A small room saturated with the smell of parquet and lacquer. The center of the room is fenced with unremarkable wooden chairs as in assembly halls of Soviet schools. And as in the first class you are shy to sit on the front row, almost feeling like on the stage. Dim space slowly filled with people and the quiet whispers. Everybody is in anticipation but don’t immediately notice few dark figures. They merge with the walls and the dimness until taking off the dark robes and brightening the room with crisp white robes. People are impatient trying to catch a soft transition from leisurely prayer movements into the slow swirl. And gradually stately rotations accelerate creating an air vortex around the white heavy skirts. Dancers fail in their depth counting circles with round feet steps. Synchronous motion of upraised to the sky hands is mesmerizing plunging into a meditative trance. Through the music one can hear rustling of fabric dancing in tandem with the centrifugal force. It is trying to catch up with the dancer twisting out of inertia around his legs when he slows down. Spectators exhale. Covered with sweat dervishes take a small break.
Could it have been better as to separate one world from another, one culture from another by running cold water of 2 seas — the Black and Marmora? Could it have been better as to combine them by placing on the banks of the strait which flows in both directions? The currents of the Bosporus — top and bottom ones — although carry their water in the opposite direction are still joined together in the calm shores of the seas. And 2 poles — the worlds of east and west — though sometimes tend in different directions their common origins still lie in the dark depths of the past centuries waters.
Istanbul is the city with dozens of names, city that beheld rises and fall of entire empires. It is giant ancient capital absorbed the breath of centuries. There is no city in the world like this, the city aspiring to the sky with thousands of minarets sprouting out of the haze like giant mysterious flowers. There is no city in the world like this where the singing of muezzins echoes over the rooftops merging into a loud call over the strait. Istanbul has no boundaries, growing like a moss on a tree it has swallowed all the shores of Bosporus by its huge body. And dozens of districts and quarters hide in their bowels imprints of dark ages.