Monthly Archives: July 2014

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How to get Taksim?

From Ataturk Airport :

– The easiest way : Get on the Havatas Bus which has the sign Taksim and get off at the last stop Taksim.

– Get on the Airport Metro : Havalimanı – Aksaray Line. Get off at Aksaray (the last stop) and walk to the tramway stop. Transfer to the Kabatas Tramway.  You will pass the following stops : Laleli, Beyazit, Cemberlitas, Sultanahmet, Gulhane, Sirkeci, Eminonu, Karakoy, Tophane, Findikli, Kabatas. Get off at Kabatas and transfer to Funikuler : directly going to Taksim.

– An alternative way : Get on the Airport Metro : Havalimanı – Aksaray Line. Get off at Aksaray (the last stop) and take a taxi to Yenikapi Metro which is very close. Then get on the metro, pass the stops, Yenikapı,  Vezneciler, Haliç, Sishane, get off at Taksim.

From Sabiha Gokcen Airport :

– Get on the Havatas Bus, with the sign Taksim.

Anywhere:

If you are at the European Side Yenikapı,  Vezneciler, Haliç, Sishane, Osmanbey, Sisli/Mecidiyeköy, Gayrettepe, Levent,  4.Levent, Sanayi, İTÜ Ayazağa, Atatürk Oto Sanayi, Darüssafaka, Hacıosman, Seyrantepe, just find the M sign. If you cannot find it, ask somebody “Metro nerede?”

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By Yellow minibus :

There is also a small bus, which does not exist in Europe for this purpose.

taksi_dolmuslarYou can see this minibus (sari dolmus) in many regions : Bostanci, Kadikoy, Bakirkoy, Atakoy, Yesilkoy, Kocamustafapasa. If you see the minibus with the sign of Taksim starting from those districts, it is going to Taksim for sure.

If you see the minibus on the way, you should ask the question: “Taksim?” before getting on. Turkish is very simple to prononciate, read it as it is.

By bus : There are several buses going to Taksim. If you see the sign Taksim on the bus, and you are not sure if the direction is correct, just ask the driver “Taksim?”, and they will help you.

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10 touristic places to visit

1. Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya)
2. Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)
3. Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)
4. Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi)
5. Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
6. Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi)
7. Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Muzesi)
8. Suleymaniye Mosque (Suleymaniye Camii)
9. Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)
10. Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi)

The first eight are in the old city.

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You can see Suleymaniye Mosque above. It is on the third hill of Istanbul.

Photo by Ozden Akinci.

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Songs of Istanbul

There are several poems written, and songs composed for Istanbul. Here, we can listen some good examples of Istanbul songs.

The first one you find in the list, “Yarim Istanbul” (My beloved Istanbul) which was written by Sezen Aksu, is describing the city with its features by comparing it with a woman. The second one from MFO, “Bu sabah yagmur var Istanbul’da” (This morning it is raining in Istanbul) is a sad love song similarly to many others. All the rest are describing either the city or love in the city.

There is even a documentary about the music of Istanbul, which is called “Crossing the Bridge” directed by Fatih Akin. It shows all different styles of Turkish Music with the different sides of Istanbul. Artists are all famous musicians.

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Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet)

Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet) is the first six minaret mosque in Turkey. It was completed in 1616 by the architech Sedefkar Mehmed Aga. It is located in the old city region, in face of the Hagia Sophia. The name in English comes from the color of its tiles covering the inner walls.

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Photos by Ozden Akinci

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Cats in Istanbul

Cats are a very important component of our city. They are everywhere, many people love them, and try to take care of them. They are the boss of streets, and Istanbul cannot be thought without them.

The documentary “Cats in Istanbul” directed by Ceyda Torun shows the relationship between cats and people of Istanbul. This documentary will be released in 2015.

Nine Lives – Cats in Istanbul – TEASER from Charlie Wuppermann on Vimeo.

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Nostalgic Tram

There are two nostalgic trams in Istanbul. One of them is on the European Side, starts from Taksim Square, goes along the Istiklal Street, and stops at the end of Istiklal Street (Tunnel). The other one is on the Anatolian (Asian) side, starts from Kadikoy and goes to Moda.

During the festivals, we have concerts on the stage of a modified Nostalgic Tram on Istiklal. It is going along the street, while the band is playing. Following video shows a performance by jazz vocalist Can Gox.

Blues-Mobil “NOSTALGIC TRAM ISTANBUL” from turgayyildizli on Vimeo.

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Emek Cafe

One of the traditional cafe along the Bosphorus is Emek Cafe. It is located in Yenikoy, which is on the north of Istinye. You can have a very delicious Turkish breakfast, with the cute sparrows and sea gulls. Turkish coffee and fast food in Emek Cafe are also fine. It is a small cafe which has a warm atmosphere with its lovely employees. It is not a touristic place, but locals love it.

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The boss of Emek is on the left and the view of the cafe is on the right.

Photos by Tugba Agacayak

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Siluet of Istanbul

This photo shows the siluet of Istanbul, the beautiful Hagia Sophia (on the right) and the Blue Mosque (on the left). Like the Statue of Liberty in New York, and the Eifell Tower of Paris, everybody is looking for Hagia Sophia in Istanbul which was selected as the symbol of the city.

It is the most beautiful architecture which reflects the past of the city. It is well protected where you may see elements from both Christian and Muslim culture together.

You may find more about Hagia Sophia under that post.

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Ortakoy Mosque

Grand Imperial Mosque (Buyuk Mecidiye Camii) which is known as Ortakoy Mosque, is a very famous architecture on the Bosphorus. It was built in the 18th Century during the time of Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid. It was built in the Neo-Baroque style, by the Armenian architects Garabet Amira Balyan and Nigogayos Balyan.

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It is located in Ortakoy where you may find small shops for silver jewellry and natural stones. Also Ortakoy is the best place for a special Turkish food called Kumpir (Baked potato).

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Galata Bridge

One of the famous bridges in Istanbul is Galata Bridge which is on the lovely inner sea, Golden Horn on the European Side. This bridge is connecting Sirkeci and Karakoy. You can either walk or get on the street tram to cross the bridge. There are many fish restaurants below the bridge.

A traditional food, fish and bread (balık ekmek) is very common in this region. You may find good places in Karakoy. Most of them are on the street with a barbeque. You may drink a turnip (şalgam) with fish and bread.

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Photo by Tugba Agacayak