Off to Istanbul

Sultan Osman II with Janissaries and Guards, from LACMA

Sultan Osman II with Janissaries and Guards, from LACMA

Evliya Çelebi, self-proclaimed world traveler and boon companion to mankind, was a child running around the streets of Istanbul when Osman II was Sultan (1618-22).  In little more than a week, I’ll start following Evliya’s footprints, but at a slower pace.  More images and reports to come of Istanbul and Turkey then and now.

Others have described Evliya as a Turkish Pepys, a Muslim Montaigne or an Ottoman Herodotus.*  While he may combine elements of all these writers, his wide-ranging interests, cosmopolitan wit and dedication to travel puts him in a category of his own.

* those comparisons come from the liner notes of “An Ottoman Traveler,” which translates a treasure trove of Evliya’s stories to English.  It will be one of my constant companions on my own travels in Turkey in the months to come.

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