Cultural and textile adventure in Istanbul and Greater Anatolia
ISTANBUL is the melting pot of Asia and the West.
Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul – three names given to a city with a great past and a fascinating present. At first glance the cultures meeting there seem incompatible: the Eastern Roman Empire was Christian, imbued with European and occidental thought and ideals, whereas the Ottoman Empire was rooted in the traditions of the newest world religion, Islam, born in the Middle East. We see their legacy in the art and architecture of the city.
Day 1 – May 24, 2020 – Arrival in Istanbul. Private Transfer to your hotel in the old town. Orientation and welcome dinner. D.
Day 2 – May 25, 2020 – We explore the newly established Vakiflar Carpet museum with its extensive installation of carpets gathered from Mosques and state buildings, mostly coming from three major carpet making centers of Anatolia such as Ushak, Bergama and Konya. Some of the carpets exhibited survived from 15th century. We will wander the back streets and hidden corners of the Grand Bazaar with Vedat in search of treasures. We also have an optional visit to major textile stores in the old district of Sultanahmet. Overnight in old Istanbul. B.L.
Day 3 – May 26, 2020 – We will drive to end of Bosphorus to Sadberk Hanim Museum which is one of the great Anatolian textile and ethnographic art museum of Istanbul. It contains over 20.000 artifacts including great Ottoman Textiles, costumes, Iznik ceramics and ethnographic art. We will also visit nearby Kilim and ethnographic art Museum of Josephine Powell who had the reputation of “American Nomad” in between Anatolian Turkmens. She donated all her textile art collection to KOC Family and they exhibit them in an old Ottoman House. After lunch in the area, we will drive back to Old town to walk through spice market and old bazaar of the Locals. We will walk from here to old town and visit Islamic art museum. End of day. Dinner in a nice restaurant. B.L.D.
Day 4 – May 27, 2020 – We fly to Ankara in the morning and drive to city including a city driving tour of Ataturk’s Mausoleum ( Founder of Modern Turkey ) and uptown where the Foreign Embassies have settled in early Republic days. Later we will experience the special taste of Ankara – Alexander the Great Kebab ( vegetarians have other choices). Later we will drive to Ankara Castle where Celts have established a kingdom called “Galatia” in 300 BCE. Visiting most important – Anatolian Civilizations Museum of Turkey where we can see artifacts from 10.000 BCE until to Republic days. Dinner and Overnight.
Day 5 – May 28, 2020 – Morning starts with the visit to State Vakiflar carpet museum in center of town. Later we will visit Anatolian Ethnography Museum. And after lunch we will drive up to old town and visit the Rahmi Koc Museum next to our hotel. Walk in old town streets to see how old trading traditions still survive. Dinner and Overnight.
A Turkmen Adventure in Central Anatolia
The Turkmenistan of Anatolia – Tribes – Valleys – Textiles – and surviving traditions from Central Asia.
LARENDE – KARAMANIA: The history of Larende dates back to BCE times, then to Roman times, and onto the Eastern Roman times. It was occupied by Frederic Barbarossa in 1190, during the Third Crusades, and dominated by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia from 1211 to 1256. The Seljuk Turks captured it in the 13th century and gave it their tribal name. It was the capital of the Karamanid dynasty until captured by the Ottomans in 1468. The surrounding villages and higher valleys are still populated by descendants of Seljuk / Ottoman Turks. The Christian population, including Turkic Christian groups, migrated to Greece according to a population exchange agreement between two countries.
Day 6 – May 29, 2020 – Drive to KONYA – We take a drive of 3 to 3.5 hours through fertile green lands. Konya was the early capital city of the Seljuk Turks. However, settlements here go back to the Neolithic age, as shown in the Chatalhoyuk and Acemhoyuk historical sites.
We will visit the Konya Ethnographic Museum which houses some rugs of the early Seljuk and classical period, along with some later textiles. We will see the Whirling Dervishes center and mausoleum of Celalledin Rumi and the beautiful Seljuk era Sircali Madrasa. Overnight in Konya. B.L.D.
Day 7 – May 30, 2020 – Driving to Taurus Mountains – Karamania, 1.5 hrs. After visiting the local museum, we will explore undiscovered treasures, early Christian settlements and local Turkic tribal people still living in their own pastoral way. This will be a day trip. Overnight. B.L.D.
Day 8 – May 31, 2020 – Today, we drive to the Anatolian plateau, to an altitude of about 1800 meters high (5900 feet). Driving here is like being on another planet. We will be in a wild landscape with different kinds plants and flowers—and see the pastoral life settled tribal Turkmens with their goat flocks. Return to town for our farewell dinner. Overnight. B.L.D.
Day 9 – June 01, 2020 – Today we walk in a nearby canyon, passing by some small villages. It is an easy walk, without serious hiking – but you will need shoes with good traction for downhills. (A shoe with a pronounced heel and/or a patterned sole for gripping is strongly recommended). We will see a beautiful landscape, with high gorge hills, lined with caves and settlements. Our picnic lunch of local, natural foods and drinks will be enjoyed on the way. We return to town in mid-afternoon for a stroll in the bazaars. Dinner and overnight. B.L.D.
Day 10 – June 02, 2020 – We drive back to Konya 1.5 hrs. Upon arrival, will visit the Karatay museum which houses many Seljuk tiles and artifacts from the 13th century.
We will wander the streets of Konya exploring antique rug shops. After lunch, we will visit the local State Vakiflar carpet museum and the women’s fresh vegetable and fruits market. Early evening, we fly back to Istanbul.
End-of-Tour. Overnight in Istanbul. B.L.
Day 11 – June 03, 2020 – Fly home, private transfers to International Airport.
Tour leader, Textile professional
Vedat KARADAG’s tours have always included weavers’ and artisans’ workshops, exotic bazaars and markets, “pickers’ holes” and interactions with local people, and these will be highlights of this specialized tour.
Vedat has initiated and led special textile tours for The Textile Museum in Washington, the Santa Fe International Folk Art Museum, the Istanbul International Conference on Oriental Carpets, the Toronto University Art Faculty students, and textile and history-oriented small groups. Many American and Canadian rug society members have traveled with Vedat, and had wonderful experiences in his small group tours.
Vedat’s involvement with both the travel business and the antique carpet and textile business for the last 30 years has allowed him to blend his two passions in life, travel and textiles. Those who sign on for his adventures will also benefit from Vedat’s third love, which is discovering and enjoying the best of the regional foods of Greater Anatolia.
Tour type: Cultural & Textile adventure
Activity rating: Moderate, walking on country side trails, museum and workshop visits.
Tour length: 11 days
– Booking to date: 1 person
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