a few last secrets

Istanbul wasn’t done with me yet! (pictures soon) I was going to just drift through the morning at Cemberlitas, return to the hostel for packing and a leisurely farewell before my mid-afternoon departure to the airport. Instead…
Yasar approached me on the street in Sultanahmet; he had noticed my Crossroads conference shoulder bag from Bilge University. He works at Istanbul University and asks if I’d like to see campus. I love these Turks who have such an ability to make spontaneous plans!
“It is the last day, the last minute! You must do good!”
Did we ever! He toured me through the cemetary of family members of the last two Sultans, Abdul Hamid and Mehmet IV (?), the Grand Bazaar, and the grounds of the University (which are closed to the public; Yasar did some fast talking to convince the guards to allow me entry). He explained to me that Nuri Osmaniye is the first mosque built in the baroque style (who knew that even the mosques have different architectural styles?), that of the three towers still standing in Istanbul the one on Istanbul University’s campus, Turen Bayazi (sp?), was for public safety as a fire lookout. He showed me Ibrahim Pasha’s famous cemetary with the five names and the best view of the Bosphorus from the back side of Suleymaniye. Most special, however, was a deeply hidden tea garden.
I will be back for sure. ­čÖé

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