There were 21 of us on this first trip to Turkey, November 17-25, 2000.  We were visiting Istanbul and the Seven Churches of the Revelation.  Quite frankly we didn’t know exactly what it would be like.  With much misinformation in our minds we were ready to rough it if the need arose.  This trip was to be an important addition to  my own personal experiences in relating the lands of the Bible to the Bible.  I wanted to adjust my filter through which I understood and interpreted the Word of God.  THIS WAS A GREAT TRIP.

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Turkey was a great joy.  Istanbul is charming and delightful and much more western-oriented that we thought.   We found the Turkish people to be very warm and kind.  Our guide, Mehmet and our bus driver were outstanding.  Mehmet was especially skilled in communicating the inter-relationships of the history of Turkey and her neighbors.  The land is beautiful, accommodations were more than adequate, and the sights were stunning.

The land of Turkey is called Anatolia.  Catal Hoyuk, the world’s oldest city, dating back to 7,500 BC is located near Konya.  The Ottoman Turkish Empire ruled from here for six centuries.  The nation has a secular government which came to power in 1923.  Their religion is Islamic.

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We stayed at the Marmara Hotel which is an older 5-star hotel in Istanbul.   It is located in the Taksim District on the European side of Istanbul.  They have a good restaurant.  The coffee shop downstairs rivals any I have ever patronized and we did patronize it many times the short time we were there.  We opted for French press coffee and every cup was excellent.

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The first day was kind of a blur.  The senses were overwhelmed by the beauty of Istanbul.  The weather for the entire trip was perfect.  I remember thinking how much more fun it was than what I thought it would be.  The following pages will be pictures from our time in Istanbul, the Seven Churches of the Revelation and even some of ancient Troy.  It was a joyful journey.



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