"The Bridge Between Two Worlds"
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 09/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's known as `the bridge between two worlds'. Turkey earned this title as it is the junction between Europe and Asia that served as a major center for travel and trade for thousands of years. Formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, the capital of Istanbul is the world's only city straddling two continents.
Named Anatolia by the Greeks and Asia Minor by the Romans, Turkey was located in a strategic location and thus every major civilization in ancient time periods had a presence here. This amazing country has seven environmental regions and each one contains its own distinct climate, landscape, and culture.
This program attempts to cover as much ground as possible in its one hour running time and it successfully does this on several levels. Exploring the history of the country looks at the former Ataturk government and the old Ottoman Empire and examines the influences of the two major religions that played roles here, Islam and Christianity.
From a cultural standpoint, Turkey has left an indelible mark on its place in the world and this is spotlighted farther on. Whether it is famous foods invented by Turkish cooks, regions producing vast amounts of teas, flavored honeys, Hazelnuts, and Pomegranates, or even the master weavers making incredible silk carpets using looms created two thousand years ago in China, it is all very interesting and entertaining at every turn.
`Hidden Turkey' is more than just a documentary in my opinion. It's like an in-depth and very satisfying visitor's guide of sorts. The narration is solid, the camera work is excellent, and the large assortment of different topics keeps the program stimulating from beginning to end.
Beautiful Photography, Lean on Content
Diego Banducci | San Francisco, CA United States | 03/08/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Why is it so difficult to prepare intelligent videos about Turkey, one of the most interesting countries in the world? Also one that offers some of the most interesting and delicious cuisines?
Here we have lots of quaint scenes of Turkish peasants preparing the most basic Turkish foods. Not a mention of turkish spices, which are the key to the country's cuisine. Fortunately, there are several excellent books available on Turkish cooking. Buy some of them instead.
All the while the narrator assures us that Turkey is a "modern sectarian state," apparently totally oblivious to the internal pressures moving it towards being a theocracy.
A lot of PBS programs are mediocre, but this one is truly idiotic.
From the cover:
"'Hidden Turkey' is a program in the worldwide food history and culture series Hidden Journeys.
"Turkey is often described as the bridge between cultures because it is the only country to straddle two continents: Europe and Asia. 'Hidden Turkey' takes viewers on a journey through this ancient country where Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great traveled. The land whose shores inspired the myth of Jason and the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. Turkey is a country whose rich history is mirrored in its cuisine, which is considered to be one of the world's oldest and greatest. Viewers will see village women preparing traditional stuffed foods such as Dolmas and Sarmas and the historical bread called Yufka. The viewer will go on an incredible excursion through the heart of traditional Turkish culture and visit carpet weavers, coppersmiths and the famous Whirling Dervishes.""