Where Was I?

Was I in İstanbul yesterday evening?
Sure, the streets I wandered were familiar, but still there was something strange about them:
Take Bebek for instance: I was standing in the middle of a side street to take photo of an elegant wooden house. Something I had tried so many times before, at different times of the day, but each time before I managed to put the house in the frame I heard a “dadaaaaat” – a car’s horn! But yesterday I managed to take photos-not a photo, but photos!

I assumed the traffic would be deadlocked and because the last thing I could stand was to stick in the middle of a traffic jam, I walked from Bebek to Ortaköy though I was so tired. My assumption was far from being groundless: it was Sunday, late afternoon; there was a nice autumn weather; one of the favorite course of Istanbulites is between Bebek and Ortaköy; the narrow Bebek street was blocked by ‘grand jeeps’ and so only one lane was left for flow of traffic, why wouldn’t some other dear jeep drivers park (please read as “block”) on the roads of neighborhoods?

So I walked…

cars were waiting
not in the middle of a traffic jam
just red lights to become green
and one green light round was enough all the cars to pass
for heaven’s sake it was Ortaköy (or was it?)
(isn’t that what you visualize when you think of Ortaköy?)
but not yesterday

Ortaköy-Beşiktaş road was clear also…
(This time I wasn’t surprised: since Ortaköy was not congested, why and how could that road?)

Beşiktaş – Üsküdar ferry waiting hall:
A few minutes to the departure of the ferry
A few people waiting

No one left the boarded ferry…

What was wrong with İstanbul yesterday evening?

6 Comments so far

  1. erato (unregistered) on October 20th, 2006 @ 8:49 am

    Speaking about Ortakoy, can you tell me the name of the building nearby the Ortakoy Mosque, that used to be a church or something and now it has been beautifully renovated with a glass structure within? I am working on a similar project in Peloponnese and this is an excellent example to refer to…Where could i find more information?
    Thanks, Erato

  2. sven holmström (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

    I don’t know the name, but I know you can rent it for marriages and the like. It sure is a good place for such things.

  3. ERATO (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

    thanks Sven! Yes, i know it is for marriages etc, but i tried several keywords with google and none worked… if you find out the name of it, please let me know…

  4. Idil (unregistered) on October 25th, 2006 @ 10:57 am

    Are you refering to the Esma Sultan Mansion? Check this link out, it has pictures.

  5. Meral (unregistered) on October 25th, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

    What Erato asked should be Esma Sultan Yalısı, as İdil correctly figured out, because Esma Sultan Yalısı is the only building in Ortaköy that fits Erato’s description: “beautifully renovated with a glass structure within”
    That mansion was built in the 18th century for an Ottoman Princess Esma Sultan, and so it was named after her.
    So Erato if you google as “Esma Sultan Yalısı” I’m sure you’ll get information. And if you want I can send you some photos of it.

    What confuses me is why we call it as “Esma Sultan Yalısı” because ‘yalı’ by description is an elegant wooden seaside house, whereas Esma Sulta Mansion was made of brick.
    Ohhh and also it is a magical experence to listen jazz concerts in Esma Sultan Yalısı…

  6. ERATO (unregistered) on October 25th, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

    Idil and Meral, Thank you very much, this is exactly the one!!! you have saved my life! As for the word yali, i suppose, Meral, that as time passed by, the meaning it took might generally refer to a luxurious house by the Bosporus, so having been built in stone may not have been more significant than having hosted a princess and being located where it is.

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