Take a Clean Break in Istanbul
ISTANBUL AWAKENS the senses like few places on earth, with its centuries-old minarets, fragrant bazaars, clanging trolleys, all the ships and ferries chugging up and down the mighty Bosporus. For a long time, Istanbul has also offered a distinctive type of sanctuary from all that overstimulation: the Turkish bathhouse, or hammam.
How To Discover Your Fortune In Istanbul
Fortune-telling has long played an important role in Turkish culture. Even after the conversion to Islam, which deems fortune telling sinful, Turks continued to practice and value fortune-telling. In fact, a müneccimbaşı (the head of fortune tellers) was kept in the Ottoman palaces to cater to the Sultans’ desires of knowing what the future holds.
A Spot of Romance
THE project has eaten up all his Nobel prize money and he says he could have written half a novel in the time it has taken to finish it. But Turkey’s laureate, Orhan Pamuk, finally has his Museum of Innocence, the wellspring of his bestselling 2008 tale of the same name, about the doomed Istanbul lovers, Füsun and Kemal.
Fish restaurants in Istanbul: Natural Selection(s)
In the evolutionary process of the Istanbul fish restaurant, there was a moment in the late 1990s when the amphibious, shore-hugging boat restaurants crawled out of the Bosphorus and became land dwellers.
April 29, 2012
There is no big secret to achieving success in the music business, except to make music that you enjoy performing, according to Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas, who is visiting Istanbul to play a DJ set at 360 Istanbul on April 27.
This will be Taboo’s second professional visit to Istanbul, the first having been with The Black Eyed Peas a few years ago. Taboo’s career with the band began when he met will.i.am and apl.de.ap at a club called Balistix in Los Angeles. “We shared a common interest in freestyle dancing, hip-hop culture and rhyming. I always knew in my heart that I would live my life pursuing a career in entertainment. But I never dreamed that The Black Eyed Peas would be as big as it has become. We were just passionate about music when we started,” Taboo said.
Taboo’s DJ project incorporates elements of dance, music, visuals and MCing. “I like to interact with the crowd. We have video sequences. It’s a little different at every show. I want people to have a good time and walk away feeling like they have experienced something different, something new.”
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Taboo of Black Eyed Peas to DJ in Istanbul
The next work “Türk Romanından Bir Demet Istanbul” (A Selection of Istanbul from the Turkish Novel) pulls together unforgettable descriptions of Istanbul from 25 19th- and 20th-century Turkish novelists. In the preface of the book, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş expresses hope that readers will find themselves able to imagine what Istanbul was once like with the selected writings. The book aims to awaken the spirit of those historical times in the mind of the reader and conceptualize human relations once again.
The selection of works to include was carried out with the advice of Professor Dr. İskender Pala under the editorship of poet and writer Ekrem Kaftan.
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Exploring Istanbul in Novels
The opportunity came sooner than I thought. Our companion for a couple of days was an effervescent local called Ilginay, who had been deputised by the Tourist Ministry to take us under her wing for the day and, from the first moment, she had bath time in her sights. This was good for me because she impressed upon the owner of her favourite hamam - bath house - that he should waive the charge for her companions.
Read more on New Zealand Herald: Istanbul: Hours of Turkish Bath House Bliss
Nobel prize-winning Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk realized a long-nurtured dream yesterday with the opening of an actual “Museum of Innocence”— a collection of relics of a half-century of ordinary life as depicted in his 2008 novel of the same name.
Pamuk set out “not to do a spectacular or monumental museum but something in the backstreets, something that represents the daily lifeof the city,” he told a news conference after a press preview.
Situated in a bright, wine-red building in the district of Cukurcuma, the Museum of Innocence houses real and fabricated artifacts from everyday Turkish life between 1950 and 2000, in an homage both to the novel and to Pamuk’s Istanbul.
Read more on FMT: Celebrating Ordinary Life
April 22, 2012
I’d been to Istanbul twice before. But only as a typical tourist, visiting the usual suspects in star-studded Sultanahmet – Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia. What was Istanbul like beyond the postcard cliches, I wondered? And so here we are in Istanbul, the third city in 52 Suburbs Around the World. Advertisement: Story continues below
For week one my daughter, Coco, and I headed up the Golden Horn to Balat – and snuck in neighbouring Fener while we were at it. Once upon a time these places thrived, filled with fine mansions and vibrant communities of Greeks and Jews. But the fairytale didn’t last and they’re both now struggling and run-down with many buildings derelict and empty. Yet if you squint hard you can imagine what Fener and Balat might have looked and felt like in their heyday. And despite the dilapidation, I still found so much beauty there, from the colourful bay-fronted houses to the impressive churches and mosques we had virtually to ourselves.
For week two in Istanbul we changed gear and ducked over the Golden Horn to Istanbul’s ‘it’ neighbourhood, Cihangir. This is where you can roll down the hill from a big night out in the entertainment district of Taksim and wake up in your European-style apartment to a ridiculously impressive view, stretching right over the Bosphorus, across to Sultanahmet and down to the Sea of Mamara and beyond. I heard the place is heaving with celebrities but as I wouldn’t know a Turkish celebrity if I fell over one, I can’t verify the rumour.
Visit Louise Hawson's photo gallery & read more on The Sydney Morning Herald: Around the World in 52 Suburbs: Istanbul
Titled “Goya: Witness of His Time,” the Pera Museum show features a total of 230 pieces -- made up of oil paintings and four series of engravings -- by the artist, billed in the art world as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns.
The Pera exhibition is the first-ever major exhibition of works by Goya (1746-1828) in Turkey. Curated by Marisa Oropesa and scheduled to continue until July 29, the exhibition consists of works on loan from a number of leading museums and private collections in Spain and Italy.
A joint effort between the Spanish Embassy in Ankara and the Cervantes Institute İstanbul, the exhibition brings together works from the collections of Spain’s Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and Santamarca Foundation as well as a number of private collections in addition to a number of pieces from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Pera Museum officials told reporters during a press preview for the exhibition on Thursday.
Goya, having lived at the turn of the 19th century, is one of the best narrators of “darkness” and Oropesa’s selection features Goya’s works that bear witness to a turbulent period in Europe and particularly his native Spain.
Read more on Zaman: Istanbul Hosting Goya in Major New Show at Pera Museum
Donald Trump, the U.S. real estate developer, opened a $400 million twin-tower complex in Istanbul and will partner Turkish owner and billionaire businessman Aydin Dogan in more real estate in the city.
Trump Towers Istanbul, two skyscrapers each about 150 meters (492 feet) tall in the central Mecidiyekoy district, include 204 apartments on sale for as much as $6 million and 43,000 square meters (463,000 square feet) of offices and stores.
“We have a great relationship with Dogan,” Trump said in an interview at the towers in Istanbul today. “We are going to invest in real estate with them in Istanbul within two years. It will be something like Istanbul Trump Towers.” About 75 percent of residences at Trump Towers have been sold at prices ranging from $600,000 to $6 million, Trump and Dogan told reporters at a news conference in Istanbul today. Dogan and his family also own Turkey’s biggest media group.
“This project has been a great success,” Trump said in the interview. “It has made Turkey one of our priorities for real estate investment.”
All of the larger residences have been sold off, Trump and Dogan said. The size of the apartments range from about 85 square meters to 680 square meters.
Trump also said he plans to invest in hotels in Turkey “as soon as possible”. Donald Trump is the Chairman and President of Trump Hotel Collection, which features boutique luxury hotels in the U.S., Canada and Panama.
Read more on Bloomberg: Donald Trump Opens $400 Million Istanbul Towers
I moved to the real Istanbul a few years later, and as a young teenager trooped down to the fabled Emek Cinema to follow on the screen behind a vast proscenium arch, under its gilted rococo ceiling, Bond’s perilous trip on the Orient Express. I was a young orientalist myself, and my own journey home along the Bosphorus seemed every bit as exciting as the Istanbul on the screen.
Today I am among the first to cheer James Bond’s return to town in his incarnation as Daniel Craig. Whole sections of the historic city have been turned into a film set for the new Bond epic, “Skyfall.” I’m happy to endure the inconvenience of police cordons and traffic gone haywire as long as the result is another glorious rendering of Istanbul, as idealized as in the prequel.
Read more on The New York Times: Skyfall on Istanbul
Merchants at the Grand Bazaar are left with mixed feelings after the shooting of several scenes for the upcoming James Bond movie “Skyfall” at the site, uncertain whether the benefits will outweigh the costs.
Shooting took place at various locations on the historical peninsula, including Eminönü and the 15th century Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı). Producers paid 150 store owners in Eminönü between TL 1,000 and TL 3,000 and street traders about TL 200 per day, according to estimates on their average daily earnings provided by the Fatih Municipality in order to avoid any possible abuse on either side over the issue of payment. The producers also asked the owners of shops along a couple of streets of the Grand Bazaar to open their stores on Sunday, a day the bazaar is closed, for the shooting of certain scenes. There were 130 stores open that day, and each received payment of TL 350. Total payments to shopkeepers amounted to around TL 3 million.
Many shop owners at the bazaar were excited such a high-profile movie would be filmed at their place of work, expecting it to attract many more tourists to İstanbul and the bazaar in addition to providing short term employment to those who would take part in the production. A shop owner told Sundays Zaman on Thursday, “We are very glad the production of such movie is taking place here, introducing our culture to the world and bringing more visitors here.” Another said, “I would have come on Sunday to contribute to the production if it wasn’t the Easter holiday.”
However, some shop owners have criticized the decision to allow the production to be filmed place at such a prominent historical location for the possible damage it could cause and were also hesitant about how Turkey would be portrayed in the movie.
Read more on Zaman: Bond Filming Leaves Istanbul Merchants with Mixed Feelings
April 15, 2012