New life for the Ethem Pertev Yalı. Sir Percy Sykes’ caravan to Kashgar. The Zeyrek Camii rescued from oblivion. The Crimean War, a pointless war. Islamic treaures at the V&A; Ottoman photographers; Hermitage heirlooms Plus: kurabiye, the classic shortbread
For three years, the main Islamic Middle East gallery at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum was closed. It reopened in 2006 with spectacular effect. Here we present some key aspects of a stunning permanent collection that can now be seen, literally, in an entirely new light. Commentary by its curator, Tim Stanley. Gallery photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
The Crimean War of 1853–56 which ended 150 years ago this year  now seems very remote. Why were Great Britain and France, in alliance with Ottoman Turkey, fighting Russia in the Black Sea? Norman Stone investigates the causes and reviews an exhibition of Crimean War memorabilia at the Sadberk Hanim Museum.
This modern Turkish favourite is a descendant of şeker gurabiye, the biscuit served at 16th-century Ottoman feasts
By the mid-1990s the Zeyrek Camii was in a state of alarming decrepitude. Now that the Byzantine masterpiece has been rescued, what lessons have been learnt? For Robert Ousterhout, who was closely involved in the restoration, the old ways are always the best. Photographs by Jürgen Frank