An embarrassment of riches
In the past few months, I have taken a few walking tours organized by the American Research Institute of Turkey. Yesterday's tour was of the Upper Golden Horn from Fener to Ayvansaray with archeologist Dr. Ferudun Özgümü?.
The weather was stunning, Dr. Özgümü? informative and charming as always, and the area is so historically rich as to make one's head spin. Choosing a single photo to blip became a real challenge. Shall I pick the Pepto Bismol pink interior of the 17th century Armenian Church, or the stolen saint's bones that the Pope returned to Istanbul in 2004 - except that they couldn't possibly ever have belonged to that saint because he died in Antalia and is buried there? Maybe I should choose the interior of the enormous 19th century Greek school which at its peak educated 100 students and now schools only 60, or the mosque built from a 12th century Catholic church.
In the end, for me it's always the people. This little cutie won by a nose over my other favourite. The ingenious playpen, her stroking of the dead plant beside her, and those beautiful eyes were irresistible.
The runner up? The American Consul General's two Turkish bodyguards. They looked just like bodyguards should - ear pieces, dark glasses, good black sports jackets, grey flannels. But Turkish men are very affectionate to one another, so for much of the time, they walked along arm in arm. I sneaked behind them and took a shot. You wouldn't see that in Washington!