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Visiting Exciting Turkey in the Throes of Restoration

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This thread follows the year long thread titled :

DW and I have been in Chicago since August 8 and will be retuening to istanbul on September 6.

We ate at some good, some decent and some not so good restaurants. I and DW both cooked at our condo which the tenant had vacated and which took us a week to furnish.

We dutifully went to blues and jazz clubs and mostly enjoyed it. We also took a one nighter to Starved Rock and environs which was OK. DD and SIL were good to us, acting as if they enjoyed our company.

Meanwhile in Turkey,
-The Presidential election took place with the former PM winning with 51.6% of the voters preferring an authoritarian leadership.
- He picked his successor to be the former Minister of Foreign Affairs who botched up all international relations for Turkey during his lackluster career. (I think he looks like Grandvizier Iznogoud of french Hall of Comics Fame)
- There is still a ban on the media regarding the two month old kidnapping by ISIS of the 49 Mosul Consulate personnel, who are almost forgotten.
- Foreign visitors to Turkey have increase again this year.
- Cruise ships visits to Istanbul are still a matter of concern for other visitors in terms of scheduling museum, mosque, church, palace, cistern, hamam visits.
- There are no major protests and no mass movements.
- There is occasional violence between groups in some poorer neighborhoods outside main areas of the city between groups and the police or among some groups. Most recent was a Kurdish group claiming to have killed one and wounded two ISIS members.
- The country still receives enough warm or hot funds and/or investment to keep interest rates low and Turkish Lira over valued.
- The president and PM talk of the restoration of (possibly the religious rule) of the Ottoman Empire.
- United States has no real strategy regarding Turkey and its neighbors, Iraq, Syria, Iran, lebanon Georgia, Ukrain, Russia with Obama, Department of State, CIA and NSA having their own unshared agendas which somehow do not mesh or mesh well.
- Turkish foreign relations are based on whims, fantasies, ignorance, lack of experience and knowledge of all other cultures as well as global dynamics, showing a derth of depth and awareness of time.
- Turkish Intelligence operations are under surveillance of most of the major international powers, surviving locally only by denying everyting that becomes public through the International media, Snowden and/or Wikileaks.

- Istanbul hotel prices are going up although new hotels are being built. Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Four Seasons and Accor groups have multiple locations.
- There are some new locations on the Bosphorus, possibly increasing demand for the Water Taxi.
- Cappadocia, Ephesus, Pamukkale are still drawing the biggest crowds.
- There are new car rental companies and the regulars increasing their fleets, thus keeping prices at reasonable levels.
- THY has backed down from price increases and local flights are still reasonable with THY, Anadolu jet, Pegassus, Atlas Jet, Bora jet and Onur Air, as long as you reserve and/or buy tickets early.

I shall add some of my previous responses to frequently asked question to this thread, like day trips from istanbul, Bosphorus cruises and excursions, etc.

Here is the link to eating fish in Istanbul, in view of the Fishing season starting :

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