Inside Istanbul: Enjoying a true Turkish delight

By Chris Hale

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, June 9 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

Across the street from Hagia Sofia is the fascinating and largely unexplained Basilica Cistern, which is basically a highly decorated water tank. Three hundred and thirty unique columns hold up the ceiling and crystal clear water floods the floors. Some of the columns were obviously scavenged from Greek architecture as evidenced by two Medusa heads, one inverted and one on its side, acting as column bases. Talk about bizarre.

A visit to Istanbul would not be complete without a sampling of the various foods available. Kebobs and baklava should not be missed and being situated on the sea gives visitors the chance for a variety of fresh seafood. (While eating a traditional Turkish entrÉe of beans and rice, a local cat jumped in my lap wanting to share.) Also, don’t miss enjoying the desserts of the pudding shops.

Visitors should enjoy Turkey for everything that it is: A beautiful and industrious country with an eastern flair and a western democracy.

It truly is a Turkish delight.

Chris Hale is an aviation maintenance technician for a major airline who has traveled extensively with his family. In his spare time he writes novels inspired by places he's been. Find out more about his books at

Get The Deseret News Everywhere