Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lavishly exquisite ... in Istanbul

a Lavishly exquisite Hotel in Istanbul. Yes, it is the Ritz Carlton. Over looking the Bosphorus and right opposite to the phenomenal Dolmabahce palace at the European side of Istanbul. No wonder why the Ritz Carlton group was rated a Strong First "Most Prestigious Luxury Hotel Brand" among 15 rated luxury brand beating the Four Seasons (which came second). This however, comes with a staggering price tag. eg, the lentil soup costs 13 JD (19 USD), Turkish Coffee 11 JD and snickers chocolate costs you something like 12 JD (The bar only not the entire pack). The service is amazingly superb and the staff are astonishingly friend (compared to Turks), but you feel that they were taught lessons. Once you have an eye contact with any of them , you feel that, some where in the system, a push button action is invoked and SMILE event executed. I tried to observe this performance over a period of time; it is so robotically crafted and this seemingly unconditional loop keeps iterating over and over without reporting a single bug in its logic. I guess the EXIT statement takes place when they leave the hotel to get a chance to immensely indulge themselves frenzy Istanbulian lifestyle caused by a spaghetti styled coded system.

The first language in Turky is obviously Turkish
The Second Language in Turky is strangely Turkish
The Third Language in Turkey is (unbelievably) Turksih
The fourth Lauguage in Tureky is sadly Turkish
The fifth language is normally a mix (some German, some Arabic and some English ..)

I wanted to ask what people learn as a second language at schools, but could not pose this question in any of the most popular 4 languages in Turkey!

What was most interesting for me was the fact that I went to Friday prayers at the DolmaBahce mosque (By the way i don’t know the root of the name, i know Dolma is stuffed vegetables Ya3ni Ma7ashi in Arabic). Same rituals as in any other friday prayer, but most intriguing was the fact that Salah is preceded by Quran read quite nicely in 90% near perfect pronunciation. Then the speech started with "Alsalat 3la Alnabi" Also in Arabic and many Du3a in Arabic by a Turksih Imam. Then the speach is Turkish {very short , just a few minutes, but i understood exactly what he was saying since, he was introducing some Quranic verses every now and then} The speech was about Isra and Miraj. Then the Salah took place in less than 2 minutes, (Al-fatiha and a small verses afterwards, i mean really really small) Looks like this Friday Prayer is well suited for tourist. A good offer (Iqama, speech and salat in less than 7 minutes,, we beat any other offer!!)

To treat yourself well foodwise, Balikçi Sabahattin is a fish restuarant that serves really good food. This is a place i would come back to. That was not only my opinion , but the entire group unanamously agreed (Price is about 50 USD / person -no Alcohol)

The most religious belief that the Turks observe seem to be Halal meat (kosher). It is kind of fun to notice how Infuriate they could become when you ask them if the meat is Halah (The answer is predictably Al-Hamdulila), immediatly then, they ask you if you care for a beer!

Anyway, the question that is still unanswered:

Are they proud of being Muslims???

So far, i could not mingle with the right people to get answers

Finally, it could possible be appropriate for me to mention at this stsage that my grandfather is half turkish!

We left Istabul two days back, we are now in an area called Turkbuku in Bodrum province. Our hotel is very big, it more like Spa. Some Russian Tourists but surprisingly, mostly Turks are staying in the hotel. Very little from the eastern med. We ran across two jordanian families that we know from Amman! and could over hear and Eyptian family and that is about it. More about Pricess hotel and Turkbuku later


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As in any other country, you will find a diversity of beliefs when it comes to religion. more than 30% of Turks observe Isalmic rituals.

by the way, Dolmabahce means the "filled Garden" because it was founded by filling up the sea to reclaim the area.

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