November 9, 2010 |
THE ANTICIPATION in Istanbul has been immense. Allen Iverson is coming. The news has been swirling for weeks. It does not seem to matter that Iverson is 35, that his best days are behind him, that he struggled last season in three games with the Memphis Grizzlies and 25 with the 76ers. All that matters is, Allen Iverson is coming. In true Iverson fashion, he was supposed to be there Saturday, to be greeted by throngs of people, to sign autographs, to be introduced to his new teammates with Besiktas.
April 12, 2009 |
I always wanted to explore Turkey, but when it came time to board my flight in October, I had a bad case of the blues. Lucky for me, the sights that awaited me and my group of Americans, Australians, and New Zealanders in Istanbul (capital of empires), Ephesus (a classical site with a wealth of spectacular ruins), and Cappadocia (unique cave cities and churches) changed all that. Who cannot be touched and awed by the Wall of Wishes near the Shrine of the Virgin Mary outside Ephesus?
October 15, 2008 |
Americans who explore the wonders of Istanbul rarely visit Turkey's capital, deep in the plains of Anatolia. It is a city of nondescript high-rises, government offices, and new shopping centers that reflect Turkey's growing prosperity. Ankara is known mainly for two things: a stunning museum that highlights Turkey's ancient Anatolian past, and the vast hilltop mausoleum of Ataturk, Turkey's founder, whose stern face is visible on huge banners throughout the city. But Ankara is becoming known for something else that's of great strategic interest to Americans: an active foreign policy that may help resolve conflicts in critical regions where the United States has faltered.
October 15, 2006 |
Thursday, it was announced that Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk had won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. When I interviewed Pamuk on the Columbia University Campus last year, rumors were circulating that he had been short-listed for the Nobel. But he was already focused on his new memoir, Istanbul: Memories and the City, which was still in galleys. The day before, an advance copy of Istanbul had helped me stay awake for the 11-hour flight home from that city. We'd originally been scheduled to meet at his flat overlooking the Bosphorus.
October 5, 2004 |
It's midnight at Roxy, and a young, eclectic crowd is chatting and drinking under colorful lights as a diverse m?lange of rap, dance and pop thumps though giant speakers. There are long-haired guys with nose studs and tattooed women with bared midriffs. Beer and drinks are flowing. It could be any big city in the United States or Europe - but it happens to be the intellectual and cultural capital of the world's fifth-largest Muslim nation. If Turkey is indeed a European country - and many argue it is, even though at least 90 percent of its population lives in Anatolia, the Asian portion of Turkey that lies east of Istanbul - then Istanbul is the epicenter of its Europeanness, a potent symbol of its commitment to winning a place in the European Union as that organization's first Muslim member.
October 3, 2004 |
To understand how much this strategically important country has changed in a single generation, look no further than the Melek family. Yusuf Melek, 57, grew up in a tiny eastern Anatolian village with no electricity or running water. Though he never attended a day of school, he toiled his way into the merchant class, eventually moving west to Istanbul to set up a now-thriving carpet dealership. A devout Muslim, he prays five times a day. His wife doesn't leave the house without a head scarf.
June 30, 2004 |
Standing at the historic gateway to the Muslim world, President Bush yesterday sought to assure Muslim nations that he does not want to force American-style democracy on them, as hundreds of protesters clashed with police nearby. In a speech to university students in Istanbul, Bush said Islamic countries should shape democracies that fit local cultural and religious values. He delivered his remarks the day after power shifted to an interim government in Iraq, but his focus was on a far more ambitious plan to spread democracy throughout the Middle East.
June 28, 2004 |
President Bush worked yesterday to smooth over past differences with Turkey, but a large antiwar demonstration in Istanbul and the threatened beheading of three Turkish hostages in Iraq cast a shadow over his visit. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets to protest against Bush and Turkey's role as host of a 26-nation NATO summit that begins today. The NATO leaders are expected to approve Bush's request for help training Iraqi security forces so that they can take over from U.S. troops.
June 27, 2004 |
President Bush won European support yesterday for his plan for more NATO involvement in Iraq and expressed confidence that "the bitter differences of the war are over" with European allies. But after meeting with leaders from the 25-nation European Union, Bush acknowledged that the United States' image had suffered abroad. Polls in Europe show widespread opposition to the Iraq war and pervasive disdain for Bush. Despite those differences, the European Union joined Bush in urging NATO to help train and equip Iraqi security forces so that they can replace U.S. occupation troops in Iraq.
May 9, 2004 |
The question - would you return? - is a good way to rate a restaurant. A boldface "yes" sums up the Turkish Restaurant: The Family Place, a small BYO overlooking the traffic of Bristol Pike. Its location and straightforward name might be off-putting at first. But once you're through the door and seated at the windowside tables (all of which have a view of a lovely lake beyond the flash of passing vehicles), the magical transportation begins. Spices appear to waft through the dining room in time with the piped-in Turkish music.