Istanbul, a city whose brilliant historic past has earned its symbolic place of being the archetype city bridging the Western world to the Orient and whose future will be no less promising as it unleashes the creative potential of its people.
As I walked down Istiqlal Street, I realized the significance of this bridge, this isthmus between the technology of the West and the spirituality of the Orient. It is from the top of the 183-foot-tall Galata Tower of Constantinople that Hezarfen flew, in the 17th Century, with eagle wings through a sustained unpowered flight across the Bosphorous Strait to the shores of Anatolia: a distance of 3558 meters. This was seen as a phenomenal feat in 1638: It was the first appropriate flight with artificial wings in the history of aviation. This technological feat was 200 years ahead of its time. More than this, this air bridge symbolized already at the time the great hidden potential of a multi-dimensional cross-pollination between the West and the Orient.
At the time, the Sultan Murad Khan granted him a sack of 1000 golden coins, and said: "This is a scary man. He is capable of doing anything he wishes. It is not right to keep such people," and thus sent him to Algeria on exile where he spent the rest of his life.