Sitting at a café, callede the Muezzin’s reminds those who tend to forget they are in the land of Islam. The call to prayer is sweet and melodious, it brings a real touch of emotion in this teeming city of the world, sounds, scents and perfumes. By trying to integrate into Europe, the country is moving beyond it, posting a growth rate to rival jealousy throughout the euro area.
The city of Istanbul is a metropolis with 15 million inhabitants. Listed as Unesco World Heritage since 1985, Istanbul is the main financial, commercial and industrial city of Turkey as much as its cultural capital. Of the 75 million Turks, 98% are Muslim and 65% practitioners. What struck me, this is also the spirit of solidarity and pride of being Turkish they display!
In Istanbul, we can obviously not escape the “Kebbab” nor the football club “the Galatasary”. However , we suffer endless hours of traffic to not miss the majestic monuments to visit such as Hagia Sophia.
A quick foray into a weekly market on a Saturday morning makes one feel this open and more tolerant mean. In a word, in Istanbul, modernity and traditions found a fine balance. A delicate balance, but the outcome miraculously summed up in this city. A modern city with oriental charm where the sweet life mingles with the pace of profitability and optimal time management. Veiled women, niqabées, bearded, young scantily clad in this hot day, everyone seems to live peacefully with neither shocks nor violence.
On the Asian side, there are few tourists and there, except to its market of spices and nuts, it is difficult to be understood as almost nobody speaks English. Even in the new marina, where restaurants are always full, it’s hard to be understood by servers who have little experience in foreign languages.
In that time, Istanbul hosts the Salon of boating and all major international brands of motor and sailing boats are present. Turkey is a new yachting destination. There are few more years, it was only a complement to neighboring Greece. Now Turkey is investing in this niche.
Istanbul is magic. His charm works quickly and the desire to discover other regions is quickly evident. Istanbul is made of blends and contrasts. Asian influences, European, Anatolian, Muslim, Christian are present on every street corner and in every encounter. The weight of history, the desire for modernity, and a mix singular wealth do the rest.
Istanbul has managed to innovate with its legacy. A challenge that many countries such as Tunisia have not successfully met.