My name is Noreen Ayesha . I am doing BS(Physics) from Government College and University, Lahore. Recently I was honored with the opportunity to visit explore the educational facilities in Turkey, the UK and Germany organized by the Government of Punjab with special consideration of Chief Minister Punjab, Shehbaz sharif. Here I am going to share a few of those cherished moments.
On Friday, June 6th 2017 we all got up very early and did our breakfast at 7 am. We boarded the coach and reached Marmara University, Istanbul at 9:50 am. Our excitement was at the peak, because we were ready to visit the 3rd largest university of Turkey. A professor from the international office, Mr. Murad welcomed us very warmly, and led us to a presentation hall, after giving us souvenirs from the university.
The presenter was Miss Sobia Zainab, who was a student of translation and interpretation of the English language. She gave us a brief introduction about Marmara University.
After the presentation we asked several questions from the faculty, to which they gave very satisfactory replies. Then, we were led by Mr. Murad for a tour around the campus. He was guiding us and he showed us various departments and offices of Marmara university including A central library of the campus, Main office of student affairs department, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Engineering, Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology labs.
After taking a round of the campus, we were gathered in a dining hall for lunch at around 11:30 am. At last we thanked the entire faculty for their hospitality and we left the prestigious University of Marmara at 12:20 pm, and moved to our next destination.
After a little road trip, we reached the captivating Topkapi palace, where we first headed straight to the famous Topkapi museum. What a spiritually motivating place it was! There were some amazing relics on display, which included The sword of Hazrat Daud (AS), Keys of the Ka’aba, Model of the Dome of the Rock, Footprint of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), Gutters of Ka’aba, Case of Hijr-al-Aswad, The beard of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), The Sword of the Khulafa-e-Rashideen and Mohar-e-Nabuwat. It was such an overwhelming experience seeing these historic artifact with my naked eyes.
After exiting this spiritual place, we entered a hall which contained portraits from the entire Ottoman era. The photos reflected the power and pride of the Ottoman Sultans. Next, we took a round nearby and found a section of clocks from the 17th century. We took photographs over there, and then we moved on to the famous Hagia Sofia (means Holy Wisdom) located nearby. Since Hagia Sofia was initially a cathedral and later converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Era, it contained symbols from both Islamic and Christian traditions. I thought that Hagia Sofia was the best example of the captivating Muslim architecture.
Next, we saw tombs of powerful Sultans located in the vicinity, which included Tomb of Sultan Salim, Tomb of Princes, Tomb of Sultan Murad, Tomb of Sultan Mehmed and Tomb of Ibrahim.
Right in front of Hagia Sofia, the renowned Blue Mosque was lighting up our eyes and attracting us towards it. Entering the Blue Mosque, we got the chance to offer Asr prayers. While waiting for the congregational prayer, we observed the architecture which enchanted us a lot. It depicted the pride and power of Muslims in the past. We took numerous photographs and after spending a lot of time there, we left for the nearby Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.
The Grand Bazaar was a bustling marketplace, with a variety of shops, which sold everything from souvenirs, T-shirts, scarves, crockery, sweets, jewellery among many other things we found interesting. The Bazaar accurately reflected the culture and lifestyle of Turkish people. The items on display were so attractive that we did not even hesitate to spend our last penny.
Time flied by very quickly and we had to leave as Iftar time came close. We boarded our coach once again at around 7:45 to return to our hotel at around 8:00 pm. The scenes from the miraculous Blue Mosque and the amazing Hagia Sofia were still enchanting our minds.
I would like to thank the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif for giving us the opportunity to enhance our observation and studying skills by embarking on this trip. I also want to thank our faculty members who supported and guided us during the tour.