Istanbul: Panorama Museum

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم

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Image: Ryan Mayer.

The distance between parking lot and museum entrance just about 50 meters away. Nevertheless, walking on a rocky road between two parks is so heavy as it runs on the gentle desert sand. The leavesless trees staring at us, as well as the pale green grass. Ironically a pink ice cream booth became the best attraction in the middle of freezing morning. The guards waved hands peddling ice cream as if the sun was shining so hotly.

After passing through x-ray gate we were greeted warmly by a female officer wearing a light blue veil. She kindly handed us flyers while we’re admiring an adult-sized Fetih Mehmet wax statue. With sharp eyes and black beard, the sultan seemed to remind the tourists who come to visit to be polite. We began to take pictures with the sultan before Zeki took us to the next room.

To get to the next room we had to go down the ladder steps. When first arriving on the next room, what appears as far as the eye is concerned are paintings depicting the city of Constantinople; either the buildings or the siege process led by Sultan Fetih Mehmed. Zeki explained the history of the city as well as the reason behind the 1453 AD attack. While the pilgrims listened with enthusiasm, my eyes led to a television screen explaining the process of the conquest of the city visually. So good the quality of the movie until unconsciously a group of Indonesian tourists passing beside, “Come follow me” a woman shouted.

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Image: Ryan Mayer.

“Seem to know the voice.” I turned towards the noisy group, “Ah, it’s true.” The brown-haired Turkish lady I met in Topkapi and another Indonesian entourage has arrived.

Not only did I witness the arrival of the group. In the midst of ‘history class’, Zeki glanced at the woman guide and somehow immediately took us to the next room.

We ascending the stair to a certain room. The closer to the destination the ear was greeted by unfamiliar sounds; it feels like being in the middle of brawl or riot. As soon as the stairs ended I was startled by the figure of strapping men in green Yeni Ceri uniform. “Allah Akbar, is it a jinn transformed into Ottoman army?” I was surprised.  After carefuly see it seems that he is a security officer guarding a round stage bordered by a glass fence the size of an adult belly.

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Image: Ryan Mayer.

“Iiiiigggghhhh ….” the sound of the horse’s thunderous roar followed by the sound of a loud explosion, “Booommm !!!” it turns out Zeki invites us to take part in the Constantinople conquest. Around the hedges lined up with huge gray cannons complete with iron balls ready to spit out into the city walls. Some siege tools such as the giant catapult and the attack tower are also present. “Woooooooo !!!” the shouts of the soldiers who risked their lives made the hair go bumpy while the music played by mehter (Ottoman military band) members was so obvious that the attacking and the attacked party could sense its presence.

Sultan Mehmet appeared behind us. Wearing a golden armor, he watched carefully on a white horse. The Yeni Ceries armed with arrows, axes, swords, and guns surrounded him with a keen gaze toward the fortress wall. Cavalry throw spears into Roman troops that threw bombs from the wall. Casualty was high but the Ottoman medical personnel immediately took the wounded or fallen to field hospital.

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Image: Ryan Mayer.

Some of the Ottoman forces seemed to have successfully climbed the fort while others were pushed down from the heights. “Boom!!!” a guard tower was smashed into pieces by a large sultan’s cannon fire which had to be withdrawn by 60 oxen. Creating a big hole in the wall, the other Ottoman troops rushed in and and killed the guards. Some others even managed to climb into a higher tower to plant Ottoman flag. I immediately recalled Ulubatli Hasan, one of the senior Yeni Ceri who was so loyal to the sultan.

What an amazing experience this Museum has to offer. A best historical learning place inaugurated by Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan on January 31, 2009.

Bahasa Indonesia

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