Photographer's Note

4 hours walk in the souqs of Aleppo was like walking in the timeline of lights and shadows. It was feeling like inhaling the thousands years of fragrance: spice, candy, perfumes and oils, carpets and silk, and many more orientalist elements you could imagine. Without much modernist interference, the endless labyrinths of Aleppo bazaar (the souks) were much more dreamy for me, even though i live in Istanbul, where we have the Grand Bazaar and the Old Spice Market.

Aleppo was the meeting point of several important commercial roads in the north. This enabled Aleppo to be the link in trade between Mesopotamia, the Fertile Crescent and Egypt. The Amorites made it their capital in the 18th century BC. This position also made it subject to invasions from various races; from Hittites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

As an important center of trade between the eastern Mediterranean kingdoms and the merchants of Venice, Aleppo became prosperous and famous in the centuries preceding the Ottoman era. Many of its khans (caravanserai) are still in use even today; one of them is called Banadiqa Khan, Banadiqa in Arabic being the term for inhabitants of Venice. In the Ottoman age, Aleppo remained an important center of trade with Turkey, France, England and Holland. This caused various types of European architecture to be adopted in Aleppo which can be seen in many buildings today.

Nowadays, Aleppo is famous for its ancient citadel with medieval fortress, the great Umayyad mosque, and the extraordinary souqs (bazaars) with every conceivable kind of article for sale. It was and still the far distant trade center when Shakespeare mentioned it in Macbeth and Othello.

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Additional Photos by Deniz Taskin (rigoletto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3085 W: 400 N: 6725] (34279)
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