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The Istanbulli Old Quarter, and back stateside July 20, 2010

Posted by Jaydeep Srimani in Travel Log.
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Now that everything’s settled back in the ATL, I’ll try to summarize as much as I can the week I spent in Turkey. Istanbul was absolutely epic, and if anyone’s looking for a travel recommendation, look no further!

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So, after a few days of lectures and presentations, we spent Thursday evening at an open air Turkish opera house. Istanbul was named the European Cultural Capital for 2010, and the opera was a great start to getting to know the modern cultural side of the city. We saw a fantastic rendition of Gioachino Rossini’s “Maometo II”, known in Turkey as “Fatih Sultan Mehmet” or “Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror”. As you might guess, the story revolves around the Ottoman invasion of Byzantium. Taking place after the fall of the city, the opera is a bit of a tragic love story between the erstwhile princess of Negroponte in South Turkey and the new Sultan Mehmet II. The singing was of course in Italian, and since the only subtitles were in Turkish, this was about the extent of my initial understanding. But the costumes and stagecraft were very colorful and entertaining, and it was a great way to see more of not just the city, but the Bosphoros as well. (more…)

Salaam Turkiye! June 29, 2010

Posted by Jaydeep Srimani in Travel Log.
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So tomorrow I set out for a week in Istanbul, Turkey. I’ll be attending an NSF Workshop on Biocomputing and Biocomplexity, and trying to soak up as much of the city as I can in my free time!

So, before I actually step foot in the country, a little background. Turkey has historically been the joining point between Europe and Asia, and Istanbul is literally a member of both continents. The two portions of the city are separated by the Turkish Straits, most notably the Bosphorus. But it’s only 3700 feet wide, so the city seems to be very much one unit. I’ll be on the Asian side, flying into Ataturk airport in South Istanbul and then taking a bus northward to Bogazici Universitesi in the Kilyos district on the Black Sea

Flying into Ataturk on the Sea of Marmara, bussing it to Kilyos on the Black Sea

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