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Behind the scenes: A look at Istanbul, Turkey

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A typical street scene in Istanbul, Turkey.

View of Yoros Kalesi from Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Anadolu Feneri in Istanbul, Turkey.
A shoe-shine businessman does his work on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey.
A typical street scene in Istanbul, Turkey.
View of Galta Tower from the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. The Galta Tower was built in the 1348 by the tradesman of Genoa and was intended for future defense in addition to the walls of Galta.  It was severely damaged during the 4th Crusade and was eventually repaired.  It stands 70 meters high and is one of the highest points in the old area of Istanbul.
Typical scene of small boats on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Justinianus the Great was responsible for building the church, turned into a mosque when seized by the Turks in 1453 and then into a museum in 1930.
The landing at Anadolu Kavagi in Istanbul, Turkey.
Typical coast line on the European side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.
Backgammon is believed to have originated in Iran, not to far from Turkey.  It is a popular board game around Istanbul while merchants are passing the time away.
Pomegranate carts fill the streets of Istanbul, Turkey.
Rotunda of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. The mosque was built from 1550 to 1557 and is on top of a hill that overlooks the Golden Horn, a natural bay that divides the European side of Istanbul into two and separate peninsulas.
Opening to the Black Sea in Istanbul, Turkey.
Inside the New Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. The New Mosque (Yeni Cami) began construction in 1597, but was not completed until 1663.  It was started by the wife of Sultan Murat III, but when the sultan died, the next sultan, Ahmes I focused on another mosque leaving the New Mosque unfinished.  When Hatice Turhan Sultan came to power, he requested the New Mosque be completed.
Inside the spice bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. The spice bazaar was constructed in the mid-17th century as the market place of the New Mosque.  During its first years is was primarily occupied by the spice merchants of Egypt where it got its original name of Egyptian Bazaar.
Kiz Kulesi in Istanbul, Turkey. The Maiden Tower (Kiz Kulesi) sits in the middle of the Bosphorus and was used as a lighthouse in earlier times.
The New Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
A night view of the Galta Tower.
Inside the Grand Bazaar in Instanbul, Turkey. After the conquest of Istanbul by the Turks in 1453, the Grand Bazaar was built in 1461 to promote a more commercial life. The bazaar was an important center trading goods and gradually became a bank with a large depository of golden and silverware and money as well. The Grand Bazaar has 22 gates, 64 street, 3600 shops and is the center of trading for 97 different types of products.
A look at Gate 5 of the Grand Bazaar in Instanbul, Turkey.
A look at the inside of the rotunda at the New Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
A look at the inside of the New Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
On the streets of Istanbul you will find vendors selling everything.  Pomegranates, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee, fish, chicken, beef sweet pastry, pretzels and grilled corn.
The Egyptian Obelisk in the Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey. The Hippodrome was constructed during the reign of the Emperor Septimius Severus.  It had at its heights the capacity of 100,000 spectators. The Egyptian Obelisk also known was the Obelisk of Theodosius, is one of the only remaining remnants of the Hippodrome.  It was carved and erected by the pharaoh Tutmosis III in honor of god Horus at the Karnak temple in 15th century B.C.
Fisherman on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Galta Tower in Istanbul, Turkey.
Backgammon is a popular pastime on the streets of Istanbul.