Istanbul Conquest Part One
Issue 95 August 2012
“For anyone travelling within the Ottoman Empire, there would be guest houses for them to stay and eat without paying anything.”
I was feeling excited arriving at Istanbul, the historic city that stretches over two continents and has created a unique blend of Islamic and Christian cultures. There is something magical about the Bosphorus, cutting through Istanbul and creating the physical divide of two continents. Europe and Asia have clashed for centuries; the Occident and the Orient have bridged very little of their differences; religious and cultural conflicts still reign, but Istanbul stands proud as the majestic city of history and culture.
The city was vibrant; the economy was booming and people were busy making fortunes. I asked the taxi driver in my slow motion animated English how he felt about Turkey joining the EU. He scoffed at the suggestion, and I thought he was probably not representative of the majority. I was wrong, as I learnt that people from all walks of life held the same view. Why wouldn’t they feel so confident and shun us, the arrogant Europeans, who rejected their application for many years. Now that the EU economy was going down the drain fast, Turkey’s economy was growing at an incredible rate. We now need Turkey, they don’t need us!