Europe / Middle East / Photo Essay / Photography

My Favorite Photos of Turkey

Turkey is a photographer’s dream.

Situated at the crossroads of the Middle East and Europe, with interesting geography, architecture and people, there are many beautiful and unique things to photograph. Although we saw the most famous places – Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Ephesus – I am left wanting more. I want to return to the eastern half of this Texas-sized country and see places off the beaten path. I am sure I will go back soon.

Below are my 10 favorite photos from our recent trip and a poll where you can vote for your favorite. Voting for your favorite is like comparing apples and oranges, or landscapes, people and mosques, to me more specific. Obviously #10 is the clearly the best, but please don’t everyone vote for it.

After voting, let me know which photo is your favorite and why in the comments section. Comments make me happy.

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1. Galata Bridge Fisherman

Galata Bridge was my favorite place in Istanbul. The double-decker bridge has cafes, bars and restaurants down below and is full of pedestrians, cars and combat fishing on top.

After four dreary, rainy days, the sun finally came out and we were rewarded with this stunning sunset. I feel like everything came together for this shot: the fisherman to the left turned to face the camera, the ferries are in the right place in the water and of course the sun and clouds cooperated.

Galata Bridge at Sunset fishing poles

2. Blue Mosque Interior

I really like mosques. The architecture, the minarets and colorful details are purely exotic, and the Blue Mosque was one of the coolest I’ve visited. The interior walls are covered in intricate designs; the entire structure is art.

Istanbul Blue Mosque Interior

3. Turkish Girls in a Park

I like how the the two girls have such genuine, pretty smiles and how along with their mother, are amused by something off screen. It vaguely reminds me of the famous Spanish painting “Two Women at a Window” (see footnote). I also like how iPhones transcend culture as the young girl is fixated by her phone, oblivious to what is going on around her.

Turkish Girls

4. Mt. Erciyes

The rugged, whimsical landscapes of hoodoos, caves, ravines and arches that make up Cappadocia are a result of ancient lava flows from Mt. Erciyes.

Cappadocia Volcano

5. Galata Bridge Sunset

The classic Istanbul sunset from the Galata Bridge.

Galata Bridge at Sunset

6. Hoodoos in Cappadocia

Hiking among the otherworldly penis rocks hoodoos, pillars and spires in Cappadocia, I was able to get many excellent photos. It isn’t difficult: raise camera, press button. I like this one because it provides a little different perspective than normal.

Cappadocia Penis rocks

7. Hot Air Balloons over Cappadocia

Sometimes in life, it is worth waking up an hour before sunrise and hiking up a steep hill in the freezing cold. At one time I counted about 70 balloons in the sky over Cappadocia. I would have loved to have taken a ride, but I would have fallen out of the balloon. That is a fact.

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons at Sunrise

8. Hot Air Balloon

The more skilled hot air balloon pilots can maneuver between the hoodoos, canyons and cliffs. This balloon dropped down into a canyon and rose up right next to me. I thought about doing some James Bond move and hopping on for a free ride.

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Sunrise

9. Aya Sofya and Fountain at Night

The Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque are only a few hundred meters apart from each other, separated by a park and fountain. The park was crowded with tourists by day, but surprisingly empty at night with spitting rain and freezing wind.

aya sofya at night with fountain

10. Pamukalle Bride

Pamukalle is a land of strange landscapes and even stranger tourists. I really don’t know what to say about this photo. It renders me speechless.

Pamakkule Bride Wedding

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Note: I got the idea for the this post and the poll from krahnpix.com, an entertaining wildlife photography blog that you should be reading.

Footnote: Of all the famous paintings in the world, I am most familiar with “Two Women at a Window.” I have examined this photo an estimated 5,000 times. Why, you might ask? A copy was mounted over the urinal at a golf course where I worked and played for many years.

Two_Women_at_a_Window_c1655-1660_Murillo

311 thoughts on “My Favorite Photos of Turkey

  1. Reblogged this on Corner Dreamer and commented:
    First on the list of my featured posts are these striking pictures of Turkey. Browsing through them made me review my knowledge on world history. Remember Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire? ;)

  2. Thank you for these photos! I’m going to be traveling out of country soon, i’m not exactly sure where to yet but ill definitely consider turkey! If you have time check out my blog! I’m still starting out but i have a few photographs and descriptions of some pretty cool spots in Los Angeles!

  3. I’ve been to Turkey many years ago. I’d like to return and bring my husband with me this time! Beautiful place.

    • We only went to the more well-trodden places in the west – Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Ephasus. Cappadocia was my favorite part, but I really want to get back to the eastern side, which is less visited.

  4. The photos are just amazing (first two esp), a testament to your incredible journey.
    Let me know if you’d like to participate in the Race Around the World, share your stories from my platform. I’d be happy to promote your blog. =)

    HW

      • Just email me your answers according to instruction. I look fwd to the glimpse of your rich experiences and appreciate the way you will enrich this discussion. It’s a very special community here. Deep, insightful thinkers. Have fun with them. I will be happy to promote your blog. Will look out for your email.

        Diana =)

  5. #1 and #9 are my favorites. I couldn’t choose just one of them… they are such different types of photos. I am quite envious of both your talent and of your experience in a gorgeous place that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit.

    • Thank you very much. I think #1 is my favorite but I can’t decide.

      Turkey is a really cool country and a great into to the Middle East if you’ve never been. Thanks for commenting.

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