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July 28, 2014 | Shawwal 1, 1435
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IslamiCity > Travel > Program to Turkey
 ACADEMIC PROGRAM / GUIDED TOURS


This travel study program focuses on the history of Ottoman period. We will learn about how Islam helped the Ottomans extend its influence all over the world. We will also explore the culture, food, art and architecture of Ottoman Turks. Furthermore, we will interact with common Turkish people in various localities and learn about their point of views in life.

Please note that this is not a religion-intensive studies program. The focus is on history, culture and society, relying on the expertise of guides from the region and the lived experience of Muslims in Turkey.

There will be brief lectures and discussions throughout the program. Our friendly historian and guide will address the questions you may have throughout the tour. The main mode of learning, however, will be daily walking tours with commentary by the tour guides and other staff members, and local community members.
 
We will watch artisans engaged in various handicrafts, visit one of the greatest mosques ever built, attend Friday prayers with tens and thousands of people under the greatest domes ever built, Sultanahmet and Suleymaniye mosques, see the Rumeli Castle, pay a visit to the tomb of great companion of the Prophet, Eyub Ansari - a companion of Prophet Mohammad
(peace & blessings be upon him), sail through the breathtaking Bosphorous sea, and visit palaces and other monuments in Turkey, explore restaurants, mosaics, architecture, museums, tiles, carpets, bazaars

Apart from the above sight seeing places, as part of the academic program, we will also explore Ottoman Society, Mosque Architecture, The Art of Ottoman Calligraphy, Architect Sinan and more.   

Istanbul, once known as the capital of capital cities, has many unique features. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires - Christian and Islamic. Once capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul still remains the commercial, historical and cultural pulse of Turkey, and its beauty lies in its ability to embrace its contradictions. Ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asia and Europe, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.

 HISTORY

The Roman Empire Period

By 200 BC, it became difficult for the imperial capital Rome to rule over the vast empire reaching from Spain to Mesopotamia. A new administrative center was needed : Byzantion, which was situated on the crossroads of the trade routes, became Nea Roma. It assumed an important role in world politics and culture and new constructions were started : harbors, waterways, a hippodrome.

The city was renamed Constantinople after the Emperor Constantine took the throne (330 A.D.)

The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantines, whose capital was regarded as an extension of Rome, expressed more and more the desire to direct themselves toward the heritage of Greek antiquity. 

The cathedral Aya Sofya continues to stand in all its splendor ...

The most destructive blow hit the city during the Latin invasions who damaged the city. Reconstruction was started in 1261 yet the city could not reach its former glory. Its population, formerly 500,000, had decreased to 50,000. Production diminished and people suffered of hunger. A 1000 year-old history was coming to an end and the city was preparing for rebirth.

The Ottoman Empire

In 1453, the Sultan Mehmet II conquered the city. On the ruins of the Byzantine foundations, the basic Ottoman institutions were build and some Byzantine constructions, such as waterways, were just repaired.

With the addition of the buildings of the architect Sinan, the city had again become the capital of a great empire. The arrival of people of different religions and colors, a cultural variety brought in by the richness of the city.

In the 19th century, modernizations were undertaken and when Istanbul entered the 20th century, the city was worn out by its history as the capital of three great empires.

The Republican Era

After WW-I, resistance movements in Istanbul and occupation by the Allied led to an Independence War to end with the creation of the Republic in 1923.

This led to much new construction such as family houses in the 1930's, reorganized road system, bridges to join Europe to Asia.

Today Istanbul is a world metropolis ever changing and developing in all its aspects : from the slums built over night to the huge shopping centers and giant industrial structures.

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Mosques

Mosques

  • Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
  • Eyub Mosque
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Fatih Mosque
  • Arab Mosque
  • Yeralti Mosque
  • Nuruosmaniye Mosque
  • Dolmabahce Mosque
  • Grand Mosque, Bursa
  • Green Mosque, Bursa 

Museums and Monuments

  • Topkapi Palace
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Beylerbeyi Palace
  • Old Islamic Arts and History Museum
  • Hagia ( Aya ) Sophia - Being Nominated as one of the world's wonders
  • Islamic Calligraphy Museum
  • Military Museum
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Baths of Roxelana (Hurrem Sultan) 
  • Fountain of Ahmet III
  • Hippodrome
  • Rumeli Castle 
  • City Walls
  • Golden Horn
  • Milenium Point
  • Pierre Loti
  • Acqua Duct
Shopping
  • Grand Bazaar 
  • Book Bazaar (Sahaflar)
  • Spice Bazaar - 
  • Ceramic Shops
Attractions
  • Bosphorus Boat Trip
  • Golden Horn
  • Whirling Derwishes Ceremony at Mawlawi Monastery
  • Ottoman Military Band Ceremony
  • 2 Friday prayers in major mosques
  • Istanbul Skyline View from Galata Tower 
  • Crafts Center - so you can observe artists at work 
  • Cable car visit - to mount Olympus Bursa
  • Experience Traditional Mystic Water Pipe, (Nargile) 
  • Turkish Bath with the renowned Turkish Massage ( Optional  )  
 


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