Archive for October, 2005

mysterious women of the bronze age

the yapi kredi culture center’s (yky) vedat nedim tor (hail thor!) museum is now featuring an exhibition called “mysterious women of the bronze age” through march 30, 2006. dozens of figurines and idols from all over anatolia can be seen until that day. in search of the cult of goddess the mother, different from the big three religions, our long forgotten ancestors’ silent scream from 5000 years ago is heard again.

you can visit the exhibiton to see inside the hourglass of how profolic, fertile, terrifying goddess the mother vision became beatiful root of modern art through the centuries.

weekdays: 10:00 – 19.00
saturdays: 10:00-18:00
sundays: 13:00 ? 18:00

yapı kredi kultur merkezi,
istiklal st, no: 285, 34433
beyoglu, istanbul

October, 29th….. Celebrate!

ata.jpg

wish you were here…

and thank you for 82 years of freedom.

I wish our people more wisdom, more courage and more patience.

osman the techie

osman meet osman, the (relatively) new and supposedly hip design line of t-shirts, bags and accessories. the name is inspired from the ottoman empire and the idea is to have images of ottoman rulers doing hi-tech stuff, i.e. listening to music on an i-pod, using a laptop etc. printed on the stuff. after having read about it on the web, i met osman yesterday, in a small boutique called kokosh and was not very pleased. take this bag for example, it looks kind of nice on the web site, but gives quite the contrary impression in real life; the choice of fabric is weird (heavily loaded with rug motifs), the print quality is really poor and the thing stuck on the ear of yavuz sultan selim looks rather like a grasshopper than an ipod headphone. and the bag costs app. 200$. when i asked the kokosh sales lady if i could take a photo of the bag, she panicked and wanted to have me out of the shop as soon as possible, afraid that i might be a design spy. i mean, really, design?

Stop scraping the sky…

Our selection of Turkey for such a project reflects our trust in the growth potential of the Turkish economy, and its position as a strategic international hub for business, trade and tourism,’ said Dubai Holding executive chairman Mohammed Al Gergawi. He is talking about the $500 million skyscrapers which shall be built in Istanbul soon.

I really wonder why we would need them, so tall, so expensive, so unnecessary. Right on a spot where the traffic is a mess anyway. Right there we there very tall buildings anyway. Right there where I can’t see enough trees anyway. From Levent to Maslak; I almost only see concrete.

They shall look great, they will bring money, they shall bring status.

They shall ruin the traffic during the building process, infrastructure doesn’t support this kind of a plan, there is inequality in shareholding (%80 the building company, %20 Municipality of Istanbul). In addition, Istanbul fears earthquakes, so why build a 300mt skyscraper there ?

For what ?

Apple Days

From the 27th to the 30th of October, Apple is giving us the opportunity to find out more about its products and projects during the “Apple Days”. Platforms and seminars will be held informing us on all things Apple.
I’ve always been a PC user so going to this event will probably be like making a deal with the devil but when you see any Apple product, how can you not just be ecstatic at how beautiful it is.
For more information about this event please visit the website. (only in turkish)

See you there!

An Already Fading New Flame… Cevahir Shopping Center

cevahirshoppingcenter.jpg

Being an Istanbul child, I am used to big shopping centers. I witnessed the opening of Galleria in Atak

Eat sweet, Talk sweet

For those who have visited Turkey, reading this will be a ?sweet? remembrance. And for those who haven?t, hopefully, it will be like a guide. One of the things I am happy to be born in this country is that I have the opportunity to live on this delicious food each and every day. So I have been considering to write about Turkish Cuisine for a while, but this means I should start writing a book here, rather than an entry. So I chose to narrow down the topic to desserts. I love anything sweet, and I don?t have much appreciation for those who don?t like eating it.

Traditional Turkish desserts can be divided into three areas: desserts with pastry, desserts with milk and desserts with fruit. If I had to choose one of them, I couldn?t and I wouldn?t because, each of them addresses one of my different, ever-changing dessert mood (now I am in the mood for K? .

Desserts with pastry (if your motto is ?I love carbonhydrate?): Desserts with pastry are generally hard to deal with as a cook (the well-known Baklava is made up of 40 sheets of pastry thin as a veil). So before eating them, we should spend a minute or two respecting them. A dessert with pastry is generally the sweetest thing you will ever eat, be prepared. My favourite one is Ekmek Kadayıfı (made up of two layers somewhat like a bread and some cream which will complement the unique taste).
ekmek kadayifi.bmp
The best Ekmek Kadayıfı you will eat in İstanbul is in Saray Muhallebicisi in Taksim, Beyoğlu (actually Saray Muhallebicisi is one of the best places you can eat any dessert. So my suggestion is go there and order a dessert from each area).
saray_muhallebi.jpg
Baklava has many sub-baklavas, namely Baklava with pistachios, Baklava with nuts, plain Baklava and so on. You can go to Saray but I think G?amp;#287;lu in Karak?s the expert.
I have mentioned K?earlier, it is one of the great wonders of the world. The sweet pastry has cheese in it and it is served hot. It is very very sweet, needs professional care. If you are not into sweet that much, do not try it. I have one and only address for K? it is Uludağ Et Lokantası in Florya, İstanbul. So I am moving on? Tulumba has a hard outside and a sweet inside full of sherbet. I don?t have any special address for this, try Saray again, it can’t be bad. There is Revani which I am not a great fan of, but a lot of people love it. It is like a sponge cake with sherbet. Şam Baba is easily found in Saray, decorated with some fruits, is again made up of a cake and sherbet. I am putting an end to pastries, I feel like I have gained 2 kilos since I began writing.

Desserts with milk (motto ?milk it?): a vast field again. Let?s be simple and start with Muhallebi, milk cooked with starch. It is one of the basic milk desserts. Then, comes my favourite: Fırın S?(aka rice pudding but it is baked in oven). Tavukg?p;#287;s?iterally breast of a chicken, and yes it is made with breast of a chicken. Don?t let your prejudgements beat you. If Tavukg?p;#287;s?aked it is called Kazandibi which is much more delicious. I think these are the ones worth eating.

Desserts with fruit (motto ?fruit of the dessert?): Ayva Tatlısı is my spiritual leader.
ayvatat.gif
It is made up of quince, walnut and cream. Mmmm delicious. There is Kabaktatlısı made with pumpkin but nothing like a pie. The list goes on with distuinguished fruits such as fig, apricot and apple. There is Aşure which has a religious connection and made up of fruits, wheat, chickpea, a very crowded list of ingredients. I think it is a dessert which is one of a kind. (Desserts with milk and fruit can all be found in Saray Muhallebicisi)

I will update the list on demand. I apologise from any dessert that I have forgotten mentioning.

Another Bridge in Bosphorus ?

See, we got our very first bridge over the Bosphorus in 1974. I may be wrong but around that time. Back then it was a great thing. This bridge was supposed to cost for a couple of years and then was to be free as it would have covered the costs then. As far as I know people were takling about assigning a small amount of Bridge Tax to cover the costs of maintenance and repairements. The calculation was easy; a small tax times millions of cars and busses and whatever goes over the bridge would be a huge amount amount of money).

Years later (of course, they didn’t make the bridge free! running a land costs money! and having a bridge is easy money!) they built a second one. Actually I think the Japanese built it. This time there was no word about the bridge being free some time in the future.

But enough about that.

Some writers and poets describe the Bosphorus as the neck of a beautiful woman. Some say Istanbul would have been nothing without it. I think, Bosphorus is one of the most important things that connect me to this city. I love going over the first bridge and enjoy the scene I almost get paralyzed, can’t get my eyes off of the sea and the green and the houses and the ships that sail by.

But…

I do not, under any circumstances, understand why Istanbul would need a third bridge! Honestly! There are more than 4 million cars in Istanbul and the experience has shown that where you have a bridge in Istanbul, you also have a traffic jam, noise, dirt and everything a nice place doesn’t really need to have.

The project ‘Third Bridge’ appeared in 1995. Shortly after that, in 1998, it was confirmed but was subjected to great resistance of the people living in Arnavutk

Can you see my face ?

Thinking hard about what my first piece of writing could/should be, I stumbled upon this interesting artist. His name is Mike Mike. This guy lives in Istanbul and if you read his biography you will notice he has been around for some time now.

Nevertheless, he asks a question which I remember asking myself when I was a little kid. What do people generally look like in Istanbul?

Actually I can imagine how this question showed up. My parents are both from Istanbul, my family has been in Istanbul for more than 400 years now. It is a big family so I got to see so many original Istanbul people back then (remember I was a kid and more than 5 people was a crowd for me!) and had an almost perfect impression of a person who would live in Istanbul.

It all ended when I started going to school. Others had dark hair, light hair, red hair, eyes were different, some wouldn’t like icecream, some lived in big houses and some didn’t like me. It was also back then when I first realized that being from Istanbul was pretty different than being born here.

Anyways, Mike Mike had similar issues with places and faces so he has decided to work on it his way. I personally find the results astonishingly good. My girlfriend says all pictures look great when they are monstrous. However, Mike Mike has managed to find such great faces which are absoutely normal, almost ordinary, yet he has discovered that precious pinch of hope and friendliness on each of them.

If you would like to visit Mike Mike’s Website, follow this way

If you just want to see the Istanbul poster from the project, you can find it here

I liked it. Hope you will, too.

Setting things straight.

There is a common misconception about Turkey and Istanbul that I would like to straighten out.
Every time I speak to a foreigner that hears I live in Istanbul I get the classical “Ohhh the weather must be so hot there right now..”.
No, it isn’t. Turkey is hardly a tropical country. Istanbul is hardly a tropical island. We’ve had a great summer which I’d say lasted long but now it’s over. You can feel the colds sneaking on people and you can hear the runny noses all day long at the office. In my team we already have 6 members contaminated with the flu including myself. This is what kind of hot weather we’re getting. It’s getting very cold and rainy. The winter has started and we’ll be expecting snow storms soon. So if you thought that Istanbul or Turkey is hot all around the year, you were wrong, it isn’t.
Please welcome the flu, the cold, the mud, the rain, the snow, the storms with me. Please welcome winter in Istanbul.

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