It has been a tumultuous summer in Turkey. Plans to build a shopping center on one of the last green spaces in Istanbul were announced. That didn’t sit well with the public and rioting began when police moved in to stop their protests. The Army was called in and over the past two months protesters have been maimed, blinded and killed as more riots erupted.
In stark contrast the Basilica Cistern, in the heart of Istanbul, is a place of remarkable peacefulness. An underground cistern, built in the sixth century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian, it supplied water for the Great Palace of Constantinople. It is a cathedral-size chamber, 453 feet by 212 feet, and its ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns, each 30 feet tall.
Photograph by JMartinC.