- What’s On
Cornucopia's scope extends far beyond Turkey. In this section, we include the Aegean, the Balkans, the Levant and the Caucasus, near neighbours with historic and cultural ties that have all featured in the pages of the magazine.
Although there are more ancient Greek sites in Anatolia than there are in Greece, it is Greece that is the first stop in the discovery of the classical world, with the added bounty of Byzantine churches and monasteries.
The famous bridge of Mostar was built by the architect Hayrettin, a student of Sinan, at the command of Süleyman the Magnificent and completed in 1566. Marian Wenzel tells the story of the bridge in Cornucopia 3
Belgrade was captured by Süleyman the Magnificent in 1521 and became the largest city in Ottoman Europe after Istanbul. Briefly occupied by the Habsburgs on three occasions, it became the capital of Serbia in 1841.
The heart of ancient Thrace and under Ottoman rule for around 500 years, Bulgaria has more than a thousand royal tombs and 80 treasure hordes, plus a rich medieval and Byzantine heritage, notably at the monastery at Rila.
The Crimean Peninsula is a patchwork paradise shaped by a turbulent history. Cornucopia 49 devotes 100 pages to this bewitching land, now part of Ukraine, and celebrates its Turkish legacy, from coast to coast, mountain to steppe. Simferopol, the capital, is a short flight from Istanbul. Once there, the easiest way to get around is to hire a car and driver at around £100 for a day trip or £125 per 24 hours. Travel tips welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tbilisi (Tiflis) on the Kura River is the still romantic capital of Georgia. Down by Black Sea is steamy subtropical Batumi, and then there are the vineyards, the spectacular mountains and the stunning citadel of Ananur.
Turkey's eastern neighbour in the south Caucusus is a mountainous land with a rich biodiversity, famous for its carpets and its oil. Its capital, Baku, on the Caspian Sea has a number of Ottoman mansions.
Dreams of travel can sometimes come true, but sometimes events put them completely out of reach. The war in Syria has been cataclysmic for populations of whole cities. Cornucopia's books and articles recall better times.
At the heart of the Levant, Lebanon was nominally in the Ottoman Empire from 1516 until the end of World War I in 1918. Its prosperity rose under the Phoenicians who set sail from their cities of Sidon and Tyre, their ships made of the famous cedars and pines that cover the inland mountains. The Romans built Baalbek to the north, which since 1955 has held a summer music festival. Well known for its cuisine, Lebanon has exported its award-winning wines since the time of the Phoenicians: a visit to the Hussar family’s Château Musar featured in Cornucopia 35.
In Cornucopia 56 John Carswell recalls happy times when he rented a large crumbling Ottoman mansion in the fishing village of Tabarja. Teaching art at the American University of Beirut, he had been living in a flat when his friend Honor Frost came to visit. One of the world’s first underwater archaeologists, she had been exploring the Lebanese coast around Tyre, Sidon and Byblos.
Turkish North Cyprus is less developed than the larger Greek-speaking south. It has a number of Byzantine castles and churches and the ancient cities of Salamis, Famagusta and Kyrenia (Girne), the tourist capital.
The Egyptians were the great traders of the eastern Mediterranean, and there is still a heady cosmopolitan atmosphere in the country, from its coast, where Ottoman mansions remain, to the Cairo bazaar, which rivals Istanbul’s.