We travelled over a thousand kilometres this morning, but still I felt compelled to wander down to Güneşli central mosque on our arrival for Friday prayer.

Technically, on such days, I could let it pass and just do the shortened travelling prayer instead, but the pull is sometimes hard to ignore. We’ve been visiting this Istanbul neighbourhood for two decades, in which time we’ve witnessed a lot of change.

It used to be a very poor district, but with increased investment and gentrification, all that has changed. Driving through its streets, gazing up at luxury apartments all around, you can’t help thinking to yourself, “Para para (money money).”

But we’re not here for that. Regardless of what’s different, some things stay the same: the hospitality of my sister-in-law and our niece, now all grown up. We will enjoy our brief sojourn here before our final voyage home.

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