Turkey

Istanbul Beautiful Istanbul

Photo: Ahmet Bilal Arslan Date: Thursday, 03 July 2014

Istanbul… Orhan Veli begins his famous poem, saying, “I am listening to Istanbul, my eyes closed.” Ferhan Özpetek, in his Istanbul Red, says, “Istanbul is red and blue, a red and blue that melt into each other only in sunsets on the Bosphorus.” After Mümtaz and Nuran, Istanbul is the main protagonist of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s novel, A Mind at Peace. We read about the conquest, captivity and liberation of the city in Kemal Tahir’s Istanbul trilogy, while Refik Halid in Istanbul’s Inside Story portrays the city’s people struggling to keep pace with change in the early twentieth century. Nedim Gürsel depicts the conquest his book, The Conqueror, and Orhan Pamuk transforms Istanbul into a museum of love in The Museum of Innocence… We, too, wanted to create a panorama of our Istanbul today, so we asked each writer to describe the neighborhood he or she loves and knows best.   Ah, beautiful Istanbul...

Istanbul With Kids In Ramadan

Article: Gamze Kantarcıoğlu Date: Thursday, 03 July 2014

PERMEATING ISTANBUL WITH PLEASANT EXCITEMENT, RAMADAN THIS YEAR IS AGAIN BRINGING KIDS FUN-FILLED AND COLORFUL DAYS THEY WON’T FORGET.

Ramadan has always been one of the year’s most enjoyable times for children. These days, when efforts are under way to revive the open air shows, shadow puppet plays and traditional entertainments of Ramadans of old, families can spend a delightful month with their kids. Come. Set aside more time for your kids this Ramadan, which is also a month of unity and togetherness, and take part with them in activities that will transport you back to your own childhood.

Kahramanmaraş Afşin Seven Sleepers Mosque Complex

Article: Prof. Dr. Mehmet Özkarcı Date: Thursday, 03 July 2014

FLEEING PERSECUTION BY THE PAGAN EMPEROR DECIUS FOR HAVING CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY DURING THE ROMAN PERIOD, SEVEN YOUNG MEN - YEMLIHA, MISLINA, MEKSELINA, MERNÛŞ, TEBERNÛŞ, ŞAZENÛŞ AND KAFESTATYÛŞ - TAKE REFUGE IN A CAFE WITH THEIR DOG, KITMIR.

But soldiers erect a wall at the mouth of the cave to trap them inside, and the seven youths end up sleeping here for centuries. Thinking they have slept just one night, they are unaware when they wake up that a very long time has passed. Only when one of the youths leaves the cave to go in search of food, does he realize that everything has changed.
Legends are rife regarding the location of the cave of the seven sleepers, a story common to both Christian and Islamic belief. Scores of caves in Europe, Asia and Africa are known as Ashab al-Kahf (Companions of the Cave), four of them in Turkey in the towns of Selçuk, Tarsus and Afşin. Although each one of these towns claims the cave, the actual finds point to Afşin, aka Efsus.

Karaman The Capital Of The Turkish Language

Article: Melih Uslu Photo: Yunus Emre Çaylak Date: Thursday, 03 July 2014

THE FIRST ANATOLIAN CAPITAL TO ADOPT TURKISH AS ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE EXACTLY 737 YEARS AGO, KARAMAN COMBINES A RICH POTENTIAL FOR FAITH, NATURE AND CULTURE TOURISM WITH MODERN URBAN LIVING.

Karaman gleams like a pearl at the point where the Central Anatolian steppe meets the rugged slopes of the Taurus Mountains. A sign greets visitors, saying, “Welcome to the land of pure Turkish,” calling to mind the words of Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey, who fought to establish Turkish unity in 13th century Anatolia. Issuing a linguistic declaration in 1277, Mehmet Bey said, “From now on, let no one speak any language other than Turkish in the palace, in the assembly and on the street.” Language day is enthusiastically celebrated at Karaman every year on May 13, the anniversary of the declaration.

 

Kidzania Children’s Republic

Date: Wednesday, 02 July 2014

KIDZANIA THAT ALLOWS CHILDREN TO HAVE FUN BY DISCOVERING HAS OPENED AT THE AKASYA ACIBADEM NEW GENERATION LIFE COMPLEX.

Opening its sixteenth branch worldwide in Istanbul, KidZania gives children aged 4 to 14 the opportunity to experience the occupation of their choice by playing at many different locations from hospital and fire department to bank and pizzeria. There are more than 90 different occupational units at the giant entertainment center which was built on a 10,000 square-meter indoor area. “Zupervisors” selected from among college students are on hand to support the children. The children seek the answer to the question, “What are you going to be when you grow up?”, by learning occupations through entertainment at KidZania.

Rock Legends In Istanbul

Date: Wednesday, 02 July 2014

THREE MAJOR ROCK BANDS ARE COMING TO MUSIC BUFFS IN ISTANBUL IN JULY.

METALLICA BY REQUEST
Coming to Istanbul for the fifth time, the legendary Bounty Hunters have created a concept different from that of their usual concerts in an interactive project they call “Metallica by Request”. The band, which at this concert will play songs requested by audience members when they purchase their tickets over the internet, is taking the stage at Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) Stadium on July 13.

NEIL YOUNG - CRAZY HORSE
Eagerly awaited by Istanbul music buffs for years, rock legend Neil Young is finally coming to the city with his Crazy Horse band. Young, who has inspired many other musicians with his inimitable style, is performing at Küçükçiftlik Park on July 15, with organization by İKSV.

DREAM THEATER
One of the pioneer bands of progressive metal, Dream Theater is meeting fans in Istanbul for the fourth time on their Along for the Ride tour. Dream Theater, whose 30-year career has been crowned with multiple awards, will be regaling fans with their most popular songs from past to present.

History Comes To The Surface

Date: Wednesday, 02 July 2014

NECATI BADEM’S SHOW, “ISTANBUL’S HIDDEN SHIPS”, TAKES ART LOVERS ON A JAUNT THROUGH HISTORY.

Several historic ships were unearthed at the ancient Harbor of Theodosius during excavations for the Istanbul metro. Inspired by the finds, ceramics artist Necati Badem used objects he had collected to produce his new exhibition, “Istanbul’s Hidden Ships”, in a virtual fusion of nature and history with ceramics. The historically illuminating show is on at Sultanahmet Nakkaş Art Gallery through July 17.

Museum Of Living History

Date: Wednesday, 02 July 2014

THE WORLD’S FIRST AND ONLY DIORAMA MUSEUM OF LIVING HISTORY, HISART IS OPENING WITH A WHOLE NEW CONCEPT OF MUSEOLOGY.

The events that have shaped the history of Turkey and the world are coming to life at Hisart Living History and Diorama Museum. Liberating history from its “boring” guise, the museum aims to awaken curiosity and spark interest through its unusual approach. A passion for art and history that began as the hobby of businessman Nejat Çuhadaroğlu, who founded Hisart with designs and dioramas he made with his own hands, has been transformed into an impressive museum that is bequeathing Istanbul a different sort of cultural legacy. Nor are the museum’s dioramas limited solely to historical personages and events. Alongside Vikings and Red Indians, beloved heroes of the world of fantasy like Indiana Jones are also on display at the museum in dioramas that are sure to arouse a lot of interest.

WHAT IS A DIORAMA?
A diorama is a three-dimensional model of a moment, an incident or a story, be it fact or fiction. The term is also used to denote a large, three-dimensional scenic painting made for exhibition purposes.

Istanbul Modern Marks Ten Years!

Date: Wednesday, 02 July 2014

MOUNTED IN HONOR OF THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF ISTANBUL MODERN, “PLURIVOCALITY” PRESENTS A SELECTION OF CONTEMPORARY ARTWORK IN TURKEY.

As its name indicates, Plurivocality is an exhibition that examines the role of sound and music in Turkey both culturally and sociopolitically as well as exploring how music has influenced the visual arts. Curated by Çelenk Bafra and Levent Çalıkoğlu, it features work by such artists as Nevin Aladağ, Semiha Berksoy, Hüseyin Çağlayan and Burhan Doğançay. You can see the exhibition from June 27 through November 27.

Splashing Sounds On The Bosphorus

Date: Tuesday, 01 July 2014

THE SPLASH OF SWIMMERS IS RESOUNDING OVER THE BOSPHORUS!

 Thousands of swimmers will be paddling across the Istanbul Bosphorus from Asia to Europe on the morning of July 20 when the Bosphorus Intercontinental Swimming Competition, organized by the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TMOK), will bring amateur swimmers together for the 26th time. Interest is growing both at home and abroad in the world’s first and only annual cross-continental swim meet. Tens of thousands of swimmers from Turkey and sixty different countries have taken part in the race since it was first held in 1989 with the participation of 68 swimmers. Don’t miss this competition as fast, lively and exciting as Istanbul itself.

THE COURSE
The 6.5-kilometer race starts from the Kanlıca Ferry Landing on the Asia side and runs north-south across the Istanbul Bosphorus, ending at Cemil Topuzlu Park in Kuruçeşme on the European side.

Jazz Is Coming

Date: Tuesday, 01 July 2014

FOR 21 YEARS, THE ISTANBUL JAZZ FESTIVAL HAS BEEN THE FIRST THING THAT POPS TO MIND AT THE MENTION OF JAZZ IN THE CITY. THIS YEAR AGAIN IT IS WELCOMING THE TOP ARTISTS IN THE GENRE.

Mounted by the İKSV July 1 to 16, the festival is offering a rich program this year with 28 concerts in total at 13 different venues. Hugh Laurie, familiar as Dr. House in the House series, and Brad Mehldau, at the top since the 1960’s with his different way of doing things, and Beat Music band leader Mark Guiliana’s joint project, as well as jazz legends Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke are just a few of the big names on the program.

Blue And Green: Ramadan In The North

Article: Hasan Mert Kaya Photo: Ahmet Bilal Arslan Date: Thursday, 29 May 2014

LONG BUT OFFERING PLENTY OF THE PURE PEACE THAT COMES WITH FASTING, SUMMER RAMADANS ARE EXPERIENCED IN THE REFRESHING ATMOSPHERE OF A DIFFERENT SORT OF ENTHUSIASM ON TURKEY’S EMERALD GREEN NORTH COAST.

Home to a vast and virgin world, the Black Sea coast is your best bet if you’d like to partake in an atmosphere of meditation whose natural landscapes will sweep you away in the arms of a gentle breeze during a hot summer Ramadan. We’ve put together seven attractive oases in the Black Sea region, which combines the green and blue of its refreshing highlands and burbling streams with a cultural world brimming with history and hospitality.

İĞNEADA AND THE LONGOSE GROVES
If you’re going to be in Istanbul or Thrace during Ramadan, İğneada and Demirköy on the Black Sea’s European coast are within easy reach for enjoying the cool sea breezes. An experience like no other awaits you throughout Ramadan at the western end of the Black Sea with its 22-kilometer-long coastline, historic Ottoman mosques, magnificent fishing port and natural-wonder longose (Hedychium gardnerianum) groves. Discover the cool breezes of the Yıldız Mountains and the quiet of nature that rests the soul in their rushing streams.

ŞİLE, RİVA, AĞVA, KANDIRA
You can either make day trips from the Istanbul city center to Şile, Riva and Ağva on the Black Sea coast, or you can stay overnight at the charming bed&breakfasts and boutique hotels here, where you will enjoy the cool Black Sea air by day and traditional Ramadan festivities in the center of town at night. Kandıra, some 2-3 hours from Istanbul, is the newly rising star of the Black Sea region, and the alternative routes from here to Sapanca and Düzce are extremely pleasant and easy.

TRANQUIL COAST AT KASTAMONU
With its historic mosques and madrasa and its cultural fabric, Kastamonu is a Black Sea region just waiting to be explored. You’ll feel the peace of Ramadan deep in your soul at Kastamonu with its lush green forests, fishing ports and the endless beaches at İnebolu and Cide. There’s no doubt either that the local people’s long-standing Ramadan traditions have a hand in it. You can even pray at the historic Çivisiz (built without using any nails) and Nasrullah Mosques. Kastamonu, which also boasts outstanding cuisine, is just the spot for sharing the Ramadan morning and evening meals and partaking in the Ramadan spirit.

THE BLACK SEA OASIS: SİNOP
Sinop is one of the liveliest centers of summer tourism on the Black Sea. The city, which stands out for the quality and abundance of its touristic facilities, its pleasant beaches, its Ramadan activities and its rich cuisine, is fast becoming one of Turkey’s most popular holiday destinations.  Bursting with Seljuk and Ottoman monuments, Sinop is a Black Sea oasis where you will experience the spiritual climate of Ramadan to the full.

THE STREAMS OF ORDU
With its highlands and hazelnut groves and its Fatsa coast, Ordu is the Black Sea’s hidden paradise. Stay overnight in the hotels at the city center or in the private homes operating as bed&breakfasts, and escape the scorching summer heat with long hikes on the shore far from the madding crowd. Ordu with its special Ramadan traditions is your best bet for peace and quiet.

FROM RİZE TO TRABZON
Rize and Trabzon are two precious gems in the Black Sea’s emerald green landscape. With the numerous modern accommodations that have opened in recent years, Rize and, especially, Trabzon have become a popular itinerary with tourists. Trabzon with its vast sea, refreshing highlands, and historic mosques is one of the Black Sea locations most in demand during Ramadan. In addition to the as yet unspoiled Uzungöl highland, you will enjoy the Ramadan of your dreams in the naturally modest comfort of the homes here, surrounded by mosques. Rize and Trabzon are paradise on earth where you will experience the holiness of Ramadan as well as enjoying the rich flavors of nature.

GATEWAY TO THE CAUCASUS: ARTVİN
Artvin at the far end of our Black Sea itinerary appeals with its vast forests, rich natural life and authentic architecture. Traditional Ramadan festivities, refreshingly pure highland air, and natural flavors all come together in Artvin, where an exploration route from the seashore to the highlands awaits you. You can also make an enjoyable outing to Tbilisi, just across the border in Georgia, which Turks can enter without a visa.

FIRST THOUGHTS
Abant, Bartın, Safranbolu, Devrek, Çorum and Erzurum are a few other touristic destinations within easy reach of the Black Sea region.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has daily turnaround flights to a number of Black Sea towns such as Kastamonu, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Sinop and Trabzon.

Malatya: A City Like No Other

Article: Hasan Mert Kaya Photo: Yunus Emre Çaylak Date: Thursday, 29 May 2014

ADD THE MUNIFICENCE OF NATURE TO A RICH CULTURE STEEPED IN CENTURIES OF HISTORY AND WHAT DO YOU GET: MALATYA!

Gliding down over Eastern Anatolian’s vast mountain ranges, our plane that took off from Istanbul lands at Malatya. We greet the city in the early summer sun and lose ourselves in its streets. Let us first speak briefly of one of the things that makes Malatya a place like no other: Pearl of Anatolia, Malatya is actually a unique region with its architecture, its cuisine and its historic, traditional texture. An asset to Anatolia, this city reveals clues to another world at every step. Situated on the Anatolian-Mesopotamian trade routes, Malatya was the cynosure of the Near East in history. You can find here vestiges of all the great civilizations - Hittite, Assyrian, Mede, Persian, Roman, Arab, Byzantine and Turkish - to which these lands have been home. Foremost among the treasures of the continuous human settlement that has existed here since pre-history, Battal Gazi and Arslantepe Höyük have a special place. Arslantepe is a Hittite settlement dating back four thousand years, while Seyyid Battal Gazi was an Islamic hero who was born in Malatya and is the subject of legend.

ON THE TRAIL OF TRADITION
As we tour Malatya, our attention is caught by the outstanding products the city has produced in every field. A diverse array of everything from handicrafts and costumes to gourmet treats and examples of civilian architecture whets our appetite to explore this city further. With its sackcloth textiles, traditional Seljuk and Ottoman copper workmanship, hundreds of varieties of meatballs and many stately mansions, Malatyat struts the stuff of its own unique world. The renovated Beşkonaklar on Sinema Avenue and the restored mansions in the townships of Arapgir and Yeşilyurt are just some of its prominent landmarks. Following a panoramic city tour, we head for the town of Battalgazi to penetrate the soul of Malatya. Also known as Old Malatya, this settlement dates far back in history. We visit the Silahtar Mustafa Pasha Caravanserai and the Great Mosque in this virtual outdoor museum of town. The town’s architectural masterpiece, the Great Mosque is known to be the sole example in Anatolia of the architectural tradition of the Great Seljuk State of Iran. A vaulted inner courtyard in front of an eiwan adjacent to a domed mihrab forms the plan of this temple built in the 13th century. Another of the town’s treasures, the Silahtar Mustafa Pasha Caravanserai is in the quarter of Alacakapı. This khan, construction of which was completed in 1637, has been restored and is open to the public.

HOME OF THE APRICOT
Any mention of Malatya must include the apricot. The orchards where the world’s tastiest apricots are grown generate significant revenues for the local economy. Be sure to taste the dried apricots and “pestil” (dried fruit rollups) as well as the homemade apricot jam when you’re in the city. And if you get a chance to visit in spring or summer, be sure to indulge in some of Yeşilyurt’s Dalbastı cherries. We were lucky and got a chance to taste both, fresher than fresh and straight off the branch! After a brief “fruit break”, we continue our tour of Malatya, heading this time to the districts that harbor the city’s boundless cultural heritage. It’s no joke; early period mosques and mesjids, caravanserais and kumbets, baths and bridges stretch as far as the eye can see.  Besides this concrete heritage, the city also dazzles with examples of more abstract legacies like traditional horse-breeding. Each one of its districts is a treasure trove. If you’re tired of places that all look alike, Malatya is just for you, ready and waiting with its icy cold waters you can drink straight from the source and its as yet untasted flavors and unseen cultural riches. Most importantly of all, the warm hospitality of its people make all this beauty even more attractive and meaningful. You’re going to feel right at home here!

MALATYA GUIDE
CITY THAT DISSEMINATES HEALTH
Malatya is on the rise in health tourism today. İnönü University’s Turgut Özal Medical Center is one of Turkey’s leading modern hospitals in the cardiac health field as well as being second in the world in terms of number of heart operations and kidney transplants. Patients come from all over the world to be treated at Malatya, which is at the same time a perfect center for health and renewal with its spas and potable spring waters.

CARPET CITY
Made with natural dyes and worked with ram’s head, dragon and floral motifs, Malatya carpets are high in value. These carpets, whose fame has even spread abroad, are produced at centers like Başören, Dirican, Parçikan, Ören and Kürecik.

FROM MOUNTAINEERING TO RAFTING
With its rich natural landscape, Malatya offers enjoyable and eminently satisfying opportunities for all the nature sports, especially rafting and mountaineering. Among the region’s touristic activities that have been growing of late are regulated hunting as well as fishing in Karakaya Dam Reservoir.

NEIGHBOR OF NEMRUD
While you’re in Malatya, Mount Nemrud is another historic site well within reach at just 94 kilometers from the city. Rated the eighth wonder of the world, these statues of the Commagene kings that have gazed out over Mesopotamia for centuries from their perch on the peaks are an impressive sight. Sunrise or sunset are the best times for visiting Nemrud.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Malatya-Istanbul flights every day of the week. Departure times are 6:25 a.m. and 9 p.m. from Istanbul and 8:55 a.m. and 11:35 p.m. from Malatya. For information: www.turkishairlines.com

Fahri Tuna’s Edirne

Article: Sezgin Çevik Date: Wednesday, 28 May 2014

WE ASKED WRITER FAHRI TUNA ABOUT EDIRNE, A CITY THAT LIES CHEEK BY JOWL WITH BULGARIA AND GREECE ON THE TURKISH-EUROPEAN MOTORWAY AT THE CONFLUENCE OF THE TUNCA, ARDA AND MERIÇ RIVERS.

Q:Why do you like Edirne?
A:Edirne is a city of roses, the city to which roses are most becoming and which smells most beautifully of roses. What does Yahya Kemal say? “Either a tulip should bloom in our heart, or a rose.” That’s exactly why I like Edirne. Edirne is a city with a soul, an old city that never grows old.

Q:Edirne and architecture?
A:Murad I conquered Edirne (1361), and Murad II made it a city. Mimar Sinan’s Selimiye Mosque is a masterpiece without equal in the world. Among the monuments of Murad II, the Muradiye, the Üç Şerefeli and the Darü'l-Hadis Mosques are all gems… The Complex of Beyazıd II is unparalleled. What’s more, the spirituality of these monuments surpasses even their architecture.

Q:Edirne eats?
A:Edirne is a taste paradise. One can’t get enough of the liver, meatballs, höşmelim (cheese dessert), Hayrabolu (another dessert) and Haydari (thick yoghurt seasoned with garlic and dill). The flavor of the eel is spectacular, too, on Bülbül Island where the Meriç and the Tunca converge.

Q:Edirne in three words?
A:First of all, tranquility. A sense of peace, in other words. Second, aesthetics. A sense of taste, that is. And finally, flavor. Appeal to the palate.

Isf Is At The Door!

Date: Wednesday, 28 May 2014

HELD IN ONE OF EUROPE’S MOST DAZZLING CITIES, THE FOURTH ANNUAL ISTANBUL SHOPPING FEST IS COMING TO SHOPPERS WITH THE OFFICIAL AIRLINES SPONSORSHIP OF TURKISH AIRLINES, JUNE 7 TO 29 WITH RICH OFFERINGS.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE TOP EVENTS:

JUNE 6
The Istanbul Shopping Fest opens in a spectacular display on Ortaköy Square that will astonish Istanbul visitors as well as residents.

JUNE 7
The ISF opening party takes place at Mall Of Istanbul, Turkey’s, and Europe’s, biggest mixed use project. Don’t miss the shows and concerts by foreign bands at Mall Of Istanbul, which will stay open until midnight specially for the opening!

JUNE 12
With participation by jewelers and jewelry brands all over the city, “Golden Day” offers domestic and foreign tourists big discounts on jewelry.

CONCEPT DISCOUNT DAYS
The ISF’s concept discount days at all participating shopping centers are offering some very special deals on Beautify Your Home Day, June 10, Technology Day, June 17, Shoe and Handbag Day, June 19, Cosmetics and Personal Care Day, June 24, and Jeans Day, June 26.

[12 3 4 5  >>