Invisible Mountain-36

These photographs were taken in the neighborhood of Eminönü in Istanbul, Turkey. Eminönü covers the area of the original site of the walled city of Constantine, Constantinople, the heart of the Byzantine Empire, or the Eastern Roman Empire, which lasted as the cultural and intellectual center of Western civilization for over 1000 years, and was founded by Emperor Constantine I as the city of Byzantium in 330 AD. It is the most historical neighborhood in the city, and contains several architectural structures dating back to the Byzantine Empire, as well as the early Ottoman Empire, which took root in the city after the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire in the late 1450s. There are several important mosques in the area, including the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii, which was built on the site of the Byzantine Emperors’ Palace) and the New Mosque (Yeni Cami). There is a high concentration of orthodox Muslims in Eminönü, as well as Syrian refugees, including many children, who have fled the war in their country. The area of Eminönü has been a trade port at the center of a civilization for nearly 2000 years, and its labyrinthine streets still carry a sense of chaos, wonder, and antiquity. In Turkish, the name Eminönü means “In front of Justice.”

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