up but you could see the dead biker on the road and apparently there was a girl on the back who literally exploded, organs on the road and everything. I was going to rubberneck and take pics but didn’t seem right once I figured out what happened.

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Gallipoli was awesome. Again, Turks were super chill about it, cemeteries everywhere for ANZAC bros. Hamilton was a f**k idiot though, looking at the geography you could not have picked a worse place for a landing. It’s an open beach and then steep cliffs. Apparently the Kiwis took the highest hill at one point and still have a monument (higher than Ataturks) on the hill. Nice mural though with some great ataturk quotes. To paraphrase, he told his troops im not asking you to fight im asking you to die. Told the relatives of dead aussie/kiwis that their loved ones are children of Turkey now and will be taken care of as such. Very nice.

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Guide was super cool as well. Another former military bro but he actually dropped some real knowledge on Turkish foreign relations, the referendum etc. Turkey basically does not get along with any of its neighbors, but to be fair they have really shitty ones. He was telling us how his mom is pious and votes AKP but really she just wants the daughter to be able to participate in public life while covering hair. Turkey is institutionally more secular than any western country except France, so most people just want to relax that a bit and aren’t pro isis or lunatic islamists. Erdogan has done a lot though, every road in the country was excellent and seemed brand new (because it was). Tons of construction as well. Went to AKP headquarters night of referendum. Huge celebrations but I didn't really talk to anyone or take pictures because i don't want to attract attention in a mob. Turkey has to be one of the most proud nations I have ever seen. Flag waving is on an American scale.

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Overall I really enjoyed it, very glad I went. I would encourage you all to visit, the lira is a terrible currency so everything is cheap. I went in large part because who knows what will happen in the future, better go now in case things don’t get better.
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby John Galt » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:37 am

looks like a great trip. i haven't had turkish food in a few months, maybe i should get some. speaking of which, you failed to speak of the food.

i honestly have a tshirt that has the palaiologos dynasty coat of arms on it though so i don't know if i can set foot in that city if its not called by its true name

also while Hamilton was most certainly an idiot, the blame of Gallipoli lies with Churchill. the plan was for a naval strike to divert ottoman attention back home. this was Churchill's plan: as secretary of the admiralty he wanted to feel needed during the first world war, and had all these spare old battleships laying about not doing anything. it would then be supported by a land invasion. it instead turned into a failed naval strike that needed an army to clear artillery so the navy could clear mines so the naval strike could go ahead.... instead of the navy blockading constantinople allowing for the troops to easily move across either edirne or hudavendigar without much opposition as the turks would be trapped on one side or another, it turned into all those boys just dying in the sand for nothing. way to go, winston
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby exploited » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:43 am

f**k the Turks. I hope they are nuked, overrun by Islamists or swallowed by the Mediterranean.
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby Saz » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:51 am

Food was great. We have a lot of turkish food here to so it really wasn't a highlight, but yea I ate well. Had this dish that they cook in a clay pot and then break the pot when it's done. All the food was also super fresh, turkey has good agriculture. Weird thing on the name, all the turks inisted on calling it Eastern Roman Empire instead of Byzantium. Guess the name comes from Greek so they try to avoid.

Yes, they told us about the initial attack on Istanbul. Churchill wanted to sail the fleet right up the dardanells and to Istanbul. Apparently the ottomans were completely f**k at this point and ONE BOAT went out in the middle of the night to lay mines, and this sunk 3 allies ships in quick succession and they turned back. I'm not sure I would blame winston though as the error seems to be tactical rather than strategic. First of all, the brits landed right at the tip of the peninsula, which makes no sense as it cuts off no one and leaves them with the task of marching north across the peninsula. ANZAC's tried a landing further north, and in fact missed their landing zone. This is why I blame hamilton. We stopped at the beach where the landing should have taken place a few miles south...flat, no hills, you could wade ashore and move right across the peninsula to the dardanells quickly. Instead they landed at obviously the wrong place, there are huge cliffs surrounding the entire beach. Hamilton must have seen this and nevertheless pressed ahead. They should also hjave landed much further north. It's a f**k peninsula, land at the top and you cut off everyone south of you...i would think this is obvious but the brits were clueless. It's also crazy how nuts people were back in the day. You would see gravestones for an 18 year old kid from Adilade killed in battle. The stone would read "Thank god he died for his king and empire!" or "There is no death in glory" etc.


I also forgot to mention at Topkapi palace they have a collection of old religious artifacts collected by the ottomans. They had swords from Muhammad and abu bakr, staff from Moses, a pot abraham apparently used, the bones of john the baptist, robes of muhammeds wife etc. Couldn't take pictures inside but it was pretty cool. They was a huge Saudi tour group going apeshit inside, praying to the artifacts and stuff clogging the line. Half the palace is now a military base though because it overlooks the entrance to the Bosporus.
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby Saz » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:57 am

exploited wrote:f**k the Turks. I hope they are nuked, overrun by Islamists or swallowed by the Mediterranean.


Nah, they are good people. Having traveled quite a bit I can say Turkey, Morocco and kind of UAE are not Muslim shitholes like most of the ME. Went out in Taksim square and there were sexy turkish girls in short shorts drinking whiskey. They are very harsh though, like russian chicks, you really have to boss them around and even half the time that will blow up in your face. Young people all speak decent english. Turkish is weird...sounds like arabic but the latin script gives it a twist. Languages are not that similar though, turks can't understand arabic and vis versa, but are smiilar (ie the world for hello is basically the same). I would make a comparison to enlgish and dutch but I don't speak Arabic or Turkish so who knows.

Anyway good people. Some bar tried to scam me but there were other russian bros in the bar also and we weren't having that shit and they left us alone pretty much after that.
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby John Galt » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:13 am

Byzantium was a name historians gave it. the byzantines themselves referred to their empire as The Roman Empire the entire time. the Byzantium name comes from Germans and it was the name of the city before it was christened Constantinople. both islamic world and oriental christian (so this includes modern Greeks) world saw it as the direct continuation of the roman empire so they just called them some variation of "the empire of the romans". the whole area of anatolia was the sultanate of Rum (romans) when saracen took the lands from the greeks. the word "istanbul" is derived from medieval greek that meant "to the city". "the city" to everyone was Constantinople, the glorious city of the longest lasting empire in the western world, if you continue from the roman empire (1480 years) or not (1123 years)
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby Spider » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:03 am

Pretty good photos, saz. Good composition. Just shooting with your phone?
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby Saz » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:24 am

Nah I got a DSLR, Nikon D3300 standard 18-55 mm lens. Always used to just take pics with my phone but figured i travel enough i should take real pics and save them.
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby Spider » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:28 am

Nice.
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Re: Saz Abroad - Episode 4(?): Turkey

Postby spacemonkey » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:12 pm

Pretty interesting. Glad you had a good time and got out alive.
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