Travel

Half The World Isfahan

Article: Özcan Yurdalan Photo: Ömer Doğan Date: Tuesday, 28 January 2014

ISFAHAN, FAMOUSLY CALLED “NESF-E JAHAN” (HALF THE WORLD), IS IRAN’S CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND A CITY BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SEASON WITH ITS OPULENT PALACES AND GARDENS, ITS MARKETS AND BAZAARS, AND ITS DECORATIVE ARTS, WHICH CONSTITUTE A SCHOOL ALL THEIR OWN IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD.

It was almost morning when we arrived in Isfahan. We entered the city in the mixed light of glaring street lamps and illuminated shop windows. Finding Chahar Bagh Avenue was a breeze. This avenue, which stretches the length of the city and straddles the Zayandeh River, is exactly 403 years old. It is named for the four rows of trees that line it from end to end. “Chahar” means four in Farsi, and “bagh” garden, orchard or just plain greenery. Shah Abbas, who had the city built in the 1560’s, started by building this beautiful avenue. Of its three lanes, lined for kilometers with parallel rows of stately plane trees, the one in the middle was reserved for caravans and cavalry. The lanes at either side meanwhile were arbor-covered promenades running alongside pools, canals and rose gardens. Apart from this majestic boulevard, however, Isfahan’s meandering streets seem now to beckon, now to repel. Those who have been there will know. Gracefully spanning the Zayandeh River with its double row of thirty-three arches is Si-o-se Pol (“si-o-se” means thirty-three and “pol” bridge). One of five bridges over the Zayandeh, Si-o-se Pol has linked its two banks since 1602. Also known as Allah Verdi Khan, the bridge and its vicinity are one of the city’s main meeting places.

REFLECTING THE WHOLE WORLD
There is no shortage of sights to see in Isfahan, which was the Seljuk capital in the 11th century. Heading the list is Imam Maidan with its UNESCO World Cultural Heritage buildings. This square, a few years younger than the Si-o-se Bridge, was once known as Maidan-i Shah or Shah Square. But the universal name current in all times is Naghsh-e Jahan (Pattern of the World). Natives call this the world’s biggest square. And perhaps Nagsh-e Jahan is more of a very large courtyard than a square. Laid out in the city center in 1612, this square is where the city’s pulse has been felt most strongly ever since - a sprawling courtyard surrounded by hundreds of tiny shops as well as the entrance to a large market and an elegant palace with slender wooden columns. The mosques that adorn the square form an intricate web of architectural wonders. Sheikh Lutfullah Mosque is a masterpiece of Safavid architecture. Diagonally opposite it, Imam Mosque boasts magnificent acoustics. And the structure known as the Office of the Provincial Governor is fairly bursting with stunning domes and wall decorations. But let us come now to the square where everything looks Lilliputian when viewed from the terrace of Âli Qapu. Âli Qapu is the Gate of the Imperial Court, once the seat of the state administration. On the sixth floor of this palace, which appears on the front to be three stories, is a music room straight out of a fairy tale. The square is a spectacle by night as it is by day. As dawn breaks some leave, replaced by newcomers who spread their mats and start brewing tea and setting out breakfast. In a nutshell, “Naghsh-e Jahan is the whole world.” Which is just another way of saying that you can pass the time here without ever getting bored.

REFLECTIONS ON THE WATER
City of palaces, bridges and gardens, Isfahan is also a green city. One of its loveliest structures, the Chehel Sotun Palace (Palace of Forty Pillars) has an intriguing name. There are actually only 20 columns at the entrance to this palace set in a spectacular garden, but their number is doubled by their reflection in the pool in front of the building. Events from the country’s history are depicted on the palace’s interior walls. A portrayal of the 16th century Battle of Chaldiran between the Safavids and the Ottomans is just one of them. Another noteworthy palace in the city is Hasht Behesht (Eight Paradises). This palace inside a spacious garden stands out especially for its decorations in the form of bird and animal figures. Today as in the past, nature and animals are much loved in Isfahan, which perhaps explains why the city boasts both a bird sanctuary and a botanical garden. Isfahan’s cultural treasures stemming from its Persian, Seljuk and Safavid past find a serious counterpart in its handicrafts today. Countless crafts from ceramic tiles and mirror inlays to miniature painting, enamel work and stenciling are continuously practiced in this city reminiscent of a colossal workshop. Massoud Nikaeen, one of those responsible for the city’s tourism vision, says that Isfahan is a leader in the handicrafts field. Isfahan, which Nikaeen likens to an impressive work of art in its own right, is waiting to share its beauty with you, right now.

ISFAHAN GUIDE

CARPET CENTER
The area around Naghsh-e Jahan Square is chock-a-block with markets, arcades, bazaars and shops. The most outstanding products in the city are the handwoven Isfahan carpets and kilims. Antiques, spices, candies, exotic lamps, traditional garments, silver and leather goods are also available in the neighboring shops.

TASTING ASH-E RESHT
Kebab is the local culinary favorite. In addition to kebabs made from red meat, chicken, fish and prawns, saffron-flavored rice is another top choice. Other popular dishes include green lentil soup with noodles known as “ash-e resht”, “khoresht mast” or yoghurt soup, meat stew called “dizi”, and falafel.

THE SHAKING MINARETS
Thanks to a technique employed in their construction, the twin minarets of Isfahan’s 14th century Jonban Mosque can be shaken by humans.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Isfahan flights four days a week. Departures are at 11 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Returns from Isfahan are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 4:45 a.m. For information: www.turkishairlines.com

The Traveler Enters His 30Th Year

Article: Gökçen Ata Date: Sunday, 01 December 2013

THE MAGAZINE YOU HOLD IN YOUR HANDS AT THIS MOMENT IS CELEBRATING ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY! TRAVELING FOR 30 YEARS, FERRETING OUT NEW ASPECTS OF HISTORY, CULTURE AND GEOGRAPHY WHEREVER IT GOES AND SHARING THEM WITH YOU, SKYLIFE IS YOUR CLOSEST COMPANION IN THE SKY. WE KNOW IT!

Every magazine is published in the hope that it will be read from cover to cover. But Skylife goes beyond that as a magazine that is collected by its readers. And that is a source of great pride for us! I might point out that Skylife is the apple of Turkish Airlines’ eye. Compiled with great care from its first issue right up to the current one, it has been expanded and developed continuously to become the magazine you hold in your hands today.
Turkey’s leading international monthly, Skylife is read by Turks, Europeans and Africans from 201 cities in the world today who board Turkish Airlines planes. In short, it is read by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

SKYLIFE: THE WORLD IS NO SMALL VILLAGE!
Technology buffs may say that the world is a small village, but we see a world that needs to be recognized and understood everywhere we go. In our eyes this is not disparity but diversity, a richness that needs to be acknowledged, intercultural differences notwithstanding. So, we focus on that richness in every issue of our magazine as we strive to build bridges between peoples, to bring people closer together and to promote Turkey, a bridge between continents, and its beauty around the world.
Let’s have a look at the last 30 years of Skylife, your companion in the sky, as we remember with appreciation all those who have contributed to this enterprise with their articles, their photographs and their efforts starting from the inaugural issue.

1983: TURKISH AIRLINES MAGAZINE
The story of Skylife begins in 1983 as “Turkish Airlines Magazine”. Although the airline had published a handful of issues under the same title in 1972, it was only 1983 that the magazine began appearing on a regular basis. At that time, on the fiftieth anniversary of its founding, Turkish Airlines carried an annual 2.5 million passengers on 30 aircraft. In addition to its expanding flight network and the need to offer its passengers a pleasant pastime on long-haul routes, growing competition in the tourism and aviation sectors all led to the birth of the monthly, and Turkish Airlines Magazine found its readers in the sky.
Undertaking the role of promoting Turkey and Turkish Airlines, Turkish Airlines Magazine filled its pages with the country’s natural and cultural riches. Bringing out features that promoted the traditional arts, it also toured the airline’s flight destinations abroad, describing its experiences and the must-see sights. Not only that, it also briefed readers on developments like airplane purchases and new route openings, as well as offering news and comments on economic and cultural developments in Turkey.

1989: SKYLIFE
Turkish Airlines Magazine was renamed Skylife in 1989. With seriously upgraded content, it immediately distinguished itself from its counterparts and consolidated its identity in terms of content and visuals, earning international prestige. Available in hotels and doctors’ offices, it became a collector’s item. Its features, which began being broadcast on private radio stations in those years, found a place on history and travel programs, sometimes even appearing verbatim in the daily papers. Skylife magazine had become a resource frequently quoted by writers and documentary producers. In 1992, Skylife acquired a sister publication: Cityscope. Focusing on Turkey’s major cities, it served as an events guide.

AND TODAY…
Starting in 2009, Turkish Airlines added another monthly magazine, Skylife Business, along with supplements like Curiocity, Planet and Puzzles, as well as enhancing passengers’ pleasure with special issues to coincide with the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. By reducing the dimensions and weight of the print edition of its magazines, whose total circulation today is 750,000, Turkish Airlines achieved an annual savings of 500 tons in paper and 800 tons in fuel, securing gains not only for the economy but also for nature.
Skylife magazine, which developed a new international visual language in a revamp of its design in London last May on the 80th anniversary of Turkish Airlines, continues to reach readers on the internet and as an iPad app. The magazine, which mounted a photograph contest this year on the theme, “Bridges& People”, will keep on being your companion in the sky in new initiatives and on the new routes opened by Turkish Airlines. We hope to meet you time and time again in many more issues to come... 

Kathmandu

Date: Thursday, 03 October 2013

What to See
01- See for yourself the splendor of the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, the former royal residence.
02- After a busy day of sightseeing, take a break amidst the greenery in the Garden of Dreams.

Cuisine/Eating
In addition to the famous “Momo” dumplings, rice and curry dishes are the staples of Nepal cuisine. Try them.

Before Summer’s End: Marmaris

Article: Melih Uslu Photo: Erkan Tabakoğlu Date: Monday, 30 September 2013

ORIGINATOR OF THE BLUE CRUISE, MARMARIS IS POISED TO AGAIN BECOME THE SHINING STAR OF TURKEY’S COASTS WITH ITS GOLDEN SAND BEACHES, SPANKING NEW HOTELS, HEALTH CENTERS AND MUSEUMS.

Pearl of the Aegean, Marmaris is making a comeback.  Local administrators and spokesmen for the town’s future are engaged in a feverish round of activity these days together with the townspeople. They say it’s high time Marmaris made a difference by recreating itself as the world’s star. To this end they have put together a project for Marmaris they call “Five in One”, which includes some exciting services to showcase the city in a novel way. Reclaiming the ancient İçmeler Hot Springs for health tourism is just one of them. Also among the targets are transitioning to sustainable tourism by conducting historical, cultural and strategic surveys of the city. One of those targets aims to trademark Marmaris pine honey by working with the Osmaniye Marmaris Honey House and to promote world awareness of the region’s cultural treasures. The island of Kameriye, known for its Blue Jesus fresco, is being turned into a key destination for faith tourism. But perhaps the most exciting project of all is the ancient city of Amos - known as the Knidos (the famous ancient city south of Datça) of Marmaris for its location atop a forested hill - which has been reclaimed for tourism with the addition of walking paths and signs.

Friedrichshafen

Illustration: The Design Surgery Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

What to See
01_Visit Dornier Aviation & Aerospace Museum.
02_Step back in time at the Schulmuseum (school museum).
03_Climb the 22-meter-high observation tower at the pier.
Things To Go
01_Go canoeing on Lake Constance (Bodensee).
02_Get a bird’s-eye view of the city from a zeppelin.
03_Explore the many beautiful bicycle paths around the lake.

Entertainment Stop In The Far East

Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

WITH ITS CAPTIVATING COLORS AND DIZZYING DYNAMISM, SHANGHAI IS GOING TO BE ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN’S FAVORITE CITIES.

Aquaria 21
Watch the marine creatures at this behemoth of an underwater aquarium and get into the “touch pool”, where you can swim with sharks, if you dare!
Century Park
Children’s playground, golf tour, green labyrinth, fishing –the choice is yours at Shanghai’s largest park. The beautiful buildings alone are reason enough to come here.

Cultural Mosaic: Osh

Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

WITH ITS MULTIPLE ETHNIC GROUPS, THREE-THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD OSH IN KYRGYZSTAN’S FERGANA VALLEY IS MORE OF A HUMAN MOSAIC THAN A CITY.

- Go shopping at the Jayma Bazaar, where you can find everything from traditional kalpaks and tea sets to seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Climb the rock known as Sulayman Throne, visible from all over the city, and view the landcape.
- Take a hike in the foothills of Sulayman Mountain, Central Asia’s most pristine sacred peak, which is also on the Unesco World Heritage List.
- Examine the artifacts that shed light on the regional culture at Osh’s Historical-Cultural Museum, and learn about nature in Kyrgyzstan.

Shopping At The Seaside

Illustration: The Design Surgery Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

ROTTERDAM IS CHOCK FULL OF FASHIONABLE BOUTIQUES AND OPEN AIR MARKETS AS WELL AS SHOPPING MALLS. HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR MORE EFFICIENT SHOPPING IN THE CITY:

- Forget all about traffic and stroll and shop comfortably in Lijnbaan, Europe’s first pedestrianized shopping street.
- Rotterdam is teeming with street markets where you can find everything you’re looking for. For low prices, wait until the evening discounts.
- If you’re a fashionista, then Van Oldenbarneveltstraat with its endless shops, boutiques and restaurants is just for you.

The Rhine Valley In Five Questions

Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

WITH ITS PASTORAL LANDSCAPES DOTTED WITH SUMPTUOUS CHÂTEAUX, THE BEAUTIFUL RHINE VALLEY ALSO BOASTS SOME MAJOR CITIES. HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THEM?

  1. Which one is not a city near the Rhine Valley?
    A_Düsseldorf
    B_Cologne
    C_Leipzig
    D_Bonn
  2. From cosmetics to medicine and even yacht-building, Düsseldorf hosts numerous fairs throughout the year. Of which German state is it the capital?
    A_Lower Saxony

Mesut Yar’s Vienna

Article: Melih Uslu Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

FAMILIAR TO US IN HIS MANY ROLES AS WRITER, POET, EDITOR AND JOURNALIST, VETERAN TELEVISION PRESENTER MESUT YAR TALKED WITH US ABOUT HIS BELOVED VIENNA.

What comes to your mind at the mention of Vienna?
First of all, its many monumental buildings and its orderliness, which gives the appearance of having come about naturally. As you stroll through the shady ‘new age’ streets, you may suddenly come upon an avenue with stylish shop windows and their irresistible displays that combine art with accessories.
Vienna in summer… what’s it like?
Spring is my favorite season, when the sun’s rays fall at a more romantic angle. The skies of Vienna are usually overcast, so a clear summer evening can also be a boon.

Ideal In September: Bozcaada

Article: Melih Uslu Photo: Erkan Tabakoğlu Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

WITH ITS WINDY COVES, PRISTINE WATERS AND OLD STONE HOUSES, BOZCAADA HAS BEEN KNOWN AS A PLACE OF TOLERANCE THROUGHOUT HISTORY. AND ITS BEST DAYS ARE IN AUTUMN AS SUMMER WINDS DOWN.

Perhaps the best part of being in Bozcaada is that you feel you’re far from everything…
You hear the sounds, see the colors and smell the smells far more keenly. The beauty and unique texture of the sea are the magnet. But this island has some rules of its own. You may be stranded, for example, if a sudden storm blows up and the passenger ferries stop running. But despite these limitations, Bozcaada offers an unforgettable holiday experience. Now for some brief statistics on the island, which was recently named one of the most beautiful islands on earth by the world’s most prestigious travel magazines.

City Of Tolerance: Kazan

Article: Levent Özçelik Photo: Levent Özçelik Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

ELEGANT MOSQUES SHARE THE SAME SKY WITH TEMPLES OF OTHER FAITHS OVER THE TATARSTAN CAPITAL OF KAZAN, AN IMPRESSIVE CITY WITH UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE AS WELL AS LAKES, RIVERS AND NATURE PARKS OF EXTRAORDINARY BEAUTY.

If you’re tired of revisiting the usual vacation spots, Kazan could be an ideal choice for you. A real discovery. Don’t be fooled by the city’s modern appearance, because when you look  a little closer it will offer you a host of pleasant surprises from architecture and history to nature and culture.
CITY OF MOSQUES
We proceed from Kazan International Airport to the city center along a well-lit highway seemingly through the middle of nowhere. It’s almost morning. My head is filled with information I’ve gleaned about what awaits me here. Albert, the driver, is explaining how the city was impacted by the 2013 Summer Universiade, which ended in July.

Sagalassos City Where Water Gives Life

Article: Mutlu Dursun Photo: Emel Ernalbant Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

ONE OF TURKEY’S BEST PRESERVED ANCIENT CITIES, SAGALASSOS HAS STOOD OUT SINCE THE ROMAN ERA FOR ITS RICH WATER RESOURCES.

You will literally stroll among different periods of history as you tour Sagalassos, one of Turkey’s best preserved ancient cities. On the upper agora you will enjoy the privilege of feeling you are at the center of a great civilization. In the theater, largely ruined now due to earthquakes, you will hear the voices of the people who once filled it and regret that you cannot talk with them. For this is a living history gallery. From the Hellenistic period to the Roman, from polytheism to monotheism, from the republic to the empire - it’s all embodied here in the architecture. Giving a brief account of such a rich and important city is next to impossible. Still, we’ll give it a try.

10 Reasons To Go To Gothenburg

Article: Dilan Ayyıldız Date: Friday, 30 August 2013

Boat Tour
One of the best ways to get to know Gothenburg is to cruise the canal on a Paddan boat. Guides will fill you in on Swedish history as you revel in the city’s splendid landscape. As you get a feel for the city, you can make a list of the places you want to visit later.
Liseberg Amusement Park
There’s fun for everyone at Liseberg, Scandinavia’s largest amusement park.

A Place Where Time Stands Still Muğla

Article: Melih Uslu Photo: Erkan Tabakoğlu Date: Wednesday, 31 July 2013

BRAND CITY LINKING THE AEGEAN AND THE MEDITERRANEAN, MUĞLA IS A TOWN WHERE NATURE IS PROTECTED, WHERE HISTORY IS AS IT WAS ON THE FIRST DAY, AND WHERE VISITORS WANT THEIR TIME NEVER TO END.

Home to some of Turkey’s most popular vacation spots like Bodrum, Marmaris, Datça and Fethiye, Muğla is an earthly paradise with its back to the mountains, its face to the sea. It’s a good idea to head for the city center to listen to the heartbeat of this city whose intricate coastline stretches from Güllük Bay all the way to Fethiye.  We are in the heart of Muğla, a city with the air of an Aegean town, whose every quarter is a labyrinth rife with surprises. With their century-old wooden doors and delicately carved eaves, Muğla’s historic, red tile-roofed houses perpetuate the city’s ancient and unique texture. And not far away is the 1895 Clock Tower and the 15th century Leaded Mosque, whose dome is adorned with model ships.

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