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Our Umrah package combined with a visit to Istanbul provides an opportunity to sightseeing the great Ottoman Empire of its time.
Turkey’s history of human habitation goes back more than 25,000 years. The world’s first temple was built in Neolithic times at GöbekliTepe. Some of the earliest-known human communities are here. Hittites, Phrygians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Seljuks, Mongols, Ottomans and others have all left their works of art, architecture and culture in what is now the Turkish homeland.
Turkey is friendly, beautiful, culturally rich and good value for money. It’s modern enough to be comfortable and traditional enough to be interesting, and it’s the 6th most popular travel destination in the world, welcoming 42 million visitors per year.
Again, if you can only spare few days, you must visit Istanbul, the city that has been the capital of four empires: the Roman Empire (330-395), the Byzantine Empire (395-1204), the Latin Empire (1204-1261), the Byzantine Empire (1261-1453) and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1922). Istanbul’s history is very rich, and even today the remains of each of these empires can still be witnessed. Among many place to see in Istanbul, the following should not be missed
Bosphorus is one of the world's most beautiful and important straits. Among the must-see sites of Istanbul and adorned with lights on both sides, the amazing scenery of the Bosphorus can be enjoyed by taking a refreshing boat excursion.
Called Hagia Sophia in Greek, Ayasofya in Turkish, it was built in 537 AD on the site ofByzantium's acropolis by Emperor Justinian(527-65 AD). Ayasofya was the greatest church in Christendom, and was meant to be. According to Prof. Robert Osterhout, it was built to surpass the gigantic Church of St Polyeuchtos erected by Julia Anitzia, scion of the line of Theodosian emperors. Being the world's most impressive building, it's no wonder that Mehmet the Conqueror proclaimed it a mosque soon after his conquest of the city from the Byzantines in 1453. It served as Istanbul's most revered mosque until 1935 when Atatürk, recognizing its world-historical significance, had it proclaimed a museum, as it is now.
Built during the Ottoman era, the museum complex provided a background for the development of museology in Turkey. The buildings of the complex are themselves of historic significance. The strikingly rich collection is divided into three sections as Archeological Museum, Ancient Orient Museum and Tiled Kiosk Museum.
Blue mosque (built 1603-17) is the masterwork ofOttoman architect Sedefkâr Mehmet Ağa. It's built on the site of the Great Palace of Byzantium, on the southeastern side of the Hippodrome. With its six minarets and a great cascade of domes, the mosque is a worthy sibling to Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) just a few minutes' stroll to the north. Istanbul’s imperial Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I (Sultan Ahmet Camii, facing the Hippodrome in the center ofOld Istanbul, is one of the top sights in this historic city.
Home of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, TopkapıSarayı ("Palace of the Cannon Gate") was theseraglio, the heart of the vast Ottoman Empire, ruled by the monarch who lived in Topkapı's hundreds of rooms with hundreds of concubines, children, and white and black servants.
Istanbul's (KapalıÇarşı, or Covered Market) is Turkey's largest covered market offering excellent shopping: beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, apparel made of leather, cotton and wool, meerschaum pipes, alabaster bookends and ashtrays, and all sorts of other things. Most guidebooks claim that it has4000 shops. Because of consolidation and replacement of shops by restaurants and other services the number is certainly lower, but you get the idea: it has lots of shops. Not all of them, by the way, are for tourists; locals shop here as well, lending a welcome dose of authenticity.
And other travel related documentation prior to entering a country one is travelling to; however, Ikhlas can assist with up to date information.
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