Historically and Culturally Compelling

Mustafa Burmawala is the son of director Abbas Alibhai Burmawala and nephew of director Mastan Alibhai Burmawala from the Abbas-Mustan team. An actor and assistant director himself, Mustafa is also an avid traveller and passionate explorer. “As an actor, the more you explore new places and cultures, the better it is for you as you get to meet new people, which in turn helps you grow. You might learn interesting things about a whole new culture, or stumble upon some amazing locations to shoot a film or a quick unplanned photo shoot. The possibilities are as enticing as they are unlimited,” Mustafa remarked when asked about his love of travelling. 

On a 20-day trip to Turkey while shooting, Mustafa took the opportunity to explore the country. Accompanied by his brothers, Mustafa also had family friends living in Turkey, which made extending the work trip to include a few days of pleasure even more compelling. The Republic of Turkey, colloquially known as Turkey, is encircled by seas on three sides and has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic age by various ancient civilisations. The country is geographically beautiful and culturally rich. Having visited Istanbul, Cappadocia, Edirne, and Antalya, Mustafa said about his fondest memory, “There are a lot of memories from that trip. It’s difficult to choose one, but the best memory was the hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia.” 

A historical region in Central Anatolia, Cappadocia has a plateau over 1,000 metres in altitude, with Mount Erciye stopping out at 3,916 metres. It has a continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. The region’s rich history of being an important part of the Persian and Roman Empires, and early Christian and Byzantine provinces, gives it a very diverse and intriguing culture. “Cappadocia is full of mountains that have natural caves. So that is one thing everyone should experience, as the hotels are made in the caves,” Mustafa gushed. 

In Istanbul, Mustafa was enchanted by the majestic architecture. Known historically as Constantinople and Byzantium, Istanbul is the most populous city in Turkey. With Neolithic artefacts having been uncovered from as early as the sixth millennium BCE, the city has been an integral part of the Constantinople, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Due to its location, the climate of the city is transitional and classified as Mediterranean climate, humid subtropical climate, and oceanic climate. In short, it’s an ideal vacation spot for individuals from any climate.

Edirne, also known as Odrin, is a city in north-western Turkey, close to the country’s border with Greece and Bulgaria. While visiting, Mustafa experienced a less city-like and more town-like vibe here. The area around the city has been the site of numerous major battles and sieges. Since Edirne is known for its many mosques, domes and minarets, Mustafa visited some impressive structures like the Selimiye Mosque, Mimar Sinan, Eski Cami, and Burmali Cami.

The last city that Mustafa visited in Turkey was Antalya, located on Anatolia’s thriving southwest coast, bordered by the Taurus Mountains. It is the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast, which flourished during the Roman rule when several new monuments such as Hadrian’s Gate were built. According to Mustafa, the sites to visit in this city are Hadrian’s Gate, Iskele Mosque, Kesik Minare, Yivli Minare, Tünek Hill, Arapsu Bridge, and Kurşunlu Waterfalls.

The actor was absolutely stricken by the resplendent culture of the country. “Of course, I would love to visit this remarkable place again. But the next time it will be for a longer time so that I can explore the country even more,” he responded when asked if he would visit Turkey again.

–Tanya