Exploring Historic Turkey: Traveler Follows in Footsteps of Famous Persons, Civilizations

By Schaeffer, Pamela | National Catholic Reporter, July 28, 2006 | Go to article overview

Exploring Historic Turkey: Traveler Follows in Footsteps of Famous Persons, Civilizations


Schaeffer, Pamela, National Catholic Reporter


it was our first night in Turkey and I was sitting with my husband and an Australian traveler in a restaurant in Kufladasi, watching in wonderment as the proprietor-waiter placed our food before us. "Yummy, yummy in the tummy," he repeated with each presentation as if it were a mantra.

We had embarked in late October on an itinerary first planned as a go-it-alone trip one month after Sept. 11, 2001, then canceled after the terrorist attack. The main post-9/11 adjustment was that we had come with a small group, six people, accompanied by a seasoned guide. The restaurant experience was the first of many experiences in the two weeks to come that would feel a bit surreal.

My desire to visit Turkey (known historically as Anatolia and Asia Minor) began developing--hard to believe--nearly a quarter-century ago, when, in the first year of a doctoral program in historical theology, I signed up for a course in the Cappadocian fathers. The attraction must have been the course description, which surely noted that these were Eastern fathers, whose writings theoretically would deepen my understanding of the Eastern Orthodox faith.

As a child, I had been a frequent, if then-uninterested participant in liturgies and social events sponsored by my dad's Greek Orthodox parish in St. Louis, while being officially raised in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod of my mother. (I became a Catholic as an adult, a five on the enneagram seeking my own neutral place.)

Although my declared specialty in the doctoral program was American Christianity, useful in my work of that era as religion writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I have continued since that first course to read deeply in Eastern theology, including the writings of Cappadocians, Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and especially Gregory of Nyssa, whose "From Glory to Glory" was instrumental to my conviction of the universality of salvation through a process by which the Creator continually, inescapably, draws all of creation into darkness (the incomprehensibility of God) and transforming love.

Obviously, then, in planning our trip to Turkey, the region of Cappadocia near the center of the country was a must. But the more I read about Turkey, the more the list of "must-see" places grew. And each day we were there, I realized how much I had missed in my list-making; how many new places I will add next time I go.

Exploring Turkey is like turning the leaves of a great book, each one representing an era that could alone absorb a seeker for many days or weeks. No doubt the same could be said of many countries, but Turkey, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, may have a corner on historic and prehistoric richness, in which many forms of religions, not least Christianity, play key roles.

It is possible in Turkey to follow in the footsteps of many famous persons and civilizations: the ancient Hittites; the warrior Alexander; the disciple St. John, whose apocalyptic visions described in the Book of Revelation center on seven cities in Turkey; the apostle St. Paul; the Christian church fathers who gathered in the first seven ecumenical councils, all held on Turkish soil; the Seljuk Turks, who established their capital at Konya and built a chain of caravansaries along the Silk Road, some 200 of which remain today; the Crusaders; the Ottoman Turks, who conquered Constantinople in 1453 and renamed it Istanbul.

Though it helps, a love of history isn't essential for traveling in Turkey. The country is worth visiting for its glorious scenery; its variety of towns and cities, from sleekly modern Ankara to charming Antalya to sense-assaulting Istanbul; for its shopping (leather, copper and ceramics, gold jewelry, beautiful rugs), available in every city and town, but most thrilling in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar; for its gracious older homes, many viewable by boat from the Bosporus; for its friendly people, often marked by an engaging entrepreneurial spirit. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Exploring Historic Turkey: Traveler Follows in Footsteps of Famous Persons, Civilizations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.