As you might know: tulips are originally from Turkey, where they had a big tulip festival this year. Turkey expects to be the biggest tulip exporter of the world in 10 years. It was a wonderful experience to be there and see all of the beautiful tulips in such a wonderful city as Istanbul. Because I love Istanbul and tulips.
But besides the tulips thing, I heard an amazing story about Sultan Suleyman Mosque which I wanna share with you guys. The Persian and Ottoman empires were always in a kind of competition or war with each other. Each party wanted to prove to the other one that his country is reicher and more important. Sultan Suleyman decided to build the biggest, most beauifull mosque on the highest hill in Istanbul. He asked Memaar Sinan to build it. The Persian king (I don’t know which one exaclly) heard about this and sent the Sultan a box full of jewels as a contribution with a message: let this be like salt in your soup, which is a common Turkish expression. The Sultan got very angry and felt belittled. So he went to Memaar Sinan, gave him the jewels and told him about what the Persian king had said. Sinan was busy making cement to start building one of the minarets. The Sultan asked him to take the box and throw all the jewels in the cement and built up one of the minarets with it. This way he would show the Persians that he is so rich that the jewels were nothing to him. This is a famous and true historic story. You can see the jewels in the minaret when you visit Suleymanieye mosque in Istanbul.