Archive for August, 2006

Weather for the next few days…..keeps burning!

Coming back to Istanbul for a couple of weeks and leaving the lovely weather in Berlin behind me, I was actually expecting a more pleasant weather here. Instead, I got smacked in the face with a dense curtain of heat as soon as I got out of the airport.

After two days, I started to lose hope that the weather might recover and the meterological expectations seem to comfirm my hopelessness :

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Hot Colors

The heat over the past few days has evaporated my limited compositional capacities. I know it is not “that” hot…but for some reason it has laid us low. In times like these it is always a comfort to know that others are suffering with you. Such succor was not mine to grasp. While sleeping in late to avoid facing the “Klima Yok-isness” of my apartment, I heard strange sounds against my window. Looking outside I was amazed to see that there was a team of workers painting our multistory complex.

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Cranking in the Heat

All day, every day for the past week these guys have sweated through the heat without complaint. It seems that this is the month of plaster and paint. All through Kosuyolu I can see the scaffolding and sacks of plaster at various sites.
Gotta go…5 minutes of typing and I need a break. It’s hard work watching these guys paint all day.

doing it the old fashioned way:

with books!

the world wide web has become a limitless source of information bringing knowledge just a few clicks away to our homes but still the tiring search through the card catalogues, the hide and seek between the shelves, the smell of the magic trio (dust-paper-ink) and the silence oozing out from the lamps (viva la silence of the lambs!) is what we shall not miss and no matter how pass on to the new generation. since the libraries are trying to keep up with the digital age integrating new technologies into their services and autumn is on its way, istanbul libraries (list 1 & list 2) could be your “a stones throw away choice” as opposed to your pcs and laptops.

Bus is the way of the Turk

For Westernes two things around here alwasy seem to be adopted from a sister novel of Alice in Wonderland: politics and mass transit.

I will not at all talk about politics, but I will talk about mass transit. And I should also be quik to note that my above statement isn’t negative. Rather; as long as the roads are open the mass transit here is a realy easy way of going almost anywhere almost anytime. And, pleasantly enough, during the summer the roads in Istanbul have been much emptier than usually.

But everything go bu bus here. The central parts of the city are starting to get other means of transport, but as soon as you going a bit further bus is the only alternative. Also when going to other cities. Sure, there are som intercity railway, but they are always mych slower than the busses, (!) but of course cheaper (!!).

On the other hand are the intercity bustrips much nicer than what I am used to from home. The service (you actually get food on busses here on intercity trips and if you get thirsty you can ask for water) as well as the busses themselves are of much higher standard than we are used to up in the north.

During the last week and a half I first went to Bursa for my third Turkish wedding and then after a few days of work to beautiful Gökçeada. And not only did I enjoy the destinations; I actually enjoyed the trips themselves. And I really used to hate busses.

istanbul design week

who does not love istanbul -the bridge between cultures- especially when she moves in mysterious ways? here is a good chance to enjoy the city; istanbul design week activities providing a liaison with her dedicated designers and the hoi polloi. idw 2006 will be welcoming new talents, professionals and everyone else related to sector as well as the curious. seminars, contests, exhibitions, workshops and many other activities will be held under the very same topic but this time including disciplines such as fashion, food, architecture, graphics, etc. aiming to add istanbul to the design centers of the world list, idw 2006 will start on the 12th of september and last for 5 days. not enough to create a new world but thanks to gaia the event also aims to be annual.

An American in the protest…

Steph has been travelling in Turkey and produces solid comments on Istanbul and Turkey. It seems that she was an active observer yesterday in an anti-war protest that took place in Kadıköy. Well, in this hot and humid weather, in no ways I would go and see the event. I feel like most of our authors have the same feelings (!). So here is Steph’s post with full of good photos! I am not so sure but the lack of Islamic groups as Steph wonders might be due to the fact that they were not invited….

In the mean time, I had come across an article in Bianet: Clues For “Beginners” to Live in Istanbul;

Some degree of Turkish is essential if you are intended to stay for a relatively longer time in Istanbul. Maps may not help, ask friends how to start strolling through the city. Share a flat with others, you will enjoy greater freedom than in a hostel…………by Anna GROSS – Boelting

Anyone tried ‘seyyar kitaplar’?

As far as I know Istanbul Municipality started a campaign called ‘seyyar kitaplar’. A rare example of book crossing campaign in Turkey. Accidentally, I met one of the editors – In fact, he thought I was someone else, then we talked a little bit and I learnt that he was working in that campaign. Anyway, whenever I look at the stack in the Taksim subway, I don’t see any books. Maybe it will change. We will see. In the mean time, a similar campaign is organized by Radikal daily and it seems that that is better organized at the moment…. Here is their website.

Secret Garden

These photos were taken at a secret garden almost in the middle of İstanbul, yet there you feel sooooooo far away…
Hopefully soon I’ll present more photos and a description of that Secret Garden…
For the time being enjoy the photos…

Water-Lilies and Their Shadows
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Reflections
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Bomb alert in Besiktas 16/08/06 @ 18:45


Last night while getting home from work, our shuttle was blocked off in Akaretler and couldn’t drive down to the sea shore due to a police barricade formed because of a bomb threat. The threat was in the form of an abandoned bag that people stared at for a while before some properly equipped police officers came and handled the package with care. Once everyone understood that the threat wasn’t that threatening after all, the barricade was removed and the cars started passing through. The funniest detail was the children that didn’t seem to care that a bomb might explode at any time and that were running through the barricades, playing and watching the police carefully. I guess at that age everything has a sense of wonder.

Islands’ Nights

I love strolling on the Islands…during winter, I should add, during which I can hear my footsteps..during which I hear nothing except my own footsteps. Naturally far away sounds of waves can be heard… and the sound that wind creates among pine trees. Those are the times I meet noone, but cats and maybe dogs. Those are the times the Islands are deserted, but not dejected.

Several days ago I hopped into a ferry and went to Islands for a summer night stroll. Chirpy perfectly defines how Islands are in a summer night: there was no empty table in the restaurants or cafes, no empty benches, people were drinking, eating, talking and laughing…
I began walking on the seafont without knowing or caring where it would lead me. The sound of waves were there exactly like in winter… but some other sounds added to the sound of waves: the songs of cicadas (oh, how I love their ‘annoying’ sounds!), talks and laughters flushing from verandas, balconies, gardens, even on the most desolate roads I heard dogs barkings… I couldn’t hear my footsteps…

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Ferry to the Islands

Young people were sitting on the platforms above the sea or under the trees or on the beach or simply on the road, drinking wine while talking in whispers or silently watching the dark sea and the illuminated İstanbul across the sea. Their zest reminded me of how my friends and I shared a bottle of wine and sometimes a coat at one of the few stepped stairs led to Bosphorus in front of Rumeli Hisarı, talking and talking while getting wet by the waves caused by giant ships passing through Bosphorus, watching Bosphorus and Asia at the other side… (This was one of my extracurricular activities… it’s not surprising why I miss to be a university student!:) )

On my way back met a Persian cat. His name is Darius. A perfect name for a Persian cat:)

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It’s not a good photo but it was dark and I wasn’t actually seing what was inside the frame!

On my way back to İstanbul a golden-silver full moon accompanied me…

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It’s worth to go to Islands for so many things I haven’t told here. Even for spending a few hours without hearing any cars, horns is a sufficient reason to visit Islands. (For those of you who are not familiar with Istanbul Islands, let me tell that motorized vehicles are forbidden on the Islands.)

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