Turkey Study Trip

Turkey, Blend of Cultures

Turkey bridges the continents of Europe and Asia. We started our Seven Churches tour with some cultural experiences in Istanbul to feel the collision of East and West.

Our first stop was the site of the ancient hippodrome of Constantinople. This was where the horse races took place.

One of the columns was a transplant from Egypt. It was originally constructed by Pharoah Thutmose III. Interestingly, he was succeeded by his second son instead of his first born. Almost like his first born mysteriously died about the time of the Exodus.

We visited the Aya Irini, an ancient church building. It was at this church the Second Ecumenical Council met in 381 to discuss the nature of Christ, and His relationship to the Trinity. We saw the separate gallery for the women. Randy also discussed the two year process of becoming a Christian.

Next we walked to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. We saw frescoes from the Ishtar gate of Babylon, among many other things. Unfortunately, the third floor was closed for renovation, so we didn’t get to see the sign from Temple Mount, and other artifacts from Israel.

The artifacts are from many countries. The Ottoman empire at one time controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Constantinople, now Istanbul, was the Ottoman capital.

Our last stop was the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. The Eastern way is to engage the customer, even by bargaining. The Western way is to emphasize the acquisition of material things.

By Andrew Zimmerman

Excited about travel in the Bible lands!