Ramadan is like Islam as a whole: from a distance, people are scared of it. But close up, it′s wonderful. If only it weren′t for an uncomprehending majority on one side, and the pious hard-core fasters on the other. By Anja HilscherMore
The Ottoman Empire, founded in 1299, collapsed in November 1922, when the last sultan, Mehmed VI, was sent into exile. The First World War had been a disaster for the empire, with British and allied forces capturing Baghdad, Damascus and Jerusalem. A new government, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, was set up in 1920 in Ankara, which then became the Turkish capital. Constantinople, formerly the imperial capital, was renamed Istanbul in 1930.