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Istanbul: Where east meets west

06-28-2010 09:11 BJT

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Istanbul is known as the city where East meets West in a unique, multicultural atmosphere. Tourists from around the world flock to this historic city to experience a taste of the orient in a Western setting. So, why don't we join them?

In the old Sultanahmet district, the surrounding streets offer a romantic impression of oriental life. Carpet sellers drink Turkish tea, and the smell of donner kebab wafts down the street.

Tourists are everywhere, and so are stalls selling souvenirs, from jewelry to ceramics, textiles and carpets.

The Grand Bazaar is a shopping heaven, but also a labyrinth out of which most visitors emerge with more than they had planned to buy. Popular items to take home are these Turkish glass lights as well as scarves and spices.

Aysem Erginoglu Michaelson, German-Turkish tour guide, said, "Well they definitely are very attracted from the concept of the East is meeting the West. And this is the ideal place for where they can sort of link to the culture in a way because they know some about the past of Turkey and Turks, like in terms of Ottomans and in terms of the appetite of culture. And still it's a modern country, but they can find the oriental flair over here and they can feel this exotic atmosphere which they like a lot."

Istanbul is known as the city where East meets West in a unique, multicultural atmosphere. 
Istanbul is known as the city where East meets West in a unique, multicultural 
atmosphere. 

But why spend all day in the dark mazes of the bazaars when the sun is shining outside?

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