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Sting's magical tour of Istanbul

June 22, 2006
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A concert for 15,000 fans on the straits of the Bosphorus in Istanbul gave Sting the perfect excuse to combine business with pleasure. Accompanied by his wife Trudie Styler and their 22-year-old daughter Mickey the musician enjoyed a spot of sightseeing in the Turkish city.

The couple made a trip to one of its bazaars, where they browsed for bargains among the colourful kilim textiles, haggling with the energetic shopkeepers. Istanbul's most famous market is the Spice Bazaar where fresh coffee, herbs and spices, along with a thousand varieties of Turkish delight are sold.

Later Sting and Trudie danced the night away at a local disco, where an agile performer in a revealing lime green gown showed them how to shimmy Turkish style.

With a skyline studded with domes and minarets, Istanbul is one of the truly great romantic locations, and the only metropolis to straddle Asia and Europe. It's a treat simply to tramp the history-laden streets of this continent-spanning site, where conquerors and crusaders once marched.

At the heart of its old quarter lies the Blue Mosque, famed for its blue Iznik tiles, and the Hagia Sofia, a fourth-century church built as the cathedral of Constantinople, the Roman name for the city.

For magnificent views over Istanbul head for the Topkapi Palace, where visitors can gaze out over the Golden Horn estuary and the Sea of Marmara. The palace is also home to the Spoonmaker's Diamond, the world's fifth largest jewel of its kind. The fabulous stone got its name when someone found it on a rubbish heap, decided it was fake and swapped it for three spoons.

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Photo: Erkan Atli, Goksel Mentesoglu/Hello! Turkey
Sting has friends in the historic city, so a concert provided the perfect excuse for an extended visit. Conquered by Romans, Greeks and Arabs over the years, Istanbul is packed with fascinating historic sights
Photo: Erkan Atli, Goksel Mentesoglu/Hello! Turkey
Meeting fans in one of the city's bazaars, where carpets, spices, coffee and Turkish delight are on sale

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