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Baffled Erguvan

Erguvan is known as Judas Tree or as European Redbud in the English speaking world. But I always call it as “erguvan”.
Not only the tree, but also its flowers and the reddish-purple colour of those flowers are called as “erguvan” in Turkish. The story of this beautifully coloured flowers is as follows: Judas tree had white flowers at the beginning. But its flowers turned into reddish-purple because of the shame that the tree felt for Judas hanging himself on a Judas Tree after betraying Christ. And also the reddish-purple of judas trees was the colour of Byzantine royal family; only members of the Byzantine royalty could wear clothes which had the colour of flowers of Judas Trees, and the heirs of Byzantine Empire were all born in a room which was coloured as such, because it was believed that the Byzantine Empire was founded on the day when the Judas Trees bloomed. It is said that Theodora, Empress of the Byzantine Empire, declined the advise of fleeing from rioters of Nika riots by telling “The most beautiful shroud is erguvan coloured cape.”

Erguvan trees bloom between the second half of April and the first half of May, and then:
The blue of Bosphorus, the green of pine trees and the reddish-purple of erguvan blossoms blend and create a beauty that one would wish losing herself in…

Having said all these, look what I found when I got back from my summer holiday in September at the end of September (a summer holiday in September is not an oxymoron!):



A bloomed erguvan tree…an erguvan tree bloomed at the end of September… an erguvan tree bloomed when it has seeds pods: in short a baffled erguvan tree! (Sometimes a tree may blossom after several hot days, long before its blooming time and we call it as “şaşırmış” meaning more or less “baffled”… and the flowers of that baffled tree will eventually be wiped out by the cold weathers ahead:( ) True, the blossoms of that baffled erguvan is not as wild as, as crazy as the erguvan blossoms in spring, but hey, this is the second month of autumn, so don’t be unfair by expecting mesmerizing erguvan blossoms of spring!

But the thing that I could’t get about this erguvan tree is: I know İstanbul was desperately cold when I was on holiday. It was cold, rainy, no sun for at least 10 days. So how did this erguvan find a reason to be baffled?

The Last Of The…


Full Moons…

That’s what I saw last Saturday at 6 o’clock in the morning when I lied on my bed.

I love double glazing windows: they triple an image: when I place candles in front of a double glazing glass, I get three candle flames. When there is a full moon in the sky, I see three full moons.

Three images: the moon, reflection of the moon, reflection of the reflection…
glossiest, glossy, dim….


Museum – Now!

The beauty of private museums and exhibition halls in Taksim is that they mostly have free entrence. And since Taksim is Taksim we all stumble around outside them all the time. Just a couple of days ago I revisited Yapi Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Müzesi and Pera Museum. You have to go there to. I will now tell you why.

Ship ahoy!


This is what i encountered when riding on my shuttle back from work. I’m not too sure where we were, I think we were in Sisli when I decided to look up in the sky because I thought that the weather was becoming cloudy and this is what I ended up seeing, shocked and giggling. Nice idea isn’t it?

the hair(y) deal

besides everything said, written, claimed, suggested, witnessed, experienced (and the list goes on and on and on…), one can easily say, write, claim, suggest, witness, experience (and the list goes on and on and on…) that turkish men might not be the best “barbarians” in the whole wide world but definitely the best “barbers”.

the gene that is inherited from one generation to another fed since young ages with local education, is exclusively for turkish men though, we; the turkish women carry the gene only to enjoy a satisfactory hair-cut or care and what comes along with it; manicure, pedicure and oh yes a decent wax!

it takes a certain amount of trust and anticipation to let a stranger touch your valuable face, pet your throat with an extremely sharp razor, flame up your ears and dig your nose with scissors, but what the hell? that’s what you must pay for a brighter face free of excessive hair and a relaxation caused by a turkish style resurrection done with unique and ancient forms of grooming and hygiene.

for an inexpensive and a refreshing experience, have faith and do drop by your local barber shop. not only you will get a nice hair-cut, a shave and a massage, you will be enjoying a lifetime insight to the contemporary local way of life for a very reasonable price. and the language barrier might be a problem for you, but definitely not for the barber, nor the cook, the thief and their wives and their lovers, and the list goes on and on and on…

turkish federation of barbers and coiffeurs
dial 112 and 155 respectively in case of emergency
direct link in case of mistreatment

time killers:
barber paradox, barbershop paradox

albert gabriel; the archivist

jolly jolly good news!

the archive of albert gabriel, the french historian, traveller, architect and archeologist who is the most important figure in the studies of ottoman architecture in our country, is in istanbul!

when pierre pinon, yet another french architect, archeologist, traveller (+artist and curator), discovered the dusty archive, in gabriel’s house in bar-sur-aube untouched since his death in 1972, he decided that they must be brought out into the daylight. receiving no kind of recognition at all both here and there (here; you know what i mean, there; in paris, france), pinon finally managed to bring out the archive consisting of gabriel’s hand drawings, water colours, photographs of various places and buildings here and there (here; you know what i mean, there; you get the picture; rhodes, middle east, etc.), the first photographs of hasankeyf ever taken and his study kits plus personal possessions.

albert gabriel (1882-1972) was an expert on ottoman art/architecture who came to istanbul in 1926 and couldn’t leave this land for many years. he taught history of art/architecture and archeology at the university of istanbul and took part in the founding of the french archeology institute. during his long stay in istanbul, besides administrating the institute, he travelled in anatolia and made detailed studies of important structures.

to honour his dedication to “introducing the real turkish art and architecture” first to france, then to the world and his translations of yahya kemal beyatli and ahmet hamdi tanpinar poems into french, his archive is being expected to be “the most visited” exhibition of the year by, well, me! kisses to rodin and voila!

ykkm – kazim taskent galerisi
15/09 – 11/11 2006

pick a boom boom! (in turkish)

Sleepyhead Dog On Traffic Island


He was sleeping soundly on a traffic island in middle of a busy main road.
Caring neither the passing by vehicles, nor the mud due to rain.
White parts of his hair was no more white but russet because of sleeping in the mud.
I envied his peaceful sleep… wished his sleeps be always that sound and peaceful.

Autumn Like

This morning I woke up to an autumn like weather: not downpours with lighting and thunders – a usual summer rain in İstanbul (like we had last Monday), but drizzle: the fine, misty rain of autumn İstanbul.
A drastic drop in temperature: from 30ºC to 20ºC!
It was chilly… and cold wind was blowing…
It is still chilly… cold wind is still blowing…

I know many people don’t like such chilly weather, that they prefer sunny, hot summers, but personally I welcome any rain, whether rain storms with thunder and lighting or drizzle.
I would have tried to explain why rainy İstanbul is more beautiful, how the air and the earth smell during and after rain, how fresh and clean everything become after rains, how lively I become…but I’ve got to go: for a nice, long stroll to enjoy this weather and all the beauties it brings. Then I’ll lay down on sofa, wrap myself in a blanket and read a good book while listening to rain drops on the window…
See, I’ve really got to go!;)

shadowless girl tales

born on the southern coast of turkey in adana in 1981, artist painter hale gungor spent her chilhood years in mollis, switzerland. moving back to istanbul she started to work on sculpture and drawing under the supervision of irfan korkmazlar and gulcin aksoy. heading to paris to be an artist, she studied fine arts at parsons school of design. currently she is re-located in istanbul busy creating her world that survived her childhood. simple lines and eye-cathcing colours are a treat to the eyes and most importantly her giraffes are a must to admire.

future solo exhibition:

shadowless girl tales
01-14 september 2006
galeri artist cukurcuma
altipatlar sok. no:26
cukurcuma – istanbul
(+90 212 251 91 63)


ercan imre, an avid fan of album art introduces us to a wonderful collection of records of turkey’s golden era of music including rock and psychedelia (a.k.a anadolu rock, rulaz!). currently working as a host at acik radio and writing articles for bant magazine (some might remember him as a columnist at the daily birgun) is collecting records since 1979 and has compiled more than 20 thousand, both turkish and foreign. the site might be only in turkish but the fun is international, enjoy witnessing the turkish history in a musical way!

suggested categories: absurd, pop art, copycats, erotika, football, eurovision and all the rest.

(via: e! and may the stars shine for you, too.)

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