Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

open-air restaurants and cafes in Istanbul

Young Istanbul-ites gather at outdoor restaurants and bars on a sultry summer evening.

The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul itself, Cappadocia….all these iconic sites come to mind when travelers think of Turkey. But for this week’s photo challenge, I wanted to show a different side of the country that straddles two continents, and, indeed, two worlds. Turkey is at the same time part Asia and part Europe, Islamic yet democratic, both modern and ancient, and in the immortal words of Donnie and Marie Osmond, it’s a little bit country and a little bit Rock ‘n’ Roll.

By Rock ‘n’ Roll, of course, I mean Urban. In the Turkish countryside you’ll see vast acreages dedicated to growing fruits and vegetables. But you’ll also see a plethora of urban centers. Istanbul, certainly, but also Izmir, Ankara, Antalya and many others.

I’ve selected just a few of the many images that to me represent Turkey in its most unique urban sense.

giant ant art display

A giant-ant art installation occupied this Istanbul square across which pedestrians hustled from buses on one side to trains and ferries on the other.

election billboard

Election machinery was revving up while I was there, and political billboards popped up like fields of poppies.

Istiklal street and pedestrians

Crowds of pedestrians on Istiklal Street offer a snapshot of urban life for the 13.5-million inhabitants of Istanbul.

blue tram in Sultanahmet

A modern tram picks up passengers in Istanbul’s Old Town—Sultanahmet—near the Grand Bazaar.

Turkish flag and soldier statue

Turkish Pride—The country’s flag and statues representing soldiers who fought for Turkey’s independence are a common sight in every city.

Hierapolis ruins

The Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was a bustling urban center and healing spa from the first century BC.

Categories: Architecture, culture, History, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel, Travel: Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

  1. Very nice mixture of modern and traditional.
    I like that.

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  2. Linda

    HI Jennifer, I love seeing your reports. Jim and I leave for Turkey in 3 weeks! Can’t wait!!


    • Linda, I’m trying to file as many Turkey/Istanbul reports as possible before you leave in the hopes you might find something of value for your trip. Are you staying in Sultanahmet, the Old Town? There’s so much to see and experience there. I’m excited for you!


  3. I really like the ants. Especially with those eyes of theirs! 😀
    But imagine it being completely dark outside walking with a flashlight and then suddenly seeing that monster insect in front of you! hahaha


    • Shyuu, I’m now imagining just that, and it makes me think of those monster spiders in the Harry Potter movies. It’s a good thing nothing twitched 🙂


  4. One of my life long goals is to get to Turkey. Visiting your blog is the next best thing. Mahalo.


    • You’re so welcome, Lara, and I’m glad to know you think my blog is an acceptable in-the-meantime sub for the real thing. But I do hope you get to Turkey. There’s nothing like actually being there, surrounded by the sights, sounds, aromas, people. It’s an amazing country.


  5. Hi Jennifer, I’d love to hear more about Turkey and Istanbul in particular. I sent you a DM via the photoshelter site.


    • Penny, my apologies, I never got the message. I am always happy to talk about Turkey and Istanbul. If you’d like to try again, you can message me on Facebook. My site is open to the public and I have a whole Turkey album on there. Look for Jennifer Crites in Honolulu. Hope to hear from you 🙂


  6. Gabriel | 加百利

    great photographs!


  7. this is my second visit at your blog but I need to share this feeling, I know you do what you want but… this watermarks destroyed all joy of watching pictures 😦


    • I sincerely appreciate your feedback but as for the copyright notice, I have my reasons for placing it there. I’m just sorry it impedes your enjoyment of the pictures.


  8. Your photos are just amazing and my heart was literally aching when I saw the pictures you took of Istanbul. When I travel there I usually stay for three weeks at a time. You build up a community of friends. It is one of those places where people see you. They interact and they don’t care about your age, your weight, your profession. Who are you? What are you about? It is so liberating. Also wit is appreciated and humour is everywhere. Love it. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be back for the 6th time in October.


    • Thank you. That’s so kind of you to say and much appreciated. Now I want to show you ALL my photos of Istanbul 🙂 You are so lucky to be able to stay there for 3 weeks at a time and really get to know such nice people. How did you get started meeting your community of friends there? Do you speak Turkish? If only I could do the same, I would love to. At the moment, though, I’m happy to be building a small community of friends on WordPress who feel the same way I do about Turkey. Thank you for sharing your experiences in Istanbul. I hope you’ll be posting about your October trip.


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