Pictures from Hasan Kayf

This ancient village was a series of caves until recently. It will soon be flooded to make a reservoir for Turkey and cease to exist. Here are a couple of pictures.

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The Tigris, which will be flooded.
The Tigris, which will be flooded.
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Cave dwellings

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The town today, which will be flooded.
The town today, which will be flooded.
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Cave dwellings
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Cave dwellings

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Surp Hovsep (St Joseph) Armenian Catholic Church in Mardin, Turkey

A chapel altar
A chapel altar
The main altar
The main altar
Such a variety of styles, many of them popular
Such a variety of styles, many of them popular
High capacity
High capacity
Excess religious art
Excess religious art
The main altar from the rear
The main altar from the rear
A side altar from the rear of the church
A side altar from the rear of the church

All photos copyright Duane Miller 2015.

Pictures from the Harem at Topkapı Palace

I am here in Istanbul for teaching (and learning, of course). Here are a few pictures I was able to take when not preparing lectures or teaching or leading discussions or whatever it is a professor does:

Wonderful colors.
Wonderful colors.
I like the color decorations around the upper windows.
I like the color decorations around the upper windows.
Tiles.
Tiles.
The court of the Haram.
The court of the Haram.
A warming kettle
A warming kettle
I loved this metal lattice.
I loved this metal lattice.
One of the haram rooms.
One of the haram rooms.
Domes everywhere.
Domes everywhere.
I liked the windows high in the walls.
I liked the windows high in the walls.
The main hall for guests. This couch would have been for the Sultan, though there was a balcony for the women to the left and up.
The main hall for guests. This couch would have been for the Sultan, though there was a balcony for the women to the left and up.
Me in the great hall.
Me in the great hall.
More domes,
More domes,
Some domes have skylights.
Some domes have skylights.
Some domes have skylights.
Some domes have skylights.
To the left is a shelf for cleaning dishes.
To the left is a shelf for cleaning dishes.
Tiles.
Tiles.
Pictures from Topkepi Palace on the Golden Horn, and then mostly from the Harem.
Pictures from Topkepi Palace on the Golden Horn, and then mostly from the Harem.

A Turkish Christian on persecution and conversion

I really like this article by an ethnic-Turkish Christian over at Christianity Today. I have met so many ‘new’ Christians over the years and sometimes they really do have miraculous stories to tell, but mostly they feel like normal Christians and would like to be treated that way. The author inserts a dose of realism with these words:

More Christians are killed than are saved from execution at the last minute. More Christians stay locked in prison, beaten and tortured, than are able to walk free, guided by miraculous escape plans. More Christians suffer lifelong deprivation of their most basic civic and economic rights. More converts from Islam give up their faith than stay Christians, and those who remain in the church struggle with lifelong battles with shame, depression, and isolation, caused by the loss of ties to their families, communities, and nations.

Above all, for the average persecuted Christian, there are unanswered prayers and the absence of peace, strength, courage, and joy. Their humanness in a very earthly plot line finds no place in our modern-day obsession with heroic stories with victorious resolutions.

Read the rest of article HERE.