There are 75 million people living in Turkey, 99% Muslims, and 90% Sunni. However, there is no national religion, as such. Istanbul, with 14 million, has the highest population of any city in Europe. With Turkish ethnicity being close to 75% and Kurds close to 25%, there is a natural enmity. More Syrian migrants, 2.2 million, have been admitted than to anywhere else.
Of all the Muslims, slightly more than 10% are Shiite (Shia), while slightly less than 90% Sunni. This ratio also holds for Muslims in the U.S. The Sunni/Shia ratio largely explains who cooperates with whom:
- ISIS or ISIL: Sunni
- Al Queda: Sunni
- Taliban: Sunni
- Muslim Brotherhood: Sunni
- Iran: supporting more than 100 Shia terror groups
- Hezbollah: Shiite
The salad was fine, the spinach not to my liking. At this point, I was mildly concerned, for 45 minutes into my meal, I was still the only customer in a 500 seat restaurant.
But there were almost a dozen waiters with white dinner jackets and black bow ties waiting, so I just hoped I didn't miss that terrorist warning, and certainly didn't see any board of health alert on the outside. People here must have late lunches, for I showed up at 11:30.
Next came some thinly sliced lamb, the kind you see hanging on a whole leg in the fast food stands:
I asked the waiter what kind of meat, and he said beef or lamb. I guess communications failed. I actually wasn't sure myself. The next was a Turkish kebap of beef or lamb:
Let me add that the Mesopotamian Crow is prominent here, and there are flowers:
Tomorrow, I'm off for Venice.