Istanbul (1 cent)

We attended a lecture by Nigel McGilchrist last evening at the Ripley Center, sponsored by the Smithsonian. The topic was Istanbul, and this was the fourth Turkey related Smithsonian program that we have attended over the past year. We were in Turkey for two weeks in November.

The lecture was quite enjoyable; McGilchrist is a very affable and intelligent speaker. His slides last night were not the best, however, and he was obviously tired and hungry, having flown in just before the lecture from San Diego, without food.

Nevertheless, there was a lot to appreciate. Some of it was pure review, which is always nice (makes you think you are smart), some of it shows how much you miss when you visit a tourist location (he mentioned things, for example, about Topkapi that looked like they should have been obvious, but were news to me), and some of it was brand new, such as the 16th century to build a bridge across the Golden Horn, where one of the entries was by Leonardo da Vinci, and one of the requested entrants was Michelangelo).

An excuse to go back soon would be nice. It probably is not going to happen.


3 thoughts on “Istanbul (1 cent)

    • I’d like to see it, but hadn’t heard of it. Of course, the “G” word is verboten in Turkey. Was it a genocide, or was it simply World War I casualties? Many Armenians were actively supporting the incoming Russian troops (their fellow Christians), threatening the Turkish Republic-in-formation, and there was chaos all about. No one doubts that Armenians were killed and in some places, because they were Armenians, but whether it was genocide or simply the result of an awful war is still (and always will be) up in the air. At least Turkey and Armenia are trying to move beyond this, with soccer teams playing each other, and political visits happening.

  1. You know how non-discriminating I am with movies, but I do suggest you see it. It deals very directly with the “was it or wasn’t it genocide” issue (although the Armenian/Canadian director clearly has a position) and shifts back and forth among several time frames and generations (which can be confusing, but is very effective here).

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