Nine years ago, when 9/11 didn’t seem so distant, I was intimidated to be in a Muslim country for the first time. My concerns were alleviated when a friendly fellow welcomed us to observe sunset prayer here at Ortaköy Mosque. The experience was pivotal for my worldview and this place is impactful still.
One friend commented, “I hope locals treat you well, given the current turmoil between our countries.” If media hadn’t proclaimed diplomatic tension, you wouldn’t sense it at all. Another testament to humanity.
I spend the day wandering the city and perusing spices in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, fondly remembering that first visit and the wonder we felt.
Ending the day with a most hospitable lunch overlooking the old city, scent of the Bosporus, sound of adhan called out by muezzin, and a soft breeze… good to be back.