It is in those vivid colored Mosaic & Ottoman Lamps in the Turkish Booth at India - International Trade Fair Delhi that I fell in love with them almost instantly. The warm smile of the vendors filled my heart with hope for me wanting to see visit and connect with Turkey someday. I was also gifted an evil eye Nazar boncuğu “I think you like it” said he, “and you may just have it. It brings good luck and protects from all bad things. Good Luck to you lady”. I have had always heard by then, that Turkey is a land of architecture.
Delhi where I was based out of then, also boasts of historical monuments and ancient architecture. Looking at these architecture ‘I sometimes wonder where the inspiration came from.’ Was Delhi repeatedly invaded or ruled by Dynasties that bought the skilled workers to action. Until recently, I was unaware that Delhi has architectural connection to Turkey. It was pointed out by a friend who spent six month across hotels in Delhi. Five Dynasties have ruled over Delhi Sultanate, the first four where of Turkic Origin - Mamluk dynasty, the Khilji dynasty, the Tughlaq dynasty and the Sayyid Dynasty. The Alai Gate and Qutub Minar were built during the Mamluk and Khalji dynasty of Delhi Sultanate. The Delhi Sultanate reached its peak in terms of geographical reach, during the Tughlaq dynasty, covering most of Indian subcontinent. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq ruled for five years and launched a town near Delhi named Tughlaqabad. Looks like we have a connection.
Turkey has two main airports - Sabiha and Ataturk. When traveling to Turkey, I would always advice on taking flights that lands at Ataturk as the connectivity to the city is better and also takes less time (its closer to the city) and Turkish Airlines being the national carrier of Turkey lands at Ataturk.
Turkey is an epitome of stunning-ness. There are 83000 mosque in Turkey. Not only that, every place that I went to was grand and stories that came out of it where etched in stone. Our first stop was Hippodrome Square. Between Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are remnants of Turkey’s past in the form of ancient Obelisks. Blue mosque is one of the mosque by Ottoman Empire. There are 24000 handmade ceramic tiles in mosque of size (20*20). As every mosque, we see a lot of Arabic Calligraphy on the walls. As you would venture out of Istanbul to Gallipoli World War II sites, you would hear many stories of survival and struggle by soldiers one of which is carrying wounded soldiers on a donkey of an Indian soldier.
Flower Teas at Istiklal Street
Turkey is a heaven for food lovers - both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. While we never forgot to sip endless cups of Turkish Tea at Istiklal Street, we couldn’t stop ourselves from munching on countless deserts such as Baklavas. Talking of food, if you are in Delhi and crave for Turkish Food, Kunafa in Lodi Road has Great Baklavas and Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee (Turkish: Türk kahvesi) is a method of preparing unfiltered coffee. Roasted and then finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a pot (cezve), usually with sugar, and served in a cup where the grounds are allowed to settle. If you are looking for elaborate dining in Delhi, Fez Dining and bar has perfect ambience with traditional lamps and also serves Chicken Doner Kebab. So, if you have Turkey on your mind, it’s time to take the plunge and start planning your trip there!