From Thursday 25th October 2012
Fly EasyJet 6.30 am flight from Luton to Istanbul return on Monday 29th October at 6.45 pm flight back

Jews have lived in TURKEY for more than 2,400 years. In the later Middle Ages, Ashkenazi Jews migrating to the Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire supplemented the original Jewish population of Asia Minor. At the end of the 15th century, a large number of Sephardic Jews fleeing persecution in Spain and Portugal settled in Asia Minor on the invitation of the Ottoman Empire. It was midnight of August 2nd 1492, when Columbus embarked on what would become his most famous expedition to the New World, his fleet departed from the relatively unknown seaport of Palos because the shipping lanes of Cadiz and Seville were clogged with Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain by the Edict of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain. These were the brave Jews who were not prepared to convert to Christianity who left their land, their property, their belongings all that was theirs and familiar to them rather than abandon their beliefs, their traditions, their heritage. In the faraway Ottoman Empire, one ruler extended an immediate welcome to the persecuted Jews of Spain, the Sephardim. He was the Sultan Bayazid II such humanitarianism demonstrated at that time, was consistent with the goodwill traditionally displayed by the Turkish government and people towards those of different creeds, cultures and backgrounds. Indeed, Turkey could serve as a model to be emulated by any nation which finds refugees from any of the four corners of the world standing at its doors. Thus In 1992, Turkish Jewry celebrated not only the anniversary of this gracious welcome, but also the remarkable spirit of tolerance and acceptance which has characterized the whole Jewish experience in Turkey. Events took place included the restoration of ancient Synagogues etc - commemorated the longevity and prosperity of the Jewish community. Despite emigration during the 20th century, modern day Turkey still retain 26,000 Jews mainly in Istanbul

Book own flights – Recommend EASYJET London Luton to Istanbul - Sabiha Gökçen

Departing on Thursday 25 October 2012 at 06:30 Flight 2383 lands 12.20
Returning from Istanbul on Flight 2386 Monday 29 October 2012 at 18:45 landing at Luton at 20.50 – Return price as at 26.4.2012 was £116

Day 1 - Istanbul - Arrival Day Thursday 25th October 2012
Arrival to Istanbul and transfer from airport to the hotel. Check in to the Mina Hotel 4 star hotel – Highly rated on trip advisor check it out on following link
After a short briefing about your tour; have Free Time for Sightseeing with various options available including a Dervish Ceremony in a real monastery.

Day 2 - Istanbul - Jewish Heritage Tour—Friday 26th October
Morning visit to the Jewish Heritage Sites in Galata. You will see the Galata tower built by the Italians in 1303. Visit the important synagogues in Istanbul - Neve Shalom and the Askenazi Synagogue and Ahrida Synagogue. Visit Jewish Museum and hear about the Jewish history in Istanbul from the Museum Manager. Walk across bridge for Kabbalat shabbos prayers in Askenazi Synagogue for those and return to Hotel for kosher shabbos meal

Day 3 -Istanbul 27th Oct’ Shabbat service morning kosher lunch—Afternoon Classical Sultanahmet easy walking Tour near hotel
Visit the Hippodrome from the Roman period. Visit the Blue Mosque, famous for its blue tiles -Visit St. Sophia, a world heritage site built in the 6th century. After lunch, visit the Topkapi Palace Museum , its priceless collection of jewels, and the Grand Covered Bazaar.

Day 4 - Istanbul - Sunday 28th October 2012—Bopshorus Tour
Pick up early from the hotel for the Bopshorus Cruise tour . Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), Rustem Pasha Mosque, Bosphorus Cruise, Bosphorus Bridge, drive on the bridge and enjoy the beautiful view when crossing the bridge from Europe to Asia. Lunch ( at the top of Camlica Hill) Ortaköy, is a cosmopolitan area, bordering waters of the Bosporus with communities of Turk , Greeks, Armenians and Jewish. The neighbourhood hosts many different religions. It is also a popular spot for locals and tourists a like with art galleries, night clubs, restaurants, sitting by the waterfront for drink tea and coffee.
Visit Etz Ahayim Synagogue. Dolmabahce Palace, was the first European style palace built by Ottoman Sultans between 1843 and 1846.This is the last residence for Ottoman Sultans with 365 rooms and 22 saloons. Famous with the great collection of European antiquity, furniture and 4.5 tons chandelier. Atatürk lived the final part of his life in the residential part of the palace and died there

Day 5 - Istanbul - Monday 29th October 2012
After breakfast free time in morning to shop or sightsee or relax check out from the hotel by noon, Coach leaves for Airport at 1pm via a scenic route along the Boshporus stopping at various places including fish restaurant late lunch stop aiming to get to Airport by 5pm

£685 pp sharing a twin/double room— Single supplement £165 — What is Included :-
* 4 Nights Hotel Accommodation in old town Sultanahmet area 4 * Hotel – Mina Hotel
* Services of professionally licensed guides on local tours.
* All vegetarian Meals: Breakfasts and vegetarian Lunches on the tour – Plus Kosher Shabbat meals both on Friday night & Shabbos lunch
* Transportation in Air-conditioned, non-smoking coaches on local tours.
* English speaking guided tours of Jewish Heritage.
* Cooking Class or Turkish Bath Tour
* Inbound and outbound airport transfers to/from your hotel.
* All taxes, entrance & museum fees, baggage handling. (unless otherwise stated)

What is not included

* International airfares — VISA applications for Turkey * Travel Insurance and medical services.
* Tips to guide, driver, hotel staff etc — Items of a personal nature.
* Harem and Treasure room entrance fees in Topkapi Palace.
* Drinks with meals (except the drinks served with breakfast).
For additional Kosher meals it will be additional £10 per meal or if fish is required with vegetarian meals
This trip is based on 15 people minimum so a £75 deposit per person is required to book a place on the trip.