Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons at Sunrise

My Favorite Photos of Turkey

314 comments
Freshly Pressed | Discover, Photography, 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.


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 to certain death. 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



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

Posted by

Currently living in Bangkok, I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~ planetbell1@gmail.com

314 thoughts on “My Favorite Photos of Turkey”

    • I am glad that you voted for #4. It is currently in 9th place and needed some love. That was a beautiful vantage point in Cappadocia. Thank you for reading and voting!

      • We’ll book a flight to Izmir, this evening, we plan to see Ephesus. Cappadocia will have to wait until warer days, but it looks fabulous from your pics…

  1. 99ja02 says:

    Reblogged this on jola's log and commented:
    Simply stunning, the quality of the post photo editing is brilliant. Turkey looks amazing.

  2. I voted Aya Sofya at Night with Fountain, because of it’s fantastic colors the fountains has on each layer lines of water. The colors of the water is neat.

    • I did a long exposure and the colors would change periodically. On a few shots I was able to get some cool effects with the water.

      Thanks for voting and commenting!

  3. Great idea for a poll-post. I loved Cappadocia Balloons at Sunrise pic. I always wanted to photograph some air balloons but i didn’t have the oportunitty yet.

  4. I’m glad I clicked on this post and, at first thought, “What a nice insight of such an interesting country.” As I scrolled down, I really liked the picture #3 for it’s simplicity and I always think it’s interesting to see pics of the people of another country. But, when I got to number #10 I knew that was my favorite since it not only made me smile, but I was glad you posted such a contrasting sight! Thank you!

    • I like #3 also. I captured a simple moment between the girls, but #10 is just ridiculous. I raised the camera to take a photo of the bride when the make started walking by and got lucky to get them both in the shot. Priceless.

      Thank you for commenting and voting!

  5. santoshrabidas says:

    I want to go in Turkey but I have no money.Turkey attracts me.Please help me.

  6. if “all pics are lovely” sounds like a too cliche answer, i pick no.9 as my fave. the contrast between the fountain and the mosque as a background makes it impressive.

  7. http://linkphotographyblog.wordpress.com/

    We went to the same places in 2011. The pictures posted on one of my blogs are my friends’ beautiful pix. But we didn’t get Freshly Pressed! How I envy you! Congrats!
    Your pix are beautiful! I like #10 and voted for it…because it is so special!
    I do have one question for you? Why is your Blue Mosque so bright? When we were there, the lighting was very dim.

    • The Blue Mosque was dim, but I used a long exposure and then enhanced it just a bit with lightroom. #10 is just funny. I love that pic too. Thank you for voting and commenting.

  8. Excellent photographs, a feast to the eyes. I particularly liked the Blue Mosque and the Sunset pictures for the serenity they exhude. I stayed tantalisingly close to Turkey for 4 years (in Zurich). What a pity, never traveled to Turkey! I do hope I go there one day.

  9. Galata Bridge is beautiful… and the food below divine. I enjoyed your pics, reminded me of the ancient enchantment of it all. Thank you for the post.

  10. Hey Planet Bell, your photographs are beautiful. Turkey is one of my dream destinations. And your posts makes me want to visit even more. thanks for sharing! I have never been in a Hot Air Balloon…maybe soon over Cappadocia!

    • Turkey is a nice country. It is surprisingly easy to travel around and the people are really friendly and hospitable. I hope you get to go someday soon.

  11. Çağlanur Kıroğlu says:

    It is hard to pick up one photo as all of them are really nice.Thanks for the beautiful words about Turkiye,I recommend you to visit Black Sea Region (the north coast).Cheers..

  12. Loved #1, #10 (hilarious!), and the painting. Must be nice to have two women looking down while you pee. Haha!

  13. Yılmaz Aksu says:

    I live in İstanbul.Firstly your photos are very well.Those places which you visited are most famous places.In Istanbul there are many beautiful historical places especially in Anatolian side.I love my country and come here soon.Thank you for pretty photos

    • I had a great time in Turkey and I really want to see more. We only went to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukalle and Ephasus mainly due to the weather. I want to go to the Black Sea areas and the east, especially Ani and Lake Van.

      Everyone in Turkey was so nice and hospitable. WE loved it there. Thank you for commenting.

      • Yılmaz Aksu says:

        You are welcome.I hope you come again.

  14. Fantastic – all photos…but the one that did it for me was the Pamukalle Bride….priceless ;-). Thank you for sharing

  15. All are awesome but Hot Air Balloons over Cappadocia is the best for me :)) Thanks for giving us a tour in Turkey with your awesome photos.

  16. I think it is high time I added Turkey to our bucket list! Hubby got a new camera for Christmas, so this would be a good workout for it.

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