Thoughts on Ancient Istanbul
Crossing the Bosphorus from Asia into Europe,
aboard the aged creaking wooden ferryboat
The magnificent sights of Istanbuls Old City ease into view.
Recalling centuries of colorful history at the crossroads of two continents...
Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the glowing pink dome of Hagia Sophia,
the Hippodrome sports arena, the Golden Horn and the ancient decaying walls
of a great and mystical city known for more than 1000 years as Constantinople.
Once the heart of the grand Byzantium and Ottoman Empires,
the seat of all learning and culture in the ancient world,
Istanbul is today the fast-growing capital of a swiftly modernizing Turkey.
But no amount of new construction and development will ever outshine
the imperial monuments of Ancient Istanbul, which stand as rich reminders
of an historic meeting place of peoples and cultures.
from the poem Destan Önü by Fazil Hüsnü Daglarca:
Ancient Istanbul, as old as the soul,
Defies man's age and recall.
Ancient Istanbul, beyond the reach of memory,
Should be savored gently, without hurry.
Ancient Istanbul, truly old
Where history remains untold.
Ancient Istanbul, a voice
Both remote and close.
Ancient Istanbul, serene and bygone,
Where life frantically dashes on.