Thousands March in Istanbul

David and Becca on the start of our day out

Sunday was a glorious day, so we decided to take Rebecca to Istiklal, the famous street for promenaders, that runs between Tünel and Taksim Square. On reaching Istiklal, we were surprised to see riot police standing by, next to a huge water canon. We thought at first it might be to do with the football match later that day, we soon found out, however, that a huge demonstration was planned for that day.

Thousands of people filled the streets. The slogan on their caps read, 
“Have your say against the Armenian lie”, and they were waving both the Turkish and Azerbaijani flags 

As we walked along the three kilometers of this long street, we were joined by thousands of people commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre, in which hundreds of ethnic Azerbaijani civilians were killed by the Armenian army. Aparently, people even travelled all the way from Azerbaijan just to take part in the march.

Although there were riot police armed and ready along the route, the march passed off peacefully and we never once felt threatened.

The Azerbaijanis waved their countries flag, but wore headbands, 
declaring that they too were Turkish

David and Becca in the middle of the demonstration

This sign says, "We are Turks", and in front are Azerbaijani veterans, 
carrying Turkish flags

Survivors of the massacre

This sign says, "We live to survive because we are Turkish".

The people marched to Taksim square, where they held a rally, 
but we decided it was time to go, so we fought our way through 
the crowds, and took the dolmuş home.


A Winter Wonderland in Ispra, Italy

 David and Jessica had to dress warmly for the snow

In my last week with Clare and Jessica in Italy, we were surrounded by a winter wonderland. Fortunately we were warm and cosy inside their apartment, while outside the temperatures plummeted. David joined us for my last few days and we flew back to Istanbul together.

We could see from Clare's window that no one would be 
playing on the tennis courts this week

Fortunately, I had bought a pair of snow boots.
They are very warm, with a good tread.

I took a walk to look at the scenery. This is the same 
farmhouse I photographed for a previous post.

This horse was looking suspiciously at all this white stuff
that had suddenly appeared

We walked to the little village of Ispra, and rewarded ourselves 
with delicious cakes and cappuccinos in a delightful café

We had such a wonderful time in Italy, that we were sad to leave. Here's to the next time!

Press Centre

Press Centre
I couldn't resist this one!