Turkey anno 1992

Looking at several pictures of bloggers their postings I enjoy so much of what they are willing to share. They can go places where I perhaps shall never be able to come, but can now have some taste of the beauties which are there to be found.

When I was a child I did not like photographs at all and later when pictures were taken on stage or on the film-set, I did not want to have them for my personal files. (Pictures of me or my company and reviews in the dance magazines were given by me to the Flemish Theatre Institute archive at the beginning of the 21st century.)
But so many years later I regret not having many witnesses of my past. The pictures I had in 1999 helped me a lot to recover from my very serious accident which paralysed me for several months and got me a loss of memory. Everything I had to learn again, moving my fingers, moving my legs, but also putting my mind in order and getting back to speak (any language) properly. Lots of the languages I forgot and did not get back into my mind.

My memory is not how I would like it and often I have problems to remember what happened where and when, or even can not find the words straight away. What was curious after I started getting my memory back, after my second near death experience, was that the very old things came back first.

Now 15 years later I love to take up the track and share some of the past travels and enjoyments of nature.

Because a few days ago I was boasting over Turkey, I will start with sharing some pictures, which I had to scan, because a digital camera was not an asset then. Later on I shall also present some trials with my little digital camera, in the hope others can enjoy such personal views like I enjoy the views of others on the internet.

Certain areas in our world have many things to brag. The northern half of the globe may have beautiful natural sites with lots of history to tell.

Turkey, being on the verge of tradition, old and new world, with one foot in Europe and one foot in Asia, has probably to tell most of ancient history. Over-there I found most treasures of ancient Greeks and remainders of ancient people. History is there close to modern times and should be preserved for further generations.

In 1992 we did a round-trip in the Republic of Turkey visiting Asia Minor, Anatolia (Anadolu) and the European part, the small area of eastern Thrace (Trakya) and a few offshore islands in the Aegean Sea, just to get some idea of this vast coutnry with a total area of 780,580 sq km (301,384 sq mi), extending about 1,600 km (994 mi) se–nw and 650 km (404 mi) ne–sw. (Comparatively, the area occupied by Turkey is slightly larger than the state of Texas.)

Of the overall area, 97% is in Asia, and 3% in Europe. Turkey lies athwart the important Black Sea straits system — the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus. It is bordered on the n by the Black Sea, on the ne by Georgia and Armenia, on the e by Iran, on the se by Iraq, on the s by Syria and the Mediterranean Sea, on the w by the Aegean Sea, and on the nw by Greece and Bulgaria, with a total land boundary of 2,648 km (1,645 mi) and a coastline of 7,200 km (4,474 mi).

We also visited Turkey’s capital city, Ankara (formerly Angora) which was a Hittite settlement and remained a provincial city throughout its history and became the economic and transport centre of Anatolia. It is located in the northwest central part of the country.  In 1976-1978 I had the opportunity working with some of the National Ballet Company dancers and choreologists, but in 1992 I did not go to visit my colleagues there.

In 1992 there was not so much to see in Ankara, but the trip to it, crossing the Bosporus was worthwhile.

Before we went to Ankara and the centre-part of Turkey we visited the great cosmopolitan city which was full of life and had so much to offer we certainly have to go back for more than the three day we were there. It made a mark on world-history as Byzantium, then Constantinople, to become the modern Istanbul which was founded at a crossroad between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam. It was the capital city of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires and briefly the capital city of the Turkish Republic enduring lots of attacks because it had so much to offer.

The Byzantine and Ottoman Empire spent countless fortunes building palaces, churches, and other buildings. Dozens of earthquakes have shaken the city throughout its history, turning buildings to dust. Like many cities in the world, Istanbul long ago lived its golden era. In 1992 we could witness its poverty, pollution, and social problems that besiege the city. With the population explosion, the city has suffered the breakdown of transport, electricity, gas, and water supply. Temporary shantytowns, or gecekondu s, gradually have transformed into permanent tenements. In older quarters of the city, graceful wooden houses have given way to blocks of characterless apartments. Nevertheless, this ancient capital of two great empires retains a rich architectural heritage and extraordinary setting, so that Istanbul remains one of the great cities of the world.

You have to go over one of the two bridges across the Bosporus, which connect the European and Asian suburbs, and a new business centre which has developed further to the north, to visit the beautiful railway-station on the Asian side.

Boat-trip on the Bosporus - Istanbul 1992

Boat-trip on the Bosporus – Istanbul 1992

Boottrip op de Bosphorus - Istanbul 1992  f32b

The beautiful houses of the rich to be seen from up the Bosporus water – Istanbul 1992

Boottrip op de Bosphorus - Istanbul 1992  f32c

A view from the boat on the Bosporus Istanbul 1992

We did not manage to see the art-nouveau area with the Independence Avenue, Istiklal Avenue running through the Beyoğlu and Karaköy districts featuring lots of stores, art galleries, bookstores, clubs and historical restaurants. An avant-garde combination of Byzantine, Art Deco and modern architecture, millions of people visit the street every year to see the world’s second oldest subway station called the Tunnel. Reason enough to have Istanbul still on our bucket-list to see once more its exuberance, its charm, and its place in history.

Istanbul, the only city in the world straddling two continents (Europe and Asia) victim of its own popularity and its population not caring enough of its treasures and making sure the tourists would find a nice place to stay longer.

Istanbul, the only city in the world straddling two continents (Europe and Asia) victim of its own popularity and its population not caring enough of its treasures and making sure the tourists would find a nice place to stay longer.

The ever busy city Istanbul in 1992

The ever busy city Istanbul in 1992

One of the many palaces in Istanbul visited by a huge crowd  in 1992

One of the places, in front of the many palaces in Istanbul, visited by a huge crowd in 1992

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World which should be visited in Turkey is Ephesus (EphesosEfes) the ancient Greek city of Asia Minor. Near the mouth of the Caÿster River (modern Küçük Menderes), in what is today W Turkey, S of Smyrna (now Izmir) it is one of the greatest of the Ionian cities, which had become the leading seaport of the region. The Greek city was near an old center of worship of a native nature goddess, who was equated with the Greek Artemis. The large temple built c.550 BCE burned down in the 4th cent. BCE, but rebuilding was begun before Alexander the Great took Ephesus in 334 and got destroyed in 262 CE but the remains still can capture our attention. Excavations (1869–74) of the ruins of the temple brought to light many artifacts. Later excavations uncovered important Roman and Byzantine remains.

Efeze 1992 f5a

Ephesus 1992 – One of the many remains with my wife examining the construction-technique of the ancient Greek.

Efeze 1992 f4

Ephesus 1992 Greek Temple remains

Efeze 1992 f5b

Greek mastery at Ephesus – Photo from the 1992 round trip through Turkey

Ephesus was captured by Croesus of Lydia (c.550 bc), Cyrus the Great (c.546 bc) and by Alexander the Great (334 bc), falling eventually into Roman control (133 bc). Today, it is one of the world’s principal archaeological sites.

In many villages around Turkey we could find a nice atmosphere and in Summer the temperature were ideal for us.

Bursa was the first major conquest of the early Ottomans in 1324. A modest Byzantine provincial market town, it quickly developed as the first capital of the growing Ottoman Empire, featuring many of the finest examples of early Ottoman architecture. Positioned on the northern foothills of Uludağ (Bithynian Mount Olympus) close to the Sea of Marmara, with easy access to the Mediterranean and on the natural extension of Anatolian routes, it became a major international commercial center, where European, mainly Genoese, merchants bought silk and other Eastern goods. It was also widely known for its abundant hot springs and magnificent baths. {Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa | 2004 | Kunt, I. Metin}

Streets of Bursa - 1992

Streets of Bursa – 1992 Photos from our pictorial remembrances of one of our trips to Turkey.

A place not to forget and to return to is to be found inland between Lake Tuz and the Euphrates, north of Cilicia. Stretching from the Halys valley E to the Euphrates River, from the Black Sea S to the heights of the Taurus and Anti-Taurus ranges Cappadocia, also known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age, was famous for its mineral resources, particularly its copper and iron. But it got me enchanted with its tuff landscape, caused by eruptions of the volcano-Dagi, and limestone which shows karst phenomena and a whimsical landscape. The villages underground with it Churches in the karst caves built in the course of time astonish us by the size.

Cappadocia 1992  f38g

Marjolein Pronk in one of the villages in Cappadocia 1992

Cappadocia 1992  f38k

Marjolein Pronk in one of the villages in Cappadocia 1992

Marcus Ampe in his younger years in the overwhelming landscape nearby Göreme, Cappadocia - 1992

Marcus Ampe in his younger years in the overwhelming landscape nearby Göreme, Cappadocia – 1992

Cappadocia 1992  f38d

Villages in the rocks of Cappadocia 1992

Cappadocia 1992  f38f

Village on one of the plateaus in Cappadocia 1992

Cappadocia 1992  f38l

Tuff (from the Italian tufo), a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption with the results of erosion gives lovely views in Cappadocia – 1992

Cappadocia 1992  f38q

When we went in 1992 to Cappadocia several houses in the tuffstones were still inhabited.

Cappadocia 1992  f38s

The sunlight creates constant changing colours – Cappadocia 1992

Cappadocia 1992  f38t

Not only above ground in the tuff could be found houses – Cappadocia 1992

Cappadocia 1992  f38hFor non-trinitarians this part of the gospel world may be important because it was here that several people had to find safety under the ground for the Christian groups who wanted to kill all those who did not want to take on the holy trinity faith. It later also was used to protect the Christians from Muslim Arabs during the Arab–Byzantine wars (780-1180)

Kaymaklı Underground City about 19 km from Nevşehir, on the Nevşehir-Niğde road, has houses in the village constructed around the nearly one hundred tunnels of the underground city. The tunnels in 1992 were still used as storage areas, stables, and cellars. The underground city at Kaymaklı differs from the ancient multi-level underground city in the Derinkuyu district in terms of its structure and layout. The tunnels are lower, narrower, and more steeply inclined. Of the four floors open to tourists, each space is organized around ventilation shafts (see the cover in the photo underneath). Those ventilation systems made the temperature in the spaces very nice and it was surprising how airy it felt in those spacey room.  (No problem at all for claustrophobic.) This makes the design of each room or open space dependent on the availability of ventilation. The underground cities have vast defence networks of traps throughout their many levels. These traps are very creative, including such devices as large round stones to block doors and holes in the ceiling through which the defenders may drop spears.

The underground cities could be closed from the inside with large stone doors and each floor could also be closed off separately.

Church under the ground - Cappadocia - Nevsehir Valiligi - 1992

Church under the ground – Cappadocia – Nevsehir Valiligi – 1992

Cappadocia - Nevsehir Valiligi - 1992  f37b

Deep under the ground could be found villages with different living quarters for man and animal, plus storerooms for food – Cappadocia – Nevsehir Valiligi – 1992

Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters, so in summer it is an ideal place for people with rheumatism.

In 1992 we could find a successful example of a non-Arab land where Islam and democracy coexisted and inhabitants were more modern clothed than the Turks in West Europe (Belgium, Holland and France). Though some years later Islamic dress had taken over the streets. At that time Turkey was still considered a land bridge between East and West which perhaps could become a strong partner for the European Union. For decades it has tried to impress Europe and to persuade Europe to let it join the European Union, but there were enough issues which made it difficult to accept it in a democratic country where freedom of speech should be very important and where human rights would be respected by all citizens and by all member-states.


Find more on Turkey:

  1. Hasankeyf: A City On The Edge Of Disappearing
  2. Noahs Ark
  3. Archaeology and the Bible
  4. Turkey and Pictures for the times coming
  5. Ageing and Solidarity between generations
  6. Migrants to the West #6
  7. Problems by losing the borders
  8. Turkey a wolf in the sheep house of the European Union
  9. Negative consequences of Special Labelling and Trade-Restrictive measures
  10. Humanitarian crisis in Syria
  11. Relieve the current humanitarian crisis in Syria
  12. Growing separation and problems in Turkey
  13. Turkey vs. Israël
  14. Unprecedented violence against protesters and social protest
  15. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  16. Caliphs and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government

In Dutch:

  1. Staat Europa voor vrijheid van godsdienst
  2. Kerk in Tarsus blijft museum
  3. Teruggave St.Pauluskerk in Tarsus
  4. Schieten op hulpgoederenvoorzieners
  5. Eucharistie in Van
  6. Gevolgen van beperkingen van vrijheid in Turkijë
  7. Muziek van imam Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer al of niet ‘onislamitisch’


Additional reading:

  1. Turkey, Kurds and Paris Hilton; Turkish-Kurdish War Comes Closer
  2. Turkey Steps Up
  3. Turkey Is Critical to a More Moderate Islam
  4. Turkey’s Neighborly Interests; Thinking Ahead on Iran, Iraq, Syria
  5. Turkey Responds Angrily to Perry Remarks
  6. Turkey’s Meager Harvest of Gulf Promises
  7. Kaymaklı Underground City
  8. The closest I’ve gotten to flying – Cappadocia, Turkey.
  9. Top 15 Places To Visit Before You Die


  • Around Istanbul in 25 Photos (all-that-is-interesting.com)
    Istanbul is the largest city of the Republic of Turkey. With a massive population of 14.1 million, the city is the largest in Europe, second largest in the Middle East and fifth largest in the world. A truly transcontinental city, Istanbul spans across the Bosporus Strait, claiming Europe and Asia as footholds.

    Constructed at the narrowest part of the Bosporus, Rumeli Hisarı was built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in preparation for the storming of Constantinople. Only in use for a year, it later became an open-air theatre.

    Yoros Castle. Only the ruins of this once great citadel remain watching over the confluence of the Bosporus and the Black Sea on the Asian side of the city. Visitors can explore the ruins and stop at the nearby village of Andalou Kavagi.
  • Impunity of the Erdogan Regime (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Turkey’s politicized and faction-riven judiciary has contributed greatly to the perpetuation of a culture of impunity for serious human rights violations by Erdogan, police, military, and state officials. As a result, the victims of these abuses face significant obstacles in securing justice. The Obama administration’s policy of cozying up to an increasingly absolutist and Islamist Turkey makes no sense.
  • Turkey, the Kurds and Iraq: the prize and peril of Kirkuk (mercatornet.com)
    They flatly rejected Damat Ferid’s apparently misguided appeal — declaring that the Turks were unfit to rule over other races, regardless of their common Muslim identity — and told him and his delegation to leave. The Western powers then proceeded, through their own bickering, to divide the post-Ottoman spoils.
  • The Rift Between Antichrist Nation of Turkey And The West Is Beginning (shoebat.com)
    Turkey with its rise of Islamic dominance and its rejection by the European Union is trying to have this issue covered as it seeks other places to replace western relations. Turkey looks towards Iran in which the two are locked together in their destiny (Ezekiel 38, Revelation 13:2). This beast is the body of a Leopard (Revelation 13:2) (The Greco-Roman) and not European, with its feet of the Bear (Iran).

    Turkey’s rise has been due to that it has really been able to normalize, reintegrate with its immediate neighborhood. Its trade volume, its political dialogue, its relationship with its immediate neighborhood has improved considerably. To give you some figures, for instance, Turkish trade with Iran in December 2006 had a 54.9 percent boost in comparison with the trade volume in December 2005 and rises every year. With Russia, where we had $200 million of trade volume in 1989, currently the trade volume has reached $20 billion.

    Today, there are several declarations of caliphates, but these are local, nevertheless, over the past decade the Turkish AKP Party has established strong relations in the Middle East, and it was also relatively successful in this endeavor. Some say that this failed due to the Arab Spring arguing that Turkey is facing grave problems in its foreign policy due to Turkey’s mishandling of the ongoing civil war in Syria, the deteriorating state of affairs in Libya and regime change in Egypt.

    But that is exactly what Turkey needs. Davutoglu foresaw that authoritarian regimes would collapse. But he believed that Islamic parties inspired by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood would take their place. He saw the fall of the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi as a turning point. What he failed to take into account was the resilience of Arab socialism and Arab nationalist currents. But Turkey has not given up and are becoming the main force behind the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt awaiting for another comeback. It will chisel on Bashar of Syria until he falls.

  • Istanbul, The City That Lies in Two Continents (amusingplanet.com)
    Being the only water route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, the Bosporus has been the site of significant settlement and cities for a long time. In particular, the Golden Horn, an estuary that joins Bosphorus Strait at the immediate point where the strait meets the Sea of Marmara, and forms a large, sheltered harbour. It was here, on the European side of the Bosphorus, the city of Byzantium was founded by the ancient Greeks around 660 BCE, the city which later became Istanbul.
  • Watchtower of Turkey by Leonardo Dalessandri @leodalessandri (bluesyemre.com)
    Over than 3500 km traveled in 20 days, capturing landscapes from the bluish tones of Pamukkale to the warm ones of Cappadocia, the all passing by a great variation of colors, lights and weathers through six other cities. I’ve crossed Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Istanbul, Konya; and tasted baklava, kunefe, …
  • ‘Watchtower of Turkey’, A Colorful and Chaotic Video Capturing a 20-Day Tour Across the Country (laughingsquid.com)
    “Watchtower of Turkey” is a video directed by Italian photographer Leonardo Dalessandri that captures a 20-day, 3,500-kilometer trip across Turkey in a chaotic and colorful fashion. The fast-paced result makes for a fascinating short wordless video travelogue.
  • Good morning Cappadocia (bkpk.me)
    In the Cappadocia region of Turkey you feel like you’ve gone through some sort of tunnel and come out in another world. The landscape is fairy tale like with strange rock chimneys created by volcanic activity and caves along all the mountain sides. There are even hotels where your room is basically a cave fitted with some modern amenities.
  • Turkey – My Home Away From Home (ireport.cnn.com)
    Ever since my first trip to Turkey, I fell in love with the country and have kept coming back! Right now I’m spending two months traveling through this beautiful country, exploring 12 cities and their surrounding towns and sites on the coast and then Cappadocia in the center.

    For many people, Turkey doesn’t seem too appealing due to it’s location on the map, but it is really one of the most beautiful and welcoming countries I have ever visited, and has left a mark on me and on every other visitor. I guess there are thousands of reasons why I adore it, but I’ll try and categorize everything into four topics so this post doesn’t get too long! 🙂

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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3 Responses to Turkey anno 1992

  1. Pingback: Turkey anno 1992 #2 | Marcus' s Space

  2. Pingback: Turkey inbetween two visits | Marcus' s Space

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