There is a lot to show and tell in regard to the remarkable land we today call Turkey (which actually should be properly pronounced as a three syllable word, Turk-i-ye) and it’s going to take many, many posts to cover all the fertile ground of Turkey, and they will run surely right into 2023. Furthermore, I’ll be combining insights from the two separate times I spent in Turkey last summer, once in late May, and a second time in late July. Frankly, there is more to see in Turkey of relevance to NT study and its original contexts than in any other of the lands of the Bible, with the possible exception of Israel, and in fact if we are talking about the rise and progress of early Christianity, Turkey is by far the most important land of OT and ANE and NT and Greco-Roman sites to closely examine. This is why I’ve spent so much time in that country over the last 25 years.
Let’s start with a ride on the Bosphorus. Istanbul (aka Constantinople aka Byzantium) is a city of 18 million, much bigger than any American city, and it stretches across parts of two continents– Europe and Asia, the only major city in the world to do that.
There are various sorts of boats to ride on the Bosphorus, for instance…this is a ferryboat
This however is a tourist boat like we rode in…
The Bosphorus strait connects the Black Sea to the sea of Marmara which in turn connects to the Aegean Sea, and so is a major thoroughfare for tanker ships. There is much to see along the shore….
For example there are the homes of the uber-wealthy.
There are also the walls and towers to protect the city from invaders, originally from the Osmanli (i.e. the Ottomans) and later from those who would attack the Ottoman empire.
Here’s a military academy on the waterfront
Here is an uber expensive hotel on the waterfront, used for weddings and special events.
Here is the bridge from the European to the Asian side of the city..
Here is an ornate mosque right on the water… near the bridge…
And you can get a glimpse of some of the landmarks in the city while riding on the Bosphorus… like the famous Galata tower….