Istanbul Angels

Pioneer Sabiha

Book Tour Intermission

Our flight back to Blighty a few days before Christmas was smooth and relatively uneventful. We flew to Stansted via Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Istanbul, with Pegasus. Sabiha Gökçen is an ultra-modern airport, all shiny and new, in stark contrast to Stansted which is looking distinctly shabby these days. The airport is named after a Turkish aviator who is reputed to have been the world’s first female fighter pilot and one of Atatürk’s eight adopted children.

Istanbul’s airports provide an exotic visual banquet as travellers from across the Balkan, Anatolian, Caucasus and central Asia regions mingle around the highly polished halls in their ethno-religious finery. The most striking group this year was an angelic-looking troupe of people dressed from head to toe in bright white towelling and biblical strappy sandals. I don’t know which country they hailed from or what religion they observed (if any), but I was fascinated by them as they shuffled along through the rowdy crowds. Vive la difference!

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14 thoughts on “Istanbul Angels

  1. I just love hearing from you. You are my idol in the publishing world.
    Your words flow like a babbling brook and I just can’t begin to express the feengs I have for your vibrant words!

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  2. I’ve seen them at Ataturk airport too…just men. I just assumed that there was a hamam somewhere in the airport and they were wandering around in their towels to pass the time. Now I’m curious.

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  3. As it was outside the annual Haj season they could have been a party of people going on Umre which is a visit to Mecca outside the Haj season.And yes,they could only be called Hajı on their way home 🙂
    People watching at airports…..hmm,yes I too love to indulge and knowing others do too is the main reason I try to be as inconspicuous as possible!Anyone remember that old song?…it always feel like someone is watching me……..

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  4. If I wasn’t always trying to get somewhere (airports aren’t my favorite places) my ideal occupation would be just to sit and people-watch. Miami is my most hated airport… Designed by a nightmare.

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  5. Hmmm..when I make my inaugural flight to Istanbul in a couple of weeks , it will be with BA so I suspect the experience may not be so ‘local’. But what about Turkish Airlines to Izmir? I’m hoping for a bit more local colour there to jazz up the work trip.

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