Cadogan's authors confidently explore the best-kept secrets of this ancient land, from renowned biblical sites to exquisitely tiled mosques, from lively Istanbul to the unearthly landscapes and silent lakes of the little-known east.
Hand-picked and unusual places to stay and eat, easy-to-use maps, clear layout and intelligent cultural background combine with discerning advice on everything from baths and buses to bazaars and bargaining.
Insights into Byzantine civilization alternate with tales of Islamic splendor, tea etiquette and Trojan treasures to make a guide that is as entertaining as it is practical.
Excerpt: Birds in a Gilded Cage
Harems are good business, as the Turkish Culture Minister knows; not only do they make a fair amount of the money needed for the Topkapi Palace’s upkeep from the harem tours, but nearly every summer, as part of the Istanbul Festival, they put on a production of Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail in the harem courtyard. Tickets sell out fast. Harem is really an Arabic word; the Turks call this place the Darissade (and, as you may have guessed, seraglio is a corruption of the Turkish saray, or palace). It isn’t a barbarous oriental innovation; Turks and Arabs both learned the joys of confining women from the Greeks, who from their beginnings right up to the end of Byzantium were possibly the champion male chauvinists of all time.
Ottoman sultans led normal private lives up to the time of Yildirim Beyazit. ...click here to read the rest
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org