Sunday, July 31, 2011

Don't Shoot Your Servants

When we woke up this morning, we had a quick breakfast of borek, a Turkish pasty filled with meat and cheese.  Then, we attempted a long walk to a fort built on the old Roman wall, protecting the city from any land or water invasions.  The weather was hot and uncomfortable.   We trudged through a very poor part of Istanbul on the way to the seaside fortress.  This was very interesting to us, because, there were no tourists.  We saw many old run down walls and buildings along the way.
I found Yedikule Fortress quite interesting.  It was built by a ruler named Mehment the Conqueror in 1453 after he conquered the city of Constantinople changing it's name to Istanbul.  The fortress was a prison containing political prisoners.  In this very fort, Sultan Osman II was executed.  People thought he was a bad ruler.  It is said that he used his own servants as archery targets.  In the end, the sultan's own private guards, the Janissaries, dragged him across Istanbul to Yedikule.  We climbed up two towers in the fort, the prison tower and the execution tower.  In the execution tower, there was a room where the prisoners were tied to a plank and executed with arrows.  This chewed up plank can still be seen in the tower.  Viewing this made me feel sick.
 Attached to the fortress was the Roman city wall built in 412 AD.  It had three walls of defense, an outer moat, an outer wall, and an inner wall.  Today you can see the old moat, and much of the walls guarding the city.  Along the walls there are guard towers still intact!  Dad enjoyed the wall, but I was feeling enervated due to the languid weather.
After we viewed the wall, we wandered back to the old town and meet Huseyin and Dilek for dinner.  We had a nice dinner on top of a hotel near our guest house.  Then, we were dropped off at our hostel to write my blog and go to bed.  Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic! 

Please Note that as part of the email posting for China, pictures will be on a second post.

1 comment:

  1. The Blog is coming through very well.. It lacks your imagination with commingling of photos and text but it is coming through..
    Thanks for reminding me of Istanbul and some of the history of that part of the offense but I prefer the swim suits in South Africa..

    I try to learn something from each of your blogs..Today I learned that if you are an 'artist' and want to sell something..Don't take your brain out of its casing; spread it out on a canvas and then scream at your potential buyers that they are cheap..
    enjoyed seeing photos of your parents!
    10 more months seems like a long time...30 years from now you will be looking back and remembering (thanks to this great blog) the quickest, most wonderful( or at least one of the) years of your life..
    travel safe