Category Archives: Istanbul

Requiem for a cosmopolitan dream

Attila did not seem surprised when I told him I was Greek. We were at the entrance of the Hagia Sophia museum on a rainy, cold December morning, and for the next hour, he would guide me through the most … Continue reading

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Why we should be concerned about President Erdogan turning museums into mosques

Hagia Sophia and the Chora Church will remain “open to all”, Turkish government promises—but restricted access may not be the primary worry. An article from The Art Newspaper by Holger A Klein. Last Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey … Continue reading

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What Will Happen Now to Hagia Sophia’s Byzantine Mosaics?

Well. He’s done it. Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pushed through his plans to annul the status of Hagia Sophia as a museum and turn it back into a mosque. We are all saddened. There is worldwide dismay and … Continue reading

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Pilgrimage – the road to Istanbul

Some of you, at least in the UK, may have watched the previous two programmes of BBC’s Pilgrimage series, and might like to watch the third installment which has just started on BBC2. Hot on the heels of their predecessors, … Continue reading

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‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman’: Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about Netflix’s historical series

It appears that Netflix will be streaming this new series from 24 Jan 2020. The docuseries will chronicle the Fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire from the Ottoman perspective. In October 2018, Netflix greenlit the limited … Continue reading

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Turkey: Muslims demand right to pray at Hagia Sophia

Why can’t people just leave it is it stands? It has worked so far. Muslims in the Turkish city of Istanbul have gathered in front of the world-famous Hagia Sophia mosque which has been turned into a museum in the city of … Continue reading

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SPBS Summer Lecture – Hellenic Centre London, 7 June

The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies summer lecture will be held on 7 June 2016 at The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington St, London W1U 5AS. Professor Liz James will talk about: Material Faith: the mosaic of the Archangel … Continue reading

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Was the Ottoman Empire really history’s longest-lasting empire?

It was one of the most resilient empires in world history, but how did it start? And why did it end? This article was first published in the May 2016 issue of History Revealed Was the Ottoman Empire really history’s … Continue reading

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Shipwrecks found in Istanbul’s Yenikapı shed light on ancient ship production

Thirty-seven shipwrecks discovered underwater during the Marmaray subway construction in Istanbul’s Yenikapı shed light on ship production technology in ancient eras. First published in Hurriyet Daily News. An inventory of the types of wood used in the production of 37 … Continue reading

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Byzantine Istanbul in 10 iconic monuments

Long before it was Istanbul or even Constantinople, the great city that is now Turkey’s undisputed cultural capital was Byzantium, the city on the Bosporus founded by Megaran colonists in 637 B.C. As the Roman Empire became larger and more … Continue reading

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‘Building Wonders’: Haghia Sophia

Readers in the US, a treat is coming to your TV screens this Wednesday (February 25). Providence Pictures is releasing the third installment in its Building Wonders series. The first, on the Colosseum, aired on February 11, the second on … Continue reading

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Turkey’s Great Musical Gamble

Another article from the New English Review on an interesting subject. I can only imagine that the situation has got worse sincein the middle east in general since this was first written. By Geoffrey Clarfield. First published in the New … Continue reading

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Ruins of Forgotten Byzantine Port Yield Some Answers, Yet Mysteries Remain

After a drought revealed the seawall of a Byzantine Empire harbor town near Istanbul, archeologists excavated what was a thriving ancient center. But how does it fit into the city’s 1,600-year history? By Jennifer Pinkowski. First published in Scientific American, … Continue reading

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Istanbul Patriarchate purchases world’s third oldest church

The world’s reputedly third oldest church, the Byzantine Başmelekler Church, or Taksiyarhon Church, was purchased by the Istanbul patriarchate on Sept. 10, the head priest of Halki Seminary, Professor Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, has announced. First published in Hurriyet Daily News The … Continue reading

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Ancient Byzantine wall damaged to make hotel

The walls of an ancient palace from the Byzantine era in Sultanahmet have been demolished to make way for a new five-story hotel, prompting anger from scholars. By Ömer Erbil. First published in Hurriyet “The buildings [in question] in Sultanahmet, … Continue reading

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