The flag of Turkey (Turkish: Türk bayrağı) is a red flag with a white crescent moon and a star in its centre. The flag is called Ay Yıldız (literally, moon star.) or Albayrak (Red flag).
Legend goes that in a pool of blood of Turkish warriors, there was a reflection of the crescent moon and a star.
The Turkish people are very proud and protective of their national flag. You'll see it everywhere you go. It's best to stay on the safe side.
You cannot go to Bursa without joining the experience of the tukish bath. It is very different from what you have probably experienced in other SPAs all over the world. First of all, hamam are big, have a very high ceiling (more that 5 meters I mean) with a lot of light coming down, they are not those dark holes we are used to in our wellness centres and they are hot, but not SO HOT. Turkish people were used to go there for one whole afternoon, to have chats, to deal bargains, to drink tea and relax. I've written "were" because now it's not so common to go there. But do not miss it and no hurry, no hurry at all. Woman and man are always separated. I went there in bikini but all woman had just their panties and no bras. It's possible to get a massage, also, of course performed by a woman and it is usually very cheap.
- Spa and Resort
- Women's Travel
While tea gardens are a popular fixture in many parts of Turkey, I've never seen something as lively as Bursa's. And it's all over the city - from the atmospheric hans (Ottoman warehouses converted to shops and tea gardens) to popular places like Mahfel Mado, much of the city's real estate is devoted to what is arguably Bursa's favorite pastime - tea time. More interesting are the people that flock to these tea gardens - beautiful, fashionable youth, which Bursa never seems to run out of.
Before Entering The Mosques
The majority of Turks are Muslim (about 99% of the population) of the Sunni creed. Hence, ISLAM is the principle religion in Turkey. Islam means devotion to God (Allah) & the basic belief is Allah created the world & everything shares the same roots as Christianity & Judaism except the belief about Jesus' divinity & status as a savior. Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus & Mohammed are all prophets while Mohammed is the greatest. It is believed that Mohammed is God's messenger & it was to him that God communicated his last revelation; being the last prophet. Muslims worship only God, no other. In Arabic, MUSLIM means one who has submitted to God's will.
Islamic teaching is recorded in the KORAN (which has sura -114 chapters) - Kur'an-i Kerim (Holy Koran) contains God's revelations to Mohammed. Koran (being sacred) cannot be translated & exits in Arabic only.
Sunna is the "rules of life" which governs the private & public behavior. (Sunna is a combination of the utterances of the prophets + The Koran)
In order to be a Muslim, one needs only submit his/her heart to God's will & perform a few religious duties - Specifically 5 Pillars of Islam:
1) Profession of faith - understand & believe "There is no god but God & Muhammed is his Prophet".
2) Daily Prayer - 5 times (dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, dusk & after dark).
3) Duty to give alms to the poor.
4) Fasting during Ramadan month
5) Pilgrimage to Mecca - once in his/her lifetime.
Muslim prayers are set rituals. Before praying, he/she must wash hands, arms, feet, ankles, head & neck in running water. As pictured, outside the mosques, one can usually find places for the Muslims to clean themselves with running water. If no water is available, one can clean with sand instead. If no sand, motions will suffice. After this ritual, he/she must cover his/head, face Mecca & perform a series of gestures & genuflections.
Churches and Synagogues..
Bursa is one of the provinces which has been the cradle of a number of civilizations and religious from the pre-Christian era to the present. There are many Christian, Jewish and Muslim structures still standing and now under government protection. Of the 17 church councils so important for the Christian faith convened between 324 and 1563, eight of them were held in Turkey and the 1st and 7th were held in Iznik. Iznik is one of 8 different pilgrimage points in Turkey and the most important.
Geruþ Synagogue Selim II had the synagogue built at the beginning of the 16th century. It is located on Arap Þükrü Street. The Jews exiled from Spain at the end of the 14th century and were put on galleons sent by the Ottoman Empire and given refuge. The first groups were settled in Bursa and this synagogue was built for them. The fact that this synagogue was called Gerush, which means 'driven away' in Hebrew, is very symbolic of their suffering.
The Geruþ Synagogue is still in excellent shape today. It is well-maintained and open for worshippers. The medallions found on either side of the Ehal Akodesh cabinet, where the Torah is kept, have Hebraic inscriptions recording the construction date and the name of the master builder. There is no other inscription showing any other details of construction. (note: this info from ministry of tourism page http://www.turizm.gov.tr/turizm.tb?app=ilview&ilkod=16&altbaslik=03.00.00&lng=_e g )
Bursa is the ex capitol of the...
Bursa is the ex capitol of the Ottoman Empire... You can see many tombs of the first Sultans (padiþah) around the old mosques, especially Muradiye Mosque, do not miss the tomb of the prince 'Cem Sultan'... In all these masoleums (tombs) pay attention that the funeral is in the middle, located under an opening of the roof. Turkish-Ýslamic culture- rain must wash the corpse ! I will include some photos soon. Some newer tombs do not have this opening for rain !
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Have a shoe shine when you are...
Have a shoe shine when you are in Bursa, it is relaxing and refreshing. You can find them around Ulucami (Grand Mosque) and Yesil Cami (Green Mosque) area. Have fun !!