Tag Archives: Constantinople

Photo: Bosporus, winter 1954

16 Jan

Exact location and provenance unknown.

City chauvinism and Zonaras’ lament

30 Dec

The reason that Byzantine Ambassador’s tweeting of Joannes Zonaras’ whine about being stuck on the Princes’ Islands — (“Adalar” or what Jews called, with wonderful syncretism, “Las Adas”) — “the end of the earth” — is funny…

— is that this (below)…

…is how far the Princes’ Islands are from Constantinople. In fact, it was generally considered that exile on the Islands was particularly painful because one could still see the City from there.

But, as the Bard said: “There is no world outside Verona walls…”

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list — at nikobakos@gmail.com.

My Best of Byzantine Ambassador’s tweets for 2020

30 Dec

Check out ByzAmb (a.k.a. Henry Hopwood-Phillips) at @byzantinepower or at his website: THE BYZANTINE AMBASSADOR. He’s a tipaccio in the great tradition of truly erudite, eccentric Brits, and is always up to smart, scarily learned, quirky takes on Byzantium, Orthodoxy, what we used to call Christendom, MENA and western Eurasia more generally, and lots else.

These are my favs for this year:

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list — at nikobakos@gmail.com.

Nesi Altaras: “We do not live in the Ottoman Empire and we are not subjects. As citizens we demand and deserve EQUAL CITIZENSHIP not TOLERANCE.”

28 Dec

Watch Nesi Altaras‘ — one of the editors of Avlaremoz, Istanbul Jewish daily — commentary on Twitter.

And check out full discussion at the USCIRF: Conversation with USCIRF: Religious Freedom in Turkey.

(And enjoy Altaras himself, a cute, smart Jewish boy fluent in Ladino, which, from what I gather, is not such a common skill anymore among Turkey’s young Jews. Embarrassed-smile emoji…)

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list, contact us at nikobakos@gmail.com.

Hanukkah in Ortaköy: It’s so nice to celebrate religious minorities’ culture when the minorities have been safely eliminated

17 Dec

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list, contact us at nikobakos@gmail.com.

Hagia Sophia: a picture is worth a thousand words

14 Dec

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list, contact us at nikobakos@gmail.com.

Thirty largest cities in Europe, 1050 – 1800 A.D.

13 Dec

Why isn’t Istanbul/Constantinople here? Naples throughout…reminder of what an age-old first it was in the history of European urbanism. Click for large.

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list, contact us at nikobakos@gmail.com.

From Ahval: “Rediscovering and re-evaluating the new Turkey” by Constantinopolitan Greek analyst Hercules Millas: Erdoğan and “Christianophobia” — yes, you read right — and the “limited ingredients” we have to work with.

6 Dec

Not optimistic, my emphases:

What is new is not the negative image of the West; “Christianophobia” in the East is as old as the Ottomans and it is the flip side of “Islamophobia” of the West. These prejudices are the historical legacies of centuries-long crusades and jihads. What is sad is that the parties see only what lies in front of their eyes; they do not look at a mirror.  It is also heartbreaking that paranoia cannot be demonstrated to the obsessed. There is also a high probability that Erdoğan’s extreme anti-West rhetoric is not a tactical choice, but a sincere conviction. 

The meaning attributed to the persistently used term “international law” is probably the most indicative sign of the big changes that have taken place in Turkey as of late: it is a self-proclaimed and nationally interpreted “justice” and “our right”. In other words, this is a blatant nationalist declaration of arbitrariness with which “international” law is openly defied on a “national” basis.    

If this is the situation, i.e., if in Turkey there is a deep anti-Western conviction and a nationalist alliance, then an expectation of reinstalling Turkey of the past may prove to be a chimera. The changes that occurred in Turkey in the last few years are not some “manoeuvres on policies”; the core body of decision-making has been replaced. The old state has been toppled.

This is a new Turkey that needs to be re-discovered and re-evaluated. Limited ingredients necessitate new recipes. 

See whole article: “Rediscovering and re-evaluating the new Turkey

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list, contact us at nikobakos@gmail.com.

Video tour of recently restored Rüstem Paşa mosque, Istanbul

1 Dec

*********************************************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list, contact us at nikobakos@gmail.com.

Bravo coffee’s silly Politisses commercial

22 Nov

I like that they dress the women up in a way that recognizes Constantinopolitan Greeks’ deep, deep bourgeoisness and αστισμό — perhaps the most precious thing we lost through that community’s destruction. But Polites didn’t talk with that weird accent and that thick Turkish “λ”. They spoke perfect, accentless Modern Greek.

Anyway, I guess it’s significant and positive that they remain an archetype Greeks are still conscious of.

************************************************************************

Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list, contact us at nikobakos@gmail.com.

%d bloggers like this: