We recommend that you toss your troubles away and start dreaming about travel. Yes, for thirty years now we have been dreaming of travel and making those dreams come true. We like to take a new look at familiar places and come up with a different take on other cultures and regions. We dream about the land in which we live and the whole earth, and we pass those dreams along to you. We believe we have embodied those dreams in our Skylife magazine, which - we also believe - you don’t throw away after reading but stash away in a safe place, often for years. Taking that enthusiasm as our jumping off point, we recently combed through Skylife’s 30-year archive, which covers the globe inch by inch from New York to Shanghai. In a meticulous search, we chose ten places from various locations around the world. Places that not only boast a unique identity but have also had an impact on global culture. Rather than the first places that pop to mind at the mention of foreign travel, cities of culture are on our list. Here is our selection:
Titled From Ancient Civilization to Modernity, our China feature appeared in the April 2011 issue of Skylife. Penned by Prof. Dr. Ayşe Selçuk Esenbel, it describes the transformation in China from ancient times to the present, accompanied by striking photographs. Photographer Ömer Orhun, who spent 25 days in China for the project, took two different routes, one to Beijing, the other to Xian. Orhun, who has been traveling for years in his passion for photography, says that China had always been on his mind. The artist, who says that he wants to see China, the heart of the Silk Road, anew at every opportunity, says he was extremely impressed by the Xian Fortress.
Indonesia’s island paradise, Bali, was featured in the September 1995 issue of Skylife in the impressions of writer-journalist Leyla Umar. The article, accompanied by Ara Güler’s photographs, is a firsthand account of the island’s history and natural beauty.
Lucy Corne, who compiled the Cape Town feature that appeared in the December 2011 issue of Skylife, likens the capital the Republic of South Africa to the mother of all cities. Corne, who was living in South Africa at the time she penned the article, decided to live in the country after visiting the city around 200 times. Enhanced with Corne’s own impressive photographs, the article also spotlights the country’s relations with the Ottomans. Ebu Bekir Efendi and his student, Ömer Lütfî Bey, traveled to Cape Town in 1863 at the behest of Sultan Albulmejid, and began educating and enlightening the Muslim people there. A large mosque and smaller mosques boasting the iconic Ottoman star and crescent are some of the vestiges of that period that still survive today.
Cairo is a city that has endured for centuries. This feature, enhanced with master photographer İzzet Keribar’s photographs, appeared in June 1997 and carved a niche in our memories with its close-up shots of the mask of Tutankhamun on display in the Cairo Museum.
Amsterdam, from the pen of well-known writer-journalist Fahri Aral… This feature, which appeared in April 1993, presents views of the city’s vibrant life from its buildings and canals. Murat Ergin, who photographed the feature, notes that Amsterdam has preserved its medieval architecture.
Seven Balkan capitals, each more vibrant than the next in their nature, architecture, cuisine and shopping... The Balkans Without a Visa, which appeared in the April 2012 issue of Skylife, details the fine points of travel in the region. This article, which features rising-star cities like Sarajevo, Skopje, Belgrade, Tirana, Zagreb and Podgorica, also spotlights Europe’s youngest capital, Prishtina. Vestiges of the Ottoman legacy in the Balkans are also highlighted in this feature, which lists all the must-see spots. So numerous are these sites that several Balkan cities are likened to Anatolian towns in the article! Photographer of the feature, Mevlüt Maşalacı, describes the Balkans, which he scoured step by step, as a giant cultural basin.
The cover feature of Skylife’s February 2013 issue, Buenos Aires is touted as the European capital of the Americas. The feature, compiled when the city became a new Turkish Airlines destination, was written by the magazine’s travel editor, Melih Uslu. Photographer Emel Ernalbant, who spent ten intense days in the city for the shoot, says there are countless reasons for going to the Argentine capital, which boasts a fabulous cuisine. Ernalbant, who says one might go just for the beef, was also very impressed by the passion for tango and soccer in the city. A fascinating travel story is told in this feature’s section - one of its most interesting - on Argentinian Ottomans.
This feature, in the September 1993 issue, puts it in a nutshell: Brussels, which is home to a number of international organizations and institutions, more than deserves to be the capital of Europe… Writer-journalist Hadi Uluengin visited and wrote up this city, known for its elegant architecture.
This feature, titled Renaissance of the South: The Spirit of Andalusia, appeared in the April 2013 issue. Written by Andalusia expert Matios Malik Basso, it sums up the region: “We have a lovely climate and magnificent architecture. We also have a rich history.” Enriched with comments by Prof. Dr. Bekir Karlığa and Prof. Dr. İlber Ortaylı, this feature seeks the truth behind aesthetic wonders like the Alhambra Palace and Cordoba Mosque. Fifteen pages long, it sees Andalusia as an inseparable part of the rise of Islamic civilization as well as an indisputable component in the development of Europe. Erbil Balta, who shot the photos, says that Andalusia was one of his most memorable trips.
The first comprehensive foreign feature to appear in Skylife was about Madrid. Appearing in the January 1990 issue, it describes the Spanish capital as a city of bells, shawls and roses. Madrid’s museums and cuisine are also highlighted in the article.