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Found 14 results

  1. Nobrainer32007

    Holidays in Turkey - December - Safe?

    Too cold or too near to ISIS? Worth going? Views and advice appreciated.
  2. Ozil has retired from the Germany national team over the furore surrounding his pic taken with Turkey president Erdogan and his subsequent poor performances for Germany at WC2018... Ozil retires from Germany over racism, disrespect http://www.espnfc.com/germany/story/3571587/mesut-ozil-retires-from-germany-after-political-tensions-over-turkish-roots via @ESPN App http://es.pn/app
  3. What can you do if all you have is a few hours? Sit around the airport lounge? Or explore the city? What's there to see anyway? There are so many terms in to describe Turkey and Istanbul: The crossroad between the East and West, a smorgasbord of culture, the narrowest point between two continents of Europe and Asia.. and so much more Yet nothing quite prepares you for the sights, sounds and smells that confront you when you land. Yes there are kebabs and wraps. But it tastes so much better than those you find back home. Was that lamb or some other animal mixed together? Well if you eat well in the streets of Istanbul, you will have no such doubt. How about the ice cream? Sublime and if you get a fun loving vendor, he will toss, spin and twirl that cone playfully in front of your eyes. Then there is the history. So much has happened here which has affected the world and has found their way into our history books. Strife on a global scale, the rise and fall of empires, world wars, genocide and more. It is also a delicate powder keg of the major monistic faiths with mosques almost abutting the churches. In fact both faiths may have occupied the same building and I can't say there are too many other places where Islamic messages share the same space on the walls as mosaics of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Such is the complexity here. Yet you do feel a little tension as you stand in Taxim square with so many people thronging the streets. Amongst them are crafty pickpockets, and it does take away the amazement when you have to keep watch on your wallet all the time. Ultimately you do surrender to the crowds and simply soak in the atmosphere, whilst trying to appreciate the history and beauty, sitting somewhere in the middle of the many wonderful cafes and watch the world go by with a delightful cup of coffee in your hand. I found this well reviewed guide company and they gave very good service, with a warm and friendly guide. https://www.dailyistanbultours.com/ Do take note: Take care of your belongings, especially in crowded places, as there are pickpockets and my own guide was pick pocketed actually. You do see many places used in the movies like Taken 2, James Bond, and many more.. truly amazing The Spice Bazaar: Turkish delights Spices The Hagia Sophia Plates which glow in the dark Grand Bazaar Kebabs:
  4. Picnic06-Biante15

    Turkey Military Coup

    7 early 8 early, heard breaking news of Turkey military coup...... Capital Istanbul and Ankara affected ... Reports in CNN news
  5. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3332790/Monstrous-new-crisis-Russia-s-downed-jet-Putin-s-fury-stab-terror-accomplices-Moscow-analyst-warns-war-likely-Moscow-analyst.html this looks v serious to me...
  6. Port of Kusadasi, Turkey. Kusadasi Turkey, is a resort town on Turkey's Aegan coast, on the Asian continent. The nearest major airport is Izmir and the main industry is tourism. Indeed, Kusadasi is a summer tourist town. During winter, the population is under 100,000, with many empty apartments and shops that are closed. Come summer, the population swells to more than 300,000 (some say more than 500,000). We were the only ship (Norwegian Jade) in port that morning. The port is conveniently located right in the main city. The port gates are a short walk from the ship. Even before you exit the gates, there are many shops, though not all were opened during winter. In the picture, you can see a number of yellow cabs waiting for passengers. You could hire cabs off the street if you wished, especially in winter, when there were few tourists. For us, we pre-booked a private tour and the guide was waiting for us just we got off the ship, holding a placard with our names. It was a very easy process to meet her. The highlight of this port would be the ancient city of Ephesus. See this map for Paul's missionary journeys. Paul lived in Ephesus from AD 52 to 54. However, our first stop of the day wasn't Ephesus, but the House of Virgin Mary. It is not clearly recorded where the Virgin Mary spent her last days. However, it is reasonable to believe that Mary's last days were spent in Ephesus, under the care of apostle John. The apostle John was believed to have died in Ephesus, around 100AD. John, the beloved discipline, was the only Apostle that did not die a matyr's death. While nailed to the cross, Jesus entrusted his earthly mother to John. John 19:26-27 "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! "Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." The house that we were visiting has a history. Please refer to this website for the description - http://www.kusadasi.biz/virgin-mary/ In this video, we meet our guide for the day and proceeded to the House of the Virgin Mary as our first stop on this tour. Today, we had a driver and a licensed tour guide. Therefore, there was plenty of useful commentary for us. At the House of the Virgin Mary, it was not crowded at all. We were told, during summer, the lines would be really long. The actual house is not very big. This was the entrance. No photos and videos were allowed inside but you can find some photos of the interior from the Internet. The Roman Catholic Church has never pronounced on the authenticity of the house of Virgin Mary, presumably because of the lack of scientific evidence. However, several Popes have visited the site, including Pope Paul VI (1967), Pope John Paul II (1979) and Pope Benedict XVI (2006). This would be the place where they conduct the services or prayer services. We spent about 45 minutes at the Virgin Mary House and surrounding areas. Our next stop would be the highlight of the trip, the ancient city of Ephesus. Here is the video. In this video, we enter the ancient ruins via the Magnesia gate. We were blessed with good weather (the day before it was pouring). Bear in mind this place is completely unsheltered, other than the Roman Terrace Houses that we will visit in Part 2 of the video. Therefore, it would be wise to bring an umbrella. Compared to Pompeii, the ruins here are extremely well kept. A real wonder and marvel to behold. The Magnesia Gates entrance into Ephesus. Entrance fees were 30 Turkish Lira. This does not include the Terrace Houses, which cost an additional 15 Turkish Lira. The site was beautifully kept. Sense of wonderment as I stepped in. Look at this sign. We learnt a lot about this sign during our visit. Our guide took pains to explain to us what it meant - "Jesus Christ, the Son of God." However, we subsequently found out that our guide's explanation was most likely to be wrong. This sign was not a Christogram, but more likely an ancient game played by Roman soldiers. This video explains the sign, as told to us by our guide Remember, the early church was persecuted. Paul, in Ephesus, faced a very hostile city whose inhabitants mostly worshipped pagan Gods, especially the Artemis (or Diana). But upon further research when I came home, I think the guide's story of this sign is wrong. This marking was most likely an ancient game played by Romans. More pictures of the ancient site. Here, they let you wander around freely and touch all the marble columns, if you so wished. Check out this marble column and the piece of rebar in the middle. This was how the Romans strengthened their columns, using lead rebars. Check out the video where the guide gives a good description. A tour group passing by. This was winter and at times, there was some congestion. Again, be careful when there are large crowds, especially against petty theft like pickpockets. This was nice. The Goddess of Nike. Nike was a goddess that personified victory. She is seen with wings. With a walkway like this, you can really have a good idea of how grand this place must have been, 2000 years ago. Next, we would enter the Roman Terrace Houses. This was where the richest people lived. Getting in to view the terrace houses required a separate ticket, but it was well worth it. Here is the video. This place was cool. There was a huge shelter protecting the Terrace houses. It looked like excavation work was still going on. Take note that this site is definitely not disabled friendly. Plenty of steep steps to climb. The metal steps are all very new and sturdy. Take it slow and easy. Admire the Terrace houses along the way. Awesome. They even found some grafitti on the walls. The drawings mainly show gladiators, caricatures and animals. The grafitti included names of persons, poems and even declarations of love. Especially interesting is a list goods and necessities of everyday life, including their prices. E.g. Barley 12 denarii, 1/2 ass; Onions 3 asses, entrance to the thermal bath 12 asses. In the Roman currency system, a denarious was a small silver coin, with the value of 10 asses (1 ass is a bronze, later copper coin) Just look at how well preserved the walls and flooring of these Terrace houses were. Once we exited the Terrace Houses, there were good views of the Ephesus site. Take note that we now had to climb down a long flight of stairs which could be slippery when wet, before we got back to the Ephesus ancient city. This is the video for the Library of Celsus and the Theatre. Our next stop would be the library of Celsus. From wiki, I learnt that this library was built in honour of Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, hence the name Library of Celsus. Celsus had been consul in 92AD, governor of Asia in 115D, and a wealthy and popular local ciizen. He was Greek, but honoured as both a Greek and Roman in the library itself. Celsus paid for the construction of the library with his own personal wealth. The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus, who was buried beneath the library. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honour for Celsus. This pictures gives you a good sense of how magnificent the library would have been, 2,000 years ago. After the library, we went to the famous theater. This photograph (off a signboard) shows how the theatre looked like around 1900, just as the site was being excavated. Hard to imagine at that time that the theatre would have the capacity of 25,000 seats. The Theatre of Ephesus is mentioned in the Bible (Acts 19:23-41), the theatre was the site of the riot of silversmiths who made figures of pagan idols like Artemis (Diana). A silversmith by the name of Demetrius was named to have rallied fellow silversmiths to his cause. They stirred up the people of Ephesus, who were confused, and all rushed to the theatre. Acts 19:34 records the people in the theatre as chanting "Great is the Artemis (Diana) of Ephesus!" This is the theatre today. Pretty grand. The Austrians have been heavily involved in the excavation of Ephesus. This is the second of such signs I saw that day. Earlier, the guide told us that the Austrians built the roof over the Terrace Houses too. Took this picture of a happy cat resting on a broken Roman column. Overall, it was a very impressive visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. There was a lot to see. We were grateful that the skies held up, though it got cloudy as the morning wore on. We exited Ephesus via the Harbour Gate (recall we entered from the Magnesia Gate) and our next stop would be lunch at a Turkish Restaurant. Lunch was included in our tour. For lunch, the guide brought us to a restaurant called Agora Restaurant. According to tripadvisor, this restaurant was fairly well reviewed. We didn't have any choices for the lunch. We were served with some starters that included pita bread, side dishes, salads. This was followed by the main which consisted of two types of grilled meats, rice. I noticed many other tourists in the restaurants. Other tour groups (including cab drivers) also brought their passengers here. It looks like the restaurant has tied up with the various tour operators. Overall, I found the food just ok, nothing special. After lunch, it started to drizzle. As we had seen the most important sight for the day (ancient Ephesus), we were not sure where else to go. The guide asked if we wanted to see some carpet weaving (i.e. carpet shop). Since this was our first time in Turkey, we said ok. The place we went to was called Bartok Authentic Looms. On hindsight, while the visit was quite interesting, we were pretty much like captives during the time there. The objective of the place was to sell you carpets, expensive ones at that. I think a visit to a carpet factory was included even in the Ship's Tours, as stated in the excursion forms. Here was a video I took of the carpet factory visit. To cut the long story short, after the elaborate sales pitch which literally included the sales staff throwing carpets at us. We ended up buying 2 small carpets at US$50 each. By the time we were done with the carpet store, it was really raining. We went to the ruins of the Temple of Artemis (one of the seven ancient wonders of the world), but due to the rain, the family did not get off the bus. I got down to take a quick look and made a short video before getting back to the mini-bus. We arrived back in port in good time. We walked around the port area as well as the beachfront. While it was drizzling slightly, it was still fun to explore the place. There were shops selling "Genuine Fake Watches". Oxymoron. Yes, Genuine Fakes! That was our day in Kusadasi, Turkey, for the ancient city of Ephesus. It was a real privilege to see the ancient ruins of Ephesus up close and personal. It certainly brought to life many of the verses that we had read in the Bible. Thanks for reading!
  7. Renault has released the photos of its face-lifted Fluence sedan for 2013. Sporting a new corporate face inspired by the Alpine A110-50 concept, the revised Fluence will make its debut at the 2012 Istanbul International Auto Show which opens to the public from now till 11th November. Among the changes, the Fluence gets new LED daytime running lights in the lower bumper above the fog lights. The boot and tail light combination seemed unchanged. Overall, the cosmetic update on the Fluence is more convincing than its Korean cousin, the Samsung SM3. "The changes featured on New Renault Fluence are perfectly in phase with the needs of our key international markets, like Turkey and Russia," says Hyun-Young Kwak, Project Marketing Manager, Renault Fluence. On the inside, the new Fluence gets Bluetooth/USB connectivity and the Renault R-Link infotainment system. A new digital instrument cluster and updated upholstery completes the interior revision. Under the hood, the 2013 Fluence gets a new 115bhp 1.6-litre 16V engine that is mated to an X-Tronic continuously variable transmission. According to Renault, this enables the new Fluence to achieve a large reduction in fuel consumption to 6.4L/100km with CO2 emissions of 149g/km. The pre-facelift model is often criticized as being underpowered. Let's hope that the new motor will address the issue. Photo Credit: worldcarfans.com
  8. [extract] Honda's modified CRF250R motorcycles will be utilised by the film
  9. FaezClutchless

    The Saab saga aftermath

    [extract] Over the past several days, many incidents happened with regards to the news of Saab
  10. KARTer

    Turkey F1...........live!

    Order down the field now at lap 12 Vet, But, Web............ quite an exciting race so far... Lap 13 --- But, Vet, Web, Alo, Kob...
  11. Johnny Herbert will this weekend once again act as F1's driver steward. The 45-year-old Briton, who won three grands prix during his career spanning 165 races until 2000, debuted in the role in Malaysia. Since the 2010 season opener, former drivers including Alain Prost, Alex Wurz, Derek Warwick and Damon Hill have also served alongside the three regular stewards. But former Benetton, Tyrrell, Lotus, Ligier, Sauber, Stewart and Jaguar driver Herbert is the first driver to officiate at more than one grand prix. Also touted to appear in 2010 are Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Mika Salo and Nigel Mansell. Source: GMM
  12. Hi guys, anyone has any experiences to share for Turkey vacation and which tour group is highly recommended. We are deciding between Taiwan and Turkey for this Dec. Hope to hear from you guys soon...
  13. As per the title, do you guys have any good recommendations? thanks in advance...