A Time Machine in Istanbul

A mixture of eras and feelings within a single place!

| Kasım 2015


A Time Machine in Istanbul

As a foreigner living and studying in Turkey, I have been living in the city for over a year now. My admiration for Turkey’s unique style emerged during several family holidays to Istanbul where my understanding and perception would develop year after year. Because I grew up in a city (where modern architecture and design is the dominant feature, Istanbul was like bringing a history book to life.It was astonishing how you can experience and see the great civilizations and not just hear or However, If you grew up in Turkey I would not expect that these features will simply go unnoticed as they are present all around Turkey I hope to bring the spotlight on the precious features that may go unnoticed to the local eye and pop out to foreigners. Similar to my hometown, Istanbul is a well-known tourist destination where people from all over the globe to see the Bosphorus, Topkapi palace, etc. However, I want to leave for that excited tourists to explore their own and dig deep into places like Istiklal caddesi . It is a place where you can see the difference between the traditional and the modern and invite both foreigners and locals to enjoy different eras at once, in my opinion, affects us more than we might think it would. Similar to my hometown, Istanbul is a well-known tourist destination where people flock from all over the globe to see the Bosphorus, Topkapi palace, etc. However, I want to leave for that excited tourists to explore their own and dig deep into places like Istiklal caddesi . It is a place where you can see the difference between the traditional and the modern and invite both foreigners and locals to enjoy different eras at once, in my opinion, affects us more than we might think it would. Similar to my hometown, Istanbul is a well-known tourist destination where people from all over the globe to see the Bosphorus, Topkapi palace, etc. However, I want to leave for that excited tourists to explore their own and dig deep into places like Istiklal caddesi . It is a place where you can see the difference between the traditional and the modern and invite both foreigners and locals to enjoy different eras at once, in my opinion, affects us more than we might think it would.

 

Walking down Istiklal caddesi , Istanbul takes you through a timeline of historical events and cultures that you do not get anywhere else. Neo-classical, neo-gothic, and even a bit of renaissance all side by side is tangible proof that we simply can not live independently, we are Interdependent on each other, whether as countries or individuals. This mixture allows visitors to experience the culture as well as reconnect with their past and history. I remember walking through Istiklal caddesi in 2004 and 2015 amongst these fused buildings and feeling one of the cultures instead of alienated, Despite being far from home. It’s a great place to stay. It’s a great place to stay. Each building stands so proudly as if showing off the era’s coming from. It is almost overwhelming as we always hear and read about great civilizations and empires but in Istiklal caddesi , you have solid proof of their existence and what they are like and how they chose to express themselves through Architecture.

Another enchanting element of Istiklal caddesi is the integration of modern cafes, restaurants, and shops in the historical buildings. This integration lets people enjoy the luxuries of today with a hint of yesterday. As one constantly moves from one shop to the next, one realizes that each shop has its own style where some are holding on to the traditional style of tiny wooden stools and tables while others have marble floors and comfortable couches all aiding to the general theme of the street. This mixture of different styles added yet another potion to the magic spell of Istanbul as it gets me excited to guess and see what the next building may hold or look like.

 

Taken from http://www.tarihicicekpasaji.com/

Amongst these buildings is the cicek pasaji (Flower Passage) which stands out as it was built during the late Ottoman period. This passage is for visitors who are looking for a place to visit. There is an integration of the old and new on every scale which leaves you between the two worlds. I remember walking in to the Cicek pasaji and the first thing I did was look up at the huge pictures of people back then my eyesight impatiently changed its focus on the details of the windows. Meanwhile, my legs guided me through the strong axis of the building to a circular space which allows me to see the mixture of the modern restaurants and the heritage this building holds. However, The end of this axis reveals another exit which allows you to leave the past and jump back to reality. This journey ends with a bigger transition called Taksim Square which breathes modern architecture that brings you back to reality.

Taksim square acts like a transitional space from the historically rich Istiklal street to the new and modern turkey as the square dominated by the modern architecture of Istiklal street . It is almost like a gate to modern Turkey to slowly wake up the visitors from the nostalgic pathway of istiklal caddesi . Due to the transitional effect, visitors travel lightly like dandelions across the time line. The independence monument stands are proudly located in the center of the city, and it is a great place to visit. The statue also symbolizes the new modern Turkey after the Ottoman Empire and the process of transition and development Turkey went through.

Taksim square and Istiklal caddesi are two of the many examples where you can taste both the past and experience of the mixture and the fusion of both the old and the new. It is truly magical how we can travel back to different eras simply by walking around and observing how certain cultures express themselves through Architecture and Art. I hope your pace will slow down and you will be able to observe all that extraordinary amongst what might appear merely ordinary.

 

 

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