Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Istanbul in three zones….

According to the newest municipality plan, Istanbul will be divided into three zones. The authorities have London and Singapore in their minds.. Here is the news item. But no worries this won’t start before 2012!

Unkapanı Bridge…

I guess, we haven’t seen Unkapanı Bridge like that before. This bridge is one of the three bridges over the Golden Horn and it was on the march route during Hrant Dink’s funeral…


Here is one more shot from the funeral. In front of the building Agos’ offices are…

Obituaries for Hrant Dink

I was down on the coast when the funeral took place in Istanbul so I couldn’t cover it but I’d like to link to a couple of people who wrote excellent pieces on the subject. These entries might give you more insight on the matter at hand.

The InfidelThe Funeral
Erkan’s field diaryThe Funeral
Metin from Talk TurkeyDink Funeral & The Missing Leaders

Visa for Istanbul?

This is not totally new. But Mr. Erdoğan was more vocal this time and stated his wish to limit migration and car ownership in Istanbul. However, paying to enter downtown areas seems to be more plausible, not to mention the issues of citizens’ right for mobility… Well, Turkish citizens were hoping to move in Europe freely but they might not even move within Turkey if Mr. Erdoğan’s wish can be realized….

Fog alert

Make sure you buckle your seat belts if you decide to drive through Istanbul tonight and tomorrow. As far as we’ve heard thus far the boats traveling between the asian continent and the european continent have been cancelled due to heavy fog taking over Istanbul. Currently, sitting in my living room, on the european side, I can’t see the asian side anymore. The traffic is hectic due to boat trip cancellations so make sure you’re careful on the roads and in the streets.

Kanyon gets the Architectural Award…

Suzy Menkes in A futuristic mall is new Turkish playground says:

It does not have quite the cachet of the Hagia Sofia or the Blue Mosque. And it was not on the itinerary of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit last week to this city of domes, minarets and traffic jams. But the futuristic swoop of Kanyon’s arresting architecture is a landmark in Istanbul’s burgeoning consumerism. In a city that has become a hip destination for visitors and a magnet for its own country’s population, this shopping center for the 21st century is Turkey’s new playground….

I think as Ms Menkes says Istanbul’s malls might be a real attraction for Istanbul visitors in near future… Time to rewrite guide books:)

Vatan newspaper just announces that Kanyon was given the Cityscape 2006 Architectural Review award….

The Papal Traffic

As it is already known, the Pope is in town. This historical visit is a test in multiple levels, but i suppose there is at least one who fails the test. Many Istanbulites got angry with the traffic yesterday. Because of security reasons which streets would be closed were not announced and many people who just left their work had to spend incredible amounts of time to reach home or wherever they were destined to go. I can understand the logic of security reasons but i wish the officials in charge would also care about thousands of their own citizens. I am sure our pain could be alleviated with a better organization. But would our officials care about that?…

Istanbul as a cultural capital of Europe….

For the record, from a TDN piece:
“The European Union Council yesterday endorsed a jury recommendation declaring Istanbul a culture capital of Europe in 2010. A seven-member jury panel recommended in April that the 2010 European Capitals of Culture be awarded to Istanbul, Essen in Germany and Pecs in Hungary…. Istanbul’s unique character as a cradle of many cultures and civilizations, straddling the Asian and European continents was among the major reasons the jury preferred the city over Kiev. The EU Commission submitted the jury’s recommendation report to member countries. The jury recommendation is usually endorsed by the EU Council.”

Istanbul will also be unique in producing new cultural forms of dealing with the increasing traffic, rising rents for apartments and with the ever enlarging city boundaries:)

Earthquakewise: “Time is up for Istanbul”

In a Hurriyet news, it is reported that

ODTU teaching faculty members and member of the National Earthquake Council, Professor Haluk Sucuoglu, has commented on the possibility that a large earthquake soon faces Istanbul. Professor Sucuoglu has noted that a full 240 years have passed since the 1766 earthquake which caused enormous damage in Istanbul, asserting that this was another sign that the North Marmara fault lines were ready to spring back into action.

Because of recent quakes around Istanbul, experts have the opportunity to voice their concerns. However, not all experts claim for such a nightmare scenario; there are diverse ideas and as far as I observe, Istanbulites themselves are not in a state of panic.

Student fests at Istanbul universities are banned!

According to the New Anatolian news, Istanbul Governor’s Office decided to ban all fests because “the student festivals held at the beginning and end of the academic year provide an environment ripe for ideological groups to win over sympathizers.” Hmmm this is a typical instance of Turkish state governance. I wish they could find other ways of beating the ideological groups other than banning all youth fests…

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