Tag:

Karakoy

Landscape of Istanbul Under the Snow

Istanbul (Turkey). It’s snowing again over Istanbul. After a magic white New Year’s Eve, another snowstorm is currently hitting the north-west of the country, causing some problems to the circulation, including ferries and airplanes (Turkish Airlines is cancelling several flights, internal and domestic).

Istanbul covered with a white layer is amazing: I know it’s pretty “normal”, and that it snows average once or twice per year, but still this event captures completely my attention and shows to my eyes a completely different city. Somehow, I have the feeling that the snow “cleans” everything and makes the city landscape more “uniform”, more regular, normalizing its irregularities and exalting the old city’s skyline with mosques and minarets.

I took this photo from the SALT Galata in Karakoy at the beginning of this year: at the top floor there’s a window with this amazing landscape. I guess it’s pretty much the same right now…

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Life Along Camondo Stairs

Istanbul (Turkey). There are so many stories around Camondo Stairs! Every time I have the possibility, I love standing in front of them and watching the life around: every time there are people walking up and down between Karakoy and Galata, photographers (it’s a very popular spot, I guess thanks to Henry Cartier Bresson) trying to capture “the perfect moment”, selfiers (it’s a neologism!) playing with their cameraphones, architecture lovers finding their inspiration and simple curious being attracted by their unusual shape.

Days ago, after an abundant snowfall on Istanbul, I came to this place to shoot some photos. I was not expecting so many people, but at the end I was not frustrated by their presence. Camondo Stairs are probably much more beautiful with people using them, making them alive many years after their construction.

Karakoy is a lovely area: if you know Istanbul I guess you understand what I’m writing about. But if you are a newcomer or a tourist and you landed on this page via google, do not forget to include this district in your tour and do not be scared of getting lost here.

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Apricots From Damascus (SALT Galata Istanbul)

Istanbul (Turkey). Days ago, I visited the SALT Galata Gallery in Karakoy, Istanbul. There was the exhibition “Apricots from Damascus”, an interesting project focused on a group of refugees who rely on their creative and intellectual abilities in the fields of art, writing, and music, to survive in Istanbul. It must be considered that since 2011 Turkey (of course including Istanbul) has become the destination of migrants who left Syria due to the Civil War.

The Turkish translation of “Apricots from Damascus” is “Şam’da Kayısı”, which is also part of an idiomatic expression meaning “It does not get any better than this” (the complete sentence is “Bundan iyisi, Şam’da kayısı”). Furthermore, in countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Peru, the word for “apricot” is “damasco”, which could indicate that, to the Spanish settlers of Argentina, the fruit was associated with Damascus in Syria.

I could stay hours writing here my thoughts about the terrible situation in Syria and the immigrants’ conditions. And most probably, I even would not say anything of interesting, being all of us used to the stream of images coming from this cruel war. I just want to remark this exhibition, and how arts can be part – if not of the pacification process – at least of the refugees’ survival.

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