Monthly Archives: March 2007

St. Antoine Church, Beyoglu

St. Antoine Church, Beyoglu Istanbul, Pentax K10d

St. Antoine Church, Beyoglu Istanbul, Pentax K10d

St. Antoine Church in Beyoglu and visitors

St. Antoine Church, Beyoglu Istanbul, pentax k10d

St. Antoine Church, Beyoglu Istanbul, pentax k10d

Beyoglu, Inci patisserie (İnci Pastanesi)

Inci Patisserie, Beyoglu, Pentax K10D

Inci Patisserie, Beyoglu, Pentax K10D

a good memoir about Beyoglu  from Küçük Iskender, famous young poet.


My heart skipped to the beat of “Songs singing of you / your name a melody / like passion, like love / a moody, sweet lady,” through an altogether different youth. Then, we blended in with the blackest of black in places where we were made to surrender. The transvestite rock bars converted from night clubs were just like drugs that exploded, intoxicated, and fizzled out. With the same purposeful expression fixed on the same faces, we adorned an executioner’s glance with lives blown out like uninflated balloons. With young gentlemen and ladies too young to drink beer or make love, we searched for common melancholy in all the hide-outs of Istiklal, in the hands of dealers without fingernails, under the swelling jackets of men of dubious identity, dressed up in dark suits, in the bottle-tops with slit edges used as junk pots, in the devil in our blood, in the save-the-universe cult complexion of a dumb-drunken-destitute woman, in the corpse of the child glue-sniffer which lay partly covered with newspaper. We searched but couldn’t find.
Yes, every street in Beyoglu is a bit like Elm Street. The younger generation sticking in their own gravestones on street corners, with the plastic water bottles from their pockets! So why are we grateful?! We have no gods but ourselves! Who knows how many dead we left behind on that long journey starting out at the French Consulate and ending at Tunel in the short underground train?! Here, hydrochloric acid is the best solvent. Everyone in Beyoglu must have a connection with a 900 phone-in line. Everyone can tell a story. Everyone is a reminder of something. Everyone has a reputation. Everyone is ready to make another reputation. In Beyoglu, love is duty-bound to sex. Love, in Beyoglu, often works overtime at night. Drinking has no brakes. Everything that’s pop inclines toward the blues in the early hours. What strikes you is a vampire illusion. Everyone’s got to be a bit deluded in Beyoglu. That’s style. For instance, I got to like strawberries in Beyoglu. I got to like films, I got to like Kurt Cobain in Beyoglu. That’s where I felt bad for the first time. That’s where I first made Bad Friends. Where I broke my jaw. Where I lost my first child who was never to be found. Beyoglu is like a maternity clinic built on a graveyard. An organic enigma dressed in multi-colored lights!
Watch out, stranger! Don’t ever sail into Beyoglu without a guide! Not everyone’s got the balls to get into bed with Beyoglu! You’ve got to be both a gentleman/bey and a son/ogul! Here everyone identifies with someone else. Guns are drawn and fired. Being here is being scattered all over the world. Plain-clothes policemen right and left! Radical islamist doner-kebab joints right and left! Junkies right and left! Cats and dogs! Extras at every step! Wine joints, TV, bars, and street cafés at every step! Beyoglu progresses like a consuming disease! Rather drunk! Staggering, tripping over, stumbling down, then up again without help. Beyoglu, going down in history on its own!
A pair of bloody scissors is left on each doorstep. Somebody’s life apparently swept off to somebody else’s. Our garbage quickly dumped off on each other. Maybe this is where socialism will take heart. The families of those who’ve gone missing in detention will start living here. This is where we’ll learn to be humanists once more. The cock that crew out of time can only be a revolutionary who deliberately caused death. Everyone in Beyoglu believes in revolution as much as in suicide. Everyone in Beyoglu has been back from the brink of execution. Will everyone please button up!
But we were handsome, soulful children, shattered to pieces, who, without taking leave, let ourselves into the bosom of manly nights. There was always a blind violin-player wandering in the mirrors of our sweating, youthful moustache. We loved alcohol. Cigarettes figured like seagulls on our holders. Everyone was a doctor, attending to love in their center. Someone, pushing his way through the doctors, called out: “Make way, please make way, I’m ill!”
Every night a plane crashes into Beyoglu! No one survives from the crew or the passengers. Just when you’ve approached a mobile food stall to eat bird’s meat with pilav, the plane appears in the skies above. The landing gear doesn’t work, and the plane comes crashing down on any old lover of yours. The barman who doesn’t instantly mix cyanide in your drink is bound to get fired. Beyoglu is an aquarium, where sharks swim!
Poetry in Beyoglu is the whisper of an insane genie. At the end of our meetings people ask each other how much more time they’ve still got to live. Answering calls for courage. People whose hearts have turned into a shred of skin caught in a zipper are pumped into other parts of the city through the arteries like a snowman about to melt. The oxygen you’ve supplied to others in Beyoglu comes back to you in tears that bond and flow down Yuksekkaldirim where ageing, beautiful whores, stepping out of the brothel, drown in them.
Our hearts were roughly handled in the joints on the side streets, so we used to get together to clear them of charge. We were majestic murderers, proud and confident. We kept falling in love at the matinee or the night show. The person who curled up in our bed in the late hours was definitely not a lover. We loved the persons we made love with, as much as we loved our enemy, and hated them in disgust, as we hated our lover. Using condoms in Beyoglu was gross insult!
People were stapled to memories. Their eyes poking into a frozen moment, they tried to tease out sense and anxiety. When was poetry ever a mitigating circumstance?! Could’ve been, possibly. A bright blue teardrop. A bright blue embrace. A bright blue swan. No. Here, blue is the bleeding of a darker, deeper blue. Living in Beyoglu is symptomatic of AIDS.
They used to come to the forest to protect us. They were skillful, strong, sharp. We offered them our torches, knife-blades, fault lines, and lice. Retreating to our cages in Beyoglu, the public zoo, we expected to score full points in death and dejection. We had sliced up and devoured our wardens and our mothers. Super heights! Super nonsense! Super-chargers! Beyoglu is a double-rolled joint wherein lies a scattering of lives. Wherever you go, wherever you live, Beyoglu is the thing that Cavafy talks about! But can one tell? Hope springs everywhere. And those who lean on hope are bound to confront Beyoglu. It’s Beyoglu who’ll choose the arms. You’ll each count ten paces, then face each other and fire. Pity, though, that yours is a blank round! Beyoglu will have shot you without mercy!

“Hitchcock’un Es Gectigi Plato: Beyoglu!” Mediterraneans 10: Istanbul Ozel Sayisi

Kucuk Iskender

Translated by  Saliha Paker

trees and Red School in frame

Red School from Golden Horn, istanbul, pentax k10d

Red School from Golden Horn, istanbul, pentax k10d

Özel Fener Rum Lisesi, Fener Greek school

inci patisserie and profiterole

profiterole in İnci Patisserie, Beyoğlu

profiterole in İnci Patisserie, Beyoğlu

Inci Patisserie is famous with Profiterole. We’re eating Profiterole and lemonade.

from Wikipedia

A profiterole or cream puff or Eddie (United States regionalism) is a popular choux pastry. Choux paste is baked into small round puffs that are served cold with a sweet filling and sometimes a topping. The usual fillings are whipped cream and pastry cream. The puffs may be left plain or cut to resemble swans or decorated with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar. This dessert is not to be confused with puff pastry.


The choux paste is piped through a pastry bag or dropped with a pair of spoons into small balls and baked to form largely hollow puffs. The puffs are filled by slicing off the top, filling, and reassembling, or by injecting with a pastry bag and a narrow piping tip.


The most common dessert presentations involve ice cream, whipped cream or a pastry cream filling, and are served plain, with chocolate sauce, or with a crisp caramel glaze. They can also be topped with powdered sugar, frosting, or fruit.

Filled and glazed with caramel, they are assembled into a type of pièce montée called croquembouches, often served at weddings in France. Profiteroles are also used as the outer wall of Gâteau St-Honoré.


Gougères are the savoury equivalent of profiteroles, and may be filled with a cheese mixture, game puree, etc. They are generally used as an hors d’oeuvre or a garnish or dumpling for soup.


The origin of both the pastry and its name profiterole are obscure.

The word profiterole (also spelled prophitrole, profitrolle, profiterolle)[2] has existed in English since the 16th century, borrowed from French. The original meaning in both English and French is unclear, but later it came to mean a kind of roll ‘baked under the ashes’. A 17th-century French recipe for a Potage de profiteolles or profiterolles describes a soup of dried small breads (presumably the profiteroles) simmered in almond broth and garnished with cockscombs, truffles, and so on.[3] The current meaning is only clearly attested in the 19th century.

taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul

a boat and Golden Horn history

boat in Holden Horn, Istanbul Haliç, Pentax K10D

boat in Holden Horn, Istanbul Haliç, Pentax K10D

a boat in Golden Horn.

History of Golden Horn

According to Greek legend, the Golden Horn derives its name from Keroessa, the mother of Byzas the Megarian, who named it after her. It forms a deep natural harbor for the pensinsula it encloses together with the Sea of Marmara. The Byzantine Empire had its naval headquarters there, and walls were built along the shoreline to protect the city of Constantinople from naval attacks. At the entrance to the Horn, there was a large chain pulled across from Constantinople to the old Tower of Galata (which was known as the Megalos Pyrgos (Great Tower) among the Byzantines) on the northern side, preventing unwanted ships from entering. This tower was largely destroyed by the Latin Crusaders during the Fourth Crusade (1204), but the Geneose built a new tower nearby, the famous Galata Tower (1348) which they called Christea Turris (Tower of Christ).

There were three notable times when the chain across the Horn was either broken or circumvented. In the 10th century the Kievan Rus’ dragged their longships out of the Bosporus, around Galata, and relaunched them in the Horn; the Byzantines defeated them with Greek fire. In 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, Venetian ships were able to break the chain with a ram. In 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, having failed in his attempt to break the chain with brute force, instead used the same tactic as the Rus’, towing his ships across Galata into the estuary over greased logs.

After the Capture of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed the Conqueror, Greek citizens, the Greek Orthodox Church, Jews, Italian merchants, and other non-Muslims began to live along the Horn in the Phanar (Fener) and Balat districts. Today the Golden Horn is settled on both sides, and there are parks along each shore. The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce is also located along the shore, as are Muslim, Jewish and Christian cemeteries. The Galata Bridge connects the districts of Galata and Eminönü. Two other bridges, the Atatürk Bridge and the Haliç Bridge, are located further up the Horn. Until the 1980s the Horn was inquinated with industrial waste, but has since been cleaned up and is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul because of its history and beauty.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul

St. Antoine church door (St. Anthony of Padua Cathedral, St. Antuan church)

door of St. Antoine Church, Beyoglu Istanbul, pentax k10d

door of St. Antoine Church, Beyoglu Istanbul, pentax k10d

gravestones in Eyup Sultan cementerie

gravestones in Eyup Sultan cementeries, istanbul eyüp, golden horn, haliç, pentax k10d

gravestones in Eyup Sultan cementeries, istanbul eyüp, golden horn, haliç, pentax k10d

a close-up shot, taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul

Eyup is a district of the city of Istanbul, Turkey, up where the Kağıthane and Alibey streams meet at the head of the Golden Horn, Eyüp is of great historical importance, especially for Muslims, and is an attractive area to visit.

Eyüp’s History

Although this area lies outside the city walls, there was always a village here, as the two streams provided plenty of fresh water, and in the Byzantine period there was a church in the village and later a monastery (which was built on the steep hill behind today’s Eyüp Mosque).

Being outside the city walls the area has long been used as a place of burial, there are Christian churches and cemeteries in the area as well as a large Muslim cemetery and the major Muslim shrine which gives the area its current name and fame:
The Mosque and türbe (funerary mausoleum) of Ayyub al-Ansari

The name Eyüp comes from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the companion and standard bearer of the Prophet Muhammad. He came to Constantinople with the Arab army during the first attempted Muslim conquest of the city, died and as his last request was buried there. Seven centuries later, during the conquest of Constantinople, the tomb was said to have been re-discovered by Ak Şemsettin the Sheikh of Mehmed II.

After the city was taken Sultan Mehmet ordered a tomb, or “Türbe”, be constructed over Abu Ayyub’s resting place and a Mosque constructed in his honour. The first major mosque to be built in Istanbul, it was surrounded by the traditional bath, school room and canteen complex, also the first of these to be built in Istanbul.

From that point on Eyüp became something of a ‘sacred place’, the mosque containing a stone said to bear the footrpint of the Prophet Mohhamed. More mosques, prayer schools, and fountains were built, and as many Ottoman officials wished to be buried at or near the site of Abu Ayyub’s resting place, the cemetery became one of Istanbul’s most desirable final resting places.

The area grew and acquired a great deal of valuable sacred architecture, becoming a place where Dervish Tekkes could be found alongside visitors both Turkish and foreign, who came from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul to the area to enjoy the cooler air and fine view.

At the height of the Ottoman Empire Eyüp was one of the three recognised urban areas outside the city walls. (The other two being Üsküdar, across the Bosphorus, and the European trading outpost of Galata, across the Golden Horn from the city. Some of the character of this period can be seen in the paintings of the city, including many of Eyüp, by Count Preziosi.

Eyüp during the industrial revolution

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Istanbul grew as the fringes of the Ottoman Empire became unsettled and Turkish communities from the Balkans and the Caucasus came to the city. During this period the Eyüp area became incorporated into the city, losing some of its spiritual air as factories were built along the Golden Horn. The first of these was the ‘Feshane’, the factory beside the Horn where fezzes were stitched for the Ottoman armies. (The Feshane is today an exhibition centre, owned by the Istanbul municipality).

At the same time the industry and the growing population, as well as the continuing numbers of visitors to the holy places, encouraged the growth of the shopping district around and behind the mosque; the streets behind had fish and dairy markets, shops, cafes and bars for the residents of the area, while the courtyard of the mosque itself held people selling scriptures and prayer beads for the visitors and pilgrims.

From the mid-20th century onwards, the area took on a more ‘working class’ feel as wealthier residents of Istanbul preferred to buy housing on the Asian side of the city or further along the Bosphorus, since the Golden Horn was becoming increasingly polluted and unpleasant due to the industrial development. The industrial zone expanded as major roads were put through the Eyüp area and the market gardens and flower fields of Alibeyköy disappeared.

Eyüp today

In recent years many of the factories have been closed or cleaned up, the Golden Horn no longer smells and it is possible to sit by the waterside. Thus the character of Eyüp is changing again. The area is now losing some, but not all, of its cosmopolitan Istanbul feel as more and more families with a conservative Islamic view of life move into the area. Forty or fifty years ago there were a fair number of pubs, gambling houses and the usual amenities of an urban population. There are few bars in Eyüp today, maybe none, although plenty of beer is sold in the corner shops and the streets are full of cafes where men will while away the hours smoking and playing cards.

The population has grown in number too with new building of apartment blocks, but the atmosphere is still peaceful, the mosques and the history still dominate and Eyüp is busy trying to emphasize its image as an area of spiritual calm and relaxation. Not only in the mosques and the cemetery, but also on the wooded hill above, where the extensive tea garden named after the French writer, Pierre Loti, has a wonderful view over the Golden Horn all the way to Eminönü and a great sense of peace, as you take your tea under the trees.

There are also more and boats on the Golden Horn now the water is cleaner; there are many small boats taxiing people on the water as well as regular ferries up the horn from Eminönü.

The Eyüp Sultan Mosque continues to draw tourists visiting İstanbul, as well as rather larger numbers of Turkish religious pilgrims. At Friday prayer and throughout Ramadan the area is full of visitors from all over the city. These are not just those with the most serious religious inclinations (although there are plenty of those) but families of all strata of society come to pray before a wedding or the circumcision of their sons.

In recent years a thriving market has grown around the mosque of bearded gentlemen selling prayer mats, beads, dates from Saudi Arabia, scented oils, and indeed all kinds of Islamic books, recordings of the Koran being recited and other artefacts. On Friday’s a marching band plays Ottoman military music, mehter, giving the area around the mosque something of a carnival atmosphere with an Islamic twist. In Ramadan the area in front of the mosque is taken over by large tents where food is served to the poor at the evening breaking of the fast.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Galata Tower

galata tower, istanbul, pentax k10d

galata tower, istanbul, pentax k10d

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Galata Tower (Turkish: Galata Kulesi), also called Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese and Megalos Pyrgos (The Great Tower) by the Byzantines, is located in Istanbul, Turkey, to the north of the Golden Horn. One of the city’s most striking landmarks, it is a huge, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline on the Galata side of the Golden Horn.

The tower was built as Christea Turris in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. It was the apex of the fortifications surrounding the Genoese citadel of Galata. The current tower should not be confused with the old Tower of Galata, an original Byzantine tower, named Megalos Pyrgos, which controlled the northern end of the massive sea chain that closed the entrance of the Golden Horn. This tower was on a different site and was largely destroyed during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

The nine-story tower is 66.90 meters tall (62.59 m without the ornament on top, 51.65 m at the observation deck), and was the city’s tallest structure when built. The elevation at ground level is 35 meters above sea-level. The tower has a diameter of 16.45 meter at the base, with 8.95 meters diameter inside, and with walls 3.75 meters thick.

The upper section of the tower with the conical cap was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires.

According to the Seyahatname of Ottoman historian and traveller Evliya Çelebi, in circa 1630-1632, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew as an early aviator using artificial wings for gliding from this tower over the Bosporus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side.[1] Evliyâ Çelebi also tells of Hezarfen’s brother, Lagari Hasan Çelebi, performing the first flight with a rocket in a conical cage filled with gunpowder in 1633. The exploits of the brothers were also mentioned by John Wilkins in his Discovery of a World in Moone in 1638.

In the 1960s the original wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was opened to the public. There is a restaurant and café on its upper floors which commands a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a nightclub which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels.

taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul

Pierre Loti Tea garden

pierre loti tea garden, pierre loti çay bahçesi, eyüp istanbul, pentax k10d

pierre loti tea garden, pierre loti çay bahçesi, eyüp istanbul, pentax k10d

Pierre Loti tea garden
go there and see spiritual atmospher and drink a tea

taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul