ISTANBUL, Turkey — Despite the New Year’s Eve terror attack, in which a gunman dressed as Santa Claus shot and killed at least 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub, terrorism and fear are not the dominant themes in this city of 14 million people.
Especially when cold weather comes to Kyiv, a short trip to the generally warmer Istanbul is a good way to escape. Turkey is Ukraine’s Black Sea neighbor, so the flight lasts only 90 minutes. Even though Ankara is the capital of Turkey, Istanbul remains the most important city in the country.
The first and important place to get in Istanbul is Sultanahmet Square. There are two main sites — Blue Mosque (Sultanahment Mosque) and Ayasofiya. These are tremendous mosques located opposite each other. The Blue Mosque as a great masterpiece of world architecture. Even the most spoiled tourist will be astonished with the beauty of Blue Mosque inside. It combines two styles – classic Osman and Byzantine. Sultanahmet Mosque can accommodate 10,000 people inside at once.