Kedi is a feature-length YouTube cat video from Turkey. Or is it a documentary? We’ll get to that later. In any case, it’s a movie that chronicles the lives of seven Istanbul street cats and the humans who tend to them. Directed by Ceyda Torun, it made the rounds at international film festivals from February 2016, and as of March 2017 it has had a limited showing in arthouse- and indie-type movie theaters in the USA.
In the comments section of my post on the Georgian Catholic church in Istanbul, a reader requested “a series of posts on some of the odder churches of Istanbul“. As far as I know, the Georgian church I wrote about is the only one in Istanbul, and so a whole series of posts about Istanbul churches would be too far afield from the main focus of this blog. But one post about churches in Istanbul is still somewhat related to Georgia, and so that’s what this post is. Of course, a post about churches in Istanbul would not be even remotely similar to a post about religion in Istanbul, since the modern city is overwhelmingly Islamic. So in the interest of comprehensiveness, this post will also cover some mosques of interest. Religious life also deals with cemeteries, so I’ve included those too.
Still, as a post dealing with the general topic of “Religion in Istanbul”, this discussion will be woefully incomplete. For one thing, I won’t talk about big, flashy tourist spots like the Hagia Sophia or the New Mosque. There’s plenty of information and pictures of that stuff out there already, and the world really doesn’t need any more. For another thing, in several cases I wasn’t able to enter the church or cemetery or whatever, and even if I could, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures. So this post will be more uneven than I would have liked. On the other hand, there will be a lot of nice pictures (all taken by me).
This post is really long, so for your convenience, here’s a clickable table of contents (seriously, click the links to go straight to what interests you the most!):
Again, this is a long post. But the photos really are cool, so I recommend taking some time to look at them. Maybe look at the different sections over the course of a few days.
And as a special treat for my loyal readers…cat pictures!
Notre Dame de Lourdes (known in Turkish as the Bomonti Gürcü Katolik Kilisesi) is a Georgian Catholic church in the Feriköy neighborhood of Istanbul. Most Georgians being Orthodox Christians, there are not many Georgian Catholic churches in the world. Further, there were never many Georgians in Istanbul, and there are very few today. Thus the very existence of this church is twice surprising. Its continued use is also surprising. Most sources report that the congregation today is largely made up of Turks, though when I went to see the church I found an amicable group of Georgians inside.
The church was built in 1861 and extensively renovated in 1901. For further details on the church, as well as its place within the history of Georgian Catholicism, see this recent paper by Natia Natsvlishvili. It’s a very nice essay, and I don’t have much to add to it, so this post will contain mostly pictures of the church along with some comments.
I haven’t posted any personal news recently because I haven’t been doing anything remotely related to Georgia. Now, however, I’ve moved to Istanbul, Turkey, for more wacky English-teaching adventures. If I had moved to Korea or somewhere like that, I would probably have started a new blog, but stuff related to Turkey is within the penumbras of stuff related to Georgia. Maybe I’ll start writing about topics more related to the Ottoman part of Georgia’s history rather than its Russian part (not to mention finishing old post drafts that have been sitting around for months). I also plan on revisiting Georgia and visiting Armenia and possibly Azerbaijan for the first time. Stay tuned.
My life these days