PATLICAN or as it called 'Aubergine' in England and France, 'Malanzane' in Italy and 'Bademjan' in Iran.
Even Turks use this expression that, PATLICAN is used in a wide variety of combination 40 different dishes and salads from famous 'Karniyarik' and 'Hükarbegendi' to 'Patlican tursusu'(eggplant pickle).
Turks eat PATLICAN all summer long and in the winter time PATLICAN TURSUSU. You can find at least 2 different kinds of eggplant dishes even if you are in a smallest restaurant everywhere in Turkey.
The vegetable is naturally low in calories and has no cholesterol or fat content before cooking. Eggplants contain a slightly bitter liquid. But there is a trick that this can be removed in several ways. The most common is to salt and drain the peeled, cut-up eggplant for at least 3-4 minutes, then rinse well under cool water and pat dry.
Soaking salted and drained eggplant pieces in milk keeps them from absorbing too much oil during frying.
The eggplant can be souffled, stuffed, sauteed, fried, boiled, baked, broiled -- and is excellent both hot and cold. Its flavor changes to accommodate the other ingredients with which it is cooked. Turks don't combinate eggplant together with cheese, either cook it as breaded, like Italians.
If eggplant is one of your favorite vegetable too, when you visit Turkey enjoy eating. It is available everywhere fresh and very reasonable.
SAINT SOPHIA ( Hagia Sophia ) Turks call AYASOFYA, (AH-yah so-FEE-ah)Saint Sophia is the finest and most famous example of BYZANTINE architecture in the world. It is located in heart of old Istanbul, next to the Blue Mosque in the Sultan Ahmet Square(Sultanahmet Meydani) Istanbul.
The picture above shows the actual view of ST.SOPHIA CHURCH MUSEUM (Ayasofya Muzesi) in Istanbul today. Four minarets were been added to St.Sophia(Hagia Sophia), after the Ottomans captured Constantinople at 1453. Today it is neither a Church nor a Mosque, but a museum.
Hagia Sophiawas built as a Constantinian Church by the emperor Justinian I, between A.D. 532 and 537. It's architects were Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.
It was built in five years only. On May 558, the dome of the church collapsed due to an earthquake in December 557. A new dome was quickly rebuilt.
HAGIA SOPHIA is a Greek phrase that means 'Holy Wisdom'. This ancient basilica also called SAINT SOPHIA. It is now called 'Ayasofya Muzesi' or in short 'AYASOFYA' by Turks.
After it's construction ended, Hagia Sophia served as a Church for the first nine centuries and
when Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans in May 29,1453, Sultan Mehmet II ('FATIH' SULTAN MEHMET) added the 4 minarets, a fountain (sadirvan0) and mausoleum (turbe). He converted it into a Mosque and it served as a Mosque for 5 centuries.
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Ottoman additions to Hagia Sophia include the huge wooden shields emblazoned with gilded calligraphy of Koran verses. Also addition of niche(the Mihrab) indicated the direction of Mecca.
Then in 1935, during the Turkish Republic years, the Mosque was secularized and made into a museum under MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK (founder of the Turkish Republic), it became a national museum -as it is today-.
Hagia Sophia's building dimensions are 250ft(76mt) by 235ft(72mt).
The construction contains marble-lined walls in many colors and designs. Beautiful Byzantine mosaics decorate some of the walls and vaults.
Over the center area is the great dome which rises 56mt (185ft) above the ground and is 33mt (107ft) in diameter (slightly larger than diameter of the U.S. Capitol).
The Hagia Sophia(Saint Sophia) Museum is open to the public everyday except Monday, between 9:30 am to 5 pm. The admission fee is 20.00 YTL. Telephone: 90-212-522-0989 & 522-1750
At the end of November 2006, Pope Benedict XVI visited St.Sophia. He said:
_ _ _ _ _ "I AM LEAVING HALF OF MY HEART _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ IN ISTANBUL", after releasing white doves into the air in the garden of St.Esprit Cathedral, during his last day in Turkey.
GETTING AROUND IN ISTANBUL... There are numerous private and state-owned city buses in Istanbul, however, traffic is slow, especially during rush hours. There are two tramway services on the European side. One runs from through Sultanahmet Square and on to outlying suburbs. It divides at Aksaray, where visitors should change trains to get to Esenler Otogar, the bus station. The other is a street car(tramway) which is mainly for tourists and runs the length of Istiklal Caddesi to/from Tunnel, Taksim Square. It is connected to Karakoy by the historical tunnel.
Bus and tram tickets, are approximately equivalent up to $1 US each. They are usually available near the main stops, either from a kiosk or a private seller, who adds about ~25% to the original price.
The DOLMUS service is another very practical way to move around the city. The dolmus (shared taxi) is either a large, modern mini-van or automobile, which runs a prescribed, short, circular route, such as between to/from Taksim, Besiktas. Or a smaller, rackety minibus, which does longer journeys within the city. The latter can be hailed almost anywhere and will cram as many standing passengers in as will possibly fit. Payment is in cash when boarding and costs about the same price as a bus ticket or tiny bit more.
For information on boat excursions on the Bosphorus, Princess Islands ('ADALAR') and how to get on-line tickets, etc., go to our Istanbul pages 1 and 2.
Go to ISTANBUL page 1 & page
2 or (We have lots of information for you, included where you can eat the best.
Islamic practices and beliefs... are closely adhered to in the country's customs, laws, and regulations.
Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behavior. Visitors should dress conservatively (i.e. women should cover their heads with a scarf and
also not show their arms and legs excessively).
N o t e : More information is available at WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW,BEFORE YOU GO section. Click here !
Do you know who is _ _ Nasreddin _ _ _ _ Hodja?
Nasreddin Hodja is Turkey's (and perhaps all of Islam's) best-known trickster.
Storys of his legendary wit and droll trickery are possibly based on the exploits and words of a historical imam.
Nasreddin reputedly was born in 1208 in the village near Sivrihisar. In 1237 he moved to Aksehir, in south-central Turkey, where he died in the Islamic year 683 (1284 or 1285 AD).
( read more on NASREDDIN plus, some of his tales... )
Turkish art and crafts...
Such as hand painted ceramic plates, hand honed copper, brass ware and trays, water ewers, onyx-ware and meerschaum pipes, cotton embroidered clothing, finely designed handbags... all make charming souvenirs and gifts.
ISTANBUL is one of a kind place for shopping. Leather and suede goods, jewelry are excellent and relatively inexpensive.