During one of my trips to Konya, Nevin Halici took me back into the kitchens of some of the best restaurants. We then dined with the Mevlevi dervishes and got to sample all the dishes made with exotic ingredients. Nevin is one of the most beloved cookbook authors of Turkey. Below are a few photos of her cookbook, Nevin Halici’s Turkish Cookbook, and one of my favorite recipes, Şaştım Aşı.
Over the years, I was invited to Turkey many times, to lecture and to visit with the Sufis in Konya. On one trip, in the dead of winter, I hired a driver and went to Cappadocia. There are many caves that were hollowed out of the soft pumice, and provided the residences of early Christians, who painted gorgeous murals of religious themes on the ceilings and walls. Here I am, in my fur cap and fur-l
I’ve just returned from doing research in London, where I met up once again with St George, one of my favorite saints! As the card states, “In Genoa, the houses were often built in narrow, steep streets. This made the lintel the best place for any exterior decoration. It was often carved with images of St George and the Dragon or the Annunciation. These signalled the piety of the owner and s
December 2000 marked an important historic event in Sufi annals: the first Mevlana Symposium was held in Turkey, to commemorate the 727th anniversary of the death of the great poet and mystic, Jalal al-Din Rumi (known throughout Turkey as Mevlana, not as Rumi), the founder of the Mevlevi Order (The Whirling Dervishes). The congress took place at Ankara and Konya from December 15-17, 2000. Of only
A big chunk of the research for The Magic Circle is related to what today is modern Turkey, a land where, in ancient times, so many major literary and historical events took place. Turkey was the home of King Gordius, whose Gordian knot was later cut by Alexander, opening the western route into Asia, and also home to Gordius’s adopted son King Midas. Even earlier, Turkey was the birthplace o
The very first morning when we stopped at Troy, archaeologists were boarding up parts to begin further digging just outside the famous ruins. We learned a few days later from a newspaper headline that they’d just discovered unknown outer walls, revealing that Troy was seven times larger than originally believed. So despite what historians had long insisted to the contrary, Homer’s desc