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EXPLORE TURKEY

With a $500 Deposit

ISTANBUL | ESKIŞEHIR | KONYA | CAPPADOCIA | IZMIR | BURSA

 

October 7  19, 2024    11 NIGHTS

Türkiye (Turkey) is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia. It possesses a complex, multi-layered history spanning millennia as one of the oldest permanently settled regions. In the 11th century CE, the Seljuk Turks challenged Byzantine rule and brought the region under Muslim control. In the 15th century, the Ottomans, another Turkish group, conquered the capital Constantinople, giving it the name Istanbul. A phenomenal era of governance, architectural and artistic splendor, intellectual and scientific advancement, and cultural synthesis ensued for centuries. The Ottoman sultans came to be seen as heirs of the caliphate, and the empire competed with rising European powers on a global scale. The Ottoman coffeehouse became a distinctive part of the culture from the mid-sixteenth century, bringing together diverse members across society for educational, literary, and social activity. The first Ottoman coffeehouse was opened in Istanbul in 1555 during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. Join us as we explore this heritage as part of a multifaceted excursion that includes key historical sites in Istanbul and Bursa, Cappadocia’s breathtaking landscapes, Rumi’s spiritual legacy in Konya, artistic workshops, the ancient ruins of Ephesus, and the Aegean sea coast in Izmir.

faculty guide

Abdul-Rehman Malik

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Abdul-Rehman Malik, Lecturer and Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Divinity School, will be faculty escort for the tour. He also serves as Director of the Muslim Leadership Lab at the Dwight Hall Center of Social Justice at Yale. He is an award-winning journalist, educator and cultural organizer. His work has spanned the UK, United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Mali, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia and beyond. Until 2018, he regularly presented the popular Pause for Thought segment on BBC Radio 2 and Something Understood on BBC Radio 4. His radio documentary on the history of Islam and Coffee – “The Muhammadan Bean” – has won numerous awards. In conjunction with The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Abdul-Rehman hosts the podcast “This Being Human”, which explores a kaleidoscope of contemporary Muslim experience and identity. While a storyteller-in-residence at the Doris Duke Foundation’s Shangri-la Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design in Hawaii, Abdul-Rehman co-developed Listening While Muslim, which explores the intersection of the sonic and the sacred.

ITINERARY IN TURKEY

The program officially begins on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 8. In order to arrive in Istanbul by this date, participants from North America should depart from their origin city on Monday, Oct. 7. Participants from other origins may be able to depart on Tuesday, Oct. 8 and arrive in Istanbul on the same day.

                             MONDAY, OCTOBER 7                   DEPART FROM US

DAY 1                  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8                  ARRIVE IN ISTANBUL / WELCOME DINNER

DAY 2                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9            ISTANBUL: SULAYMANIYE MOSQUE / TOPKAPI / AYA SOFIA / SULTAN AHMET / BASILICA CISTERN

DAY 3                 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10              ISTANBUL: EYUP SULTAN / GRAND BAZAAR / DOLMABAHCE PALACE / BOSPHORUS BOAT RIDE / CAMILICA MOSQUE

DAY 4                 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11                     SOGUT: SULTAN FAITH MOSQUE / TOMB OF ERTUGRUL / JUMAH PRAYER / SULTANS MUSEUM / ESKIŞEHIR

DAY 5                 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12              TRAIN TO KONYA / ALAEDDIN KAYKUBAD MOSQUE / SELJUK PALACE / SELIMIYE MOSQUE

DAY 6                 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13                  KONYA: MEVLANA MUSEUM / SEMSI TEBRIZI MOSQUE / WHIRLING DERVISH PERFORMANCE /  KARATAY MEDRESE

 

DAY 7                 MONDAY, OCTOBER 14                 CAPPADOCIA: KAYMAKLI UNDERGROUND CITY / POTTERY WORKSHOP /PASHABAG VALLEY

 

DAY 8                 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15                HOT AIR BALLOON (OPTIONAL) /  UCHISAR CASTLE / CARPET SHOPPING / HAJI BEKTAŞI COMPLEX

DAY 9                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16          FLIGHT TO IZMIR / IZMIR PORT / KEMERALTI MARKET

DAY 10               THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17              EPHESUS EXCURSION / ŞIRINCE VILLAGE

DAY 11                FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18                    BURSA: TOMBS OF OSMAN AND ORHAN GAZI / TOPHANE TERRACE / RETURN TO ISTANBUL / FAREWELL DINNER

DAY 12               SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19              DEPART FROM ISTANBUL

This robust itinerary includes a train excursion and an internal domestic flight along with transport by private A/C coach

With a $500 Deposit

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Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with recurring tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jerusalem & Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Senegal/Gambia, with exciting new destinations being planned in the coming years.

 

WHY JOIN A BAYAN TOUR?

Tours offered by Bayan cater to the diverse interests and needs of families, while offering an exceptional educational and cultural program. Each tour is led by one or more faculty members who provide daily background lectures and insights about the historical and contemporary contexts. Local guides are utilized as well at various points in time. The itinerary is crafted by experienced personnel to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. While the scheduled program is robust, ample time is provided to explore on your own, shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy some leisure activities. Bayan’s tour group size is typically up to 35 participants.

TOUR information

Tour pricing (Land package only)

All pricing is double occupancy and per person.  International airfare is not included.

 

AdultS                                    $2,995

minors (8-17)                     $2,795

single supplement          $600

land PACKAGE INCLUSIONS

  • Airport transfers in Istanbul on October 8 and October 19

  • 11 nights hotel (4* and above)

  • Ground transportation by private A/C coach

  • Train from Eskişehir to Konya

  • Internal flight from Kayseri (Cappadocia) to Izmir

  • All entrance fees for scheduled sites

  • Daily breakfast + lunch or dinner (2 meals/day)

  • Daily commentary/discussions with faculty guide(s)

  • English-speaking local guide(s)

 

EXCLUSIONS​​​

  • ​​International airfare to Turkey (budget about $1,000 round-trip per person from US gateways) and applicable baggage fees

  • Tourist entry visa if needed (US passport holders no longer need a visa for a stay under 90 days)

  • Local bus, taxi, metro fares during optional excursions

  • Gratuities for driver(s) and local guide(s)

  • Additional meals/beverages

  • Personal items

  • Hotel incidental charges,  hotel porters and other individualized services

  • Urgent care, medical treatment and testing, related expenses

  • Covid-19 testing costs (if required for entry or return to country of origin)

  • Travel insurance (recommended)

With a $500 Deposit

 

international travel arrangements

Arriving In Turkey (Istanbul)

Numerous airlines provide service to/through Istanbul International Airport (IST), which is among the busiest hubs for global air travel. Turkish Airlines is the preferred carrier for flights originating from various US gateways. Participants should book “roundtrip” flights arriving in Istanbul (IST) on Tuesday, October 8 (for travelers from the US, this means departing from your city of origin on Monday, October 7). The tour officially begins at 5:00 pm on October 8th with a group orientation meeting in the hotel, followed by a brief walk in nearby areas, a visit to a mosque for prayer, and dinner. You may plan your travel to add extra days in transit elsewhere before or after the tour, or in Istanbul before or after the tour, if you wish. Initial hotel check-in for the tour is on October 8 and final check-out is on Oct. 19.

Departing from Turkey (Istanbul)

The tour concludes on the morning of Saturday, October 19 in Istanbul and you should check out by noon or earlier. (If need be, you can depart late on the night of Oct. 18 or early morning of Oct. 19). If you plan to spend more time in Istanbul after the conclusion of the tour, then plan your flights, local transportation, and additional hotel accommodations accordingly on your own.

Booking Your Flights

Once you’ve paid your deposit to Bayan Tours, you should book your flights as soon as possible to try and obtain well-priced airfare with suitable flight timings and layovers (if you don’t have a direct flight to Istanbul, we recommend that you choose a route with a layover of not less than 90 minutes). You can use your own travel agent, check airline websites, or use other booking sites to select the flight legs that are best for you.

Hotels

Our tour group will stay at the following hotels:

 

  • Istanbul: Ottomans Life 4.5*  (4 nights)

  • Eskişehir: Tasigo 4.5* (1 night)

  • Konya: Dedeman 4.5*  (2 nights)

  • Cappadocia: Hilton 4*  (2 nights)

  • Izmir: Wyndham Grand 4.5* (2 nights)

Please note that hotels are subject to availability.

With a $500 Deposit

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

 

Along with the historical and natural sites indicated below, in various cities, we will also visit coffee houses and venues to explore the heritage of coffee culture in Ottoman and Islamic contexts.

 

Istanbul

  • Sultan Ahmed Camii (Blue Mosque)

  • Hagia Sophia

  • Topkapi Palace

  • Grand Bazaar

  • Suleymaniye Mosque (optional - Fajr)

  • Eyup Sultan Mosque (optional - Fajr)

  • Dolmabahce Palace

  • CamlicaMosque

  • Basilica Cistern

  • Istiklal Street

  • Galata Tower

  • Bosphorus Boat Ride with lunch

  • Coffee roasteries and cafes

  • Calligraphy demonstration

 

Sogut/Eskişehir

  • Tomb of Ertugrul Gazi

  • Jumah Prayer

  • Tomb of Shaikh Edebali

  • Ottoman Sultans History Museum

  • Kurşunlu Mosque

  • Odun Pazarı traditional district

 

Konya

  • Train from Eskisehir to Konya

  • Alaeddin Keykubad Mosque

  • Seljuk Palace

  • Aziziye or Selimiye Mosque

  • Mevlana Museum

  • Shams Tabrizi Mosque

  • Sema (Whirling Dervish performance)

  • Karatay madrasa

 

Cappadocia

  • Kaymakli or Deyrinkuyu Underground City

  • Pottery Workshop

  • Pashabag - valley of monks

  • Hot air balloon trip (optional)

  • Guvercinlik Valley and Uçhisar Castle

  • Lutfiye Hatun Mosque

  • Carpet shopping

  • Haji Bektash Complex / Ihlara Village

 

Izmir

  • Internal flight from Kayseri to Izmir

  • Izmir Port, Clock Tower

  • Fatih Mosque

  • Kemeralti Market

  • Ephesus excursion

  • House of Virgin Mary and Şirince village

 

Bursa

  • Jumah prayer at Ulu Camii (Great Mosque)

  • Tombs of Sultan Osman Gazi and Sultan Orhan Gazi

  • Tophane Terrace viewpoint

  • Who is leading the tour?
    Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.
  • What is the expected group size?
    Bayan’s tours are focused on providing a well-rounded experience featuring scholarly knowledge, cultural exposure, recreational activities, and free time. Most tour groups are multi-generational and diverse in nature. In addition to historical and contemporary sites of interest, the itinerary includes visits to mosques and other places of worship to accommodate the religious needs of group members. Our group size tends to be in the range of 30-40 participants from North America and beyond. Participants are able to get to know one another and develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. By participating in a tour, you are helping sustain and advance Bayan’s mission as a non-profit educational institution.
  • When is the registration deadline?
    We are accepting registrations for the tour until March 31, in order to reserve seats on a train, book sufficient hotel rooms, procure entrance tickets to monuments, and ensure other details. You must pay a refundable deposit of $500 per traveler. Deposits are partially refundable through February 15, 2024, however, a cancellation charge of $ 100 per traveler will apply for any cancellation requested 24 hours after time of booking. For other important terms and conditions, please click here. After payment of your deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due no later than April 15, 2024.
  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens to enter Spain?
    Bayan’s tours are open to participants who wish to join from anywhere in the world. However, the majority of participants tend to be from the United States. US passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter Spain for tourism. This is true for nationals of many other countries as well. However, non-US passport holders are encouraged to check requirements for their nationality and obtain a visa if required.
  • How physically demanding is the tour?
    Our group will be transported from city to city in a luxury air-conditioned tourist bus. However, in each city, since we will be in the historical centers where buses can't go, we will use the metro or other local public transportation, and occasional taxis, to get around. Even so, there will be a significant amount of walking on most days, on slight inclines and steps. The streets at times will have cobblestones. The walking distances involved at any given time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile between rest points. The guides will take into account the differing abilities and health conditions of group members and regulate the pace and intensity of the tour accordingly. Nonetheless, participants should expect to walk roughly 12,000 steps each day (about 6 miles in aggregate) during the first few days of the program, and perhaps 8,000 steps per day during the latter portion of the itinerary. This tour may not be suitable for those with knee, hip or foot pain that could be aggravated by the amount of walking involved. Ideally, all participants should prepare for the tour by walking at least 5,000 steps per day in the weeks leading up to the tour.
  • What type of food will we have on the tour?
    Spain’s food is a mix of Mediterranean and local traditions. Some dishes, such as paella, reveal their roots in Arab/Muslim cuisines. While the types of vegetarian options have grown in recent years in Spain, most local meat dishes feature pork (we will be sure to avoid any foods prepared with pork or alcohol). During the tour, we will dine at restaurants that serve zabiha halal foods, or at places that offer seafood and vegetarian options. You can expect meals to include Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan dishes at restaurants run by local Muslims, and Italian and other types of dishes more generally. You’ll have the option of sampling various suitable tapas (small dishes) that are routinely consumed in neighborhood establishments..
  • Will you provide more information about the daily schedule and other details?
    Yes, all participants who have completed their full payment will receive a detailed information packet that includes descriptions of the cities and sites to be visited, the daily schedule, currency exchange, local prayer times, electrical adapters, weather, what to pack, and more.
  • What precautions are you taking with regard to COVID-19?
    We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot for all who are eligible to receive these shots. Travelers may visit Spain for tourism, but must provide either a certificate proving full vaccination, a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), or a certificate of recovery. Travelers can enter using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents. We do not expect to mandate masking during the tour, but we encourage masking whenever possible and according to each individual’s comfort level. For example, when shopping in crowded areas, it would be best to wear a mask. General sanitary practices should be maintained at all times, such as washing hands with soap, using sanitizing gels and wipes, and maintaining a reasonable distance between individuals.
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