Monday, August 06, 2012

Turkey 6: Atatürk

Kemal Mustafa was given the name Atatürk, "Father of the Turks", by a grateful nation. He is not just the father of modern Turkey, he is the object of an ongoing national cult.  His mausoleum, erected on the most visible hill in the capital, is a massive pilgrimage site for Turks, and an obligatory stop for foreign dignitaries. Since Muslims must be buried in the earth, his body is not in this tomb cover, but sixty feet below it.

The ceiling of the great, open-air hall is a mosaic in the form of a Turkish kilim rug.

Directly above Atatürk's tomb marker is another mosaic, in the form of a Turkish carpet.
The exterior faces a large ceremonial plaza. We went to many ruins of Greek temples in Turkey. At Atatürk's tomb, I got a sense of what it would have been like to see a civic temple in its prime.


1 comment:

gruntled said...

The first picture is from Wikipedia, through a Creative Commons license. The rest are from my friend Katy Ashby.