Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Centre of the Old World

When Alexander built the Greek empire, he didn't head left. He went right. Inspired by leaders such as Cyrus the Great, of Persia. Cyrus became known for respecting the customs of the lands he conquered, even as he built centralised administration - his cylinder is believed to be the first human right's charter. Romans conquered Greece in 146BC. Rome then fell to the left (476 CE), and to the right (1453 CE). An irony of what we consider Europe is that its surviving capital for almost 1000 years longer than Rome was Constantinople... which became Istanbul. The conquering Sultan declared himself 'Kaysar-i Rûm' and made the city the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey is the modern country that followed the fall of that empire. The Mongol Empire had extended the overlaps all the way to China. Alexander wanted his capital in Babylon. Genghis' grandson Kublai founded the Yuan Dynasty of China. The story of modern Turkey pulls on the history highlights its central geographic position in the old world of Afroeurasia - full of flavour.

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