The history of Turkey is rich and varied. Situated as it is in its unique location in the Middle East, many civilizations have entered, flourished, and then disappeared.
Most of Turkey's cities have a Roman and all of them have a Byzantine past. The Hittite Empire left works on art that rival those of ancient Egypt. Classical Hellenic culture also flourised there. Excesses and intrigues of Sultans and their harems during the Ottoman Empire are faded memories in today's Turkey that is democratic and rapidly modernizing.
There are many examples of wonderful treasures produced by all of these cultures through the centuries: fine paintings, utensils, gold, jewellery, sculptures, and pottery are only a few of the remains of these glorious habitations.
It was not so much the graceful mosques or market scenes that attracted my eye but rather the solidarity, texture and design found in their ancient ruins. It was the great structures of stone and marble that framed not only the present landscape but those of past civilizations as they entered and exited this fascinating country.
- September 2003