“The only way to arrive at Semsi Pasha Mosque is by water,” my guide said as our little boat dodged two tankers on the Bosporus. On every shore around us, the domes and minarets of some of Istanbul’s nearly 3,000 mosques delineated the skyline of a city that looks like no other.
Istanbul’s symbols of power are almost exclusively religious and for that we can largely turn to the 16th century when an architect named Sinan gave the Ottoman empire’s grand ambitions event grander shape.
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