June 30, 2009

Winfrey throws cruise party in Istanbul

U.S. television talk show diva Oprah Winfrey has been honored in Turkey with a traditional Ottoman Mehteran band and whirling dervishes, observers say.

Winfrey arrived in Istanbul Monday aboard the ship Norwegian Gem along with all 1,600 of her employees, including some part-time contractors and their families, whom she had taken on a Mediterranean cruise, the Anatolian News Agency reported.

Winfrey threw a party for them at the Ciragan Palace Hotel as part of a sea cruise that started in Barcelona and includes stops in Rome, Messina, Santorini, Izmir, Ephesus, Istanbul, Athens and Valletta, Malta, the news service said.

The total cost of the trip is a reported $8.6 million.