Nikon D300s

The Glorious Turkish Flag (and some legends about it)

Istanbul (Turkey). My photo of the day (although I’m not always able to post one photo every day…) is not a landscape, or a building, or an interior. Today I post the photo of a flag, the glorious flag of Turkey.

Perhaps I’m not objective – Turkey is an important part of my life – but I have always thought that the flag of Turkey is one of the most beautiful flags in the world. It dates back to mid of 1800 – during the Ottoman Empire period – and the red recalls the blood poured by Turkish people for their nation, whereas the meaning of the crescent and the star has more than one interpretation. Some studies refer to a dream made by Osman I (the first ottoman emperor), when he saw the moon and the star appearing on his breast and expanding: this was seen as a presage about the future conquest of Constantinople. Other legends say that the moon and the star were seen the night when Mehmet II entered in Constantinople in 1453. According to some others, a reflection of the moon and a star appeared in pools of blood after the battle of Kosovo in 1448. However, the crescent is an ancient symbol for Istanbul: when it was still Byzantium, its patron goddess was Diana and her symbol was a moon. When in 330 the Emperor Constantine rededicated the city to the Virgin Mary (and named it Constantinople), the star symbol was superimposed over the crescent.

Whatever is its meaning, this beautiful and glorious flag today will stand out at many doors and windows along the streets of Turkey’s cities. Today is the 29 of October, the Turkey Republic Holiday – a very important day for the Country.

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From the Boat Crossing the Bosphorus

Istanbul (Turkey). Crossing the Bosphorus – for hundreds of thousands of commuters every day – is just moving from home to office and back: it’s quite normal in a city with 15+ millions of inhabitants, and which extends itself along two continents… But if you are in Istanbul and you want to feel the spirit of the city, do not miss the opportunity to catch a boat (from Eminonu to Uskudar or Kadikoy, or vice-versa) and breath the sea-breeze. By crossing the Bosphorus you will be impressed by how the city can be different from that perspective point. No traffic (except maybe some seagulls), no noise, no pollution: it’s a sort of refuge, an escape way from the daily noise. And a wonderful point for capturing photos of Istanbul’s landscape.

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Being a Commuter in Istanbul (Winter is Coming)

Istanbul (Turkey). Sometimes I should post my photos without writing my thoughts: not because I’m lazy, or because I’m overwhelmed with my work. More simply, because some photos speak for themselves.

Before reading below, please take few seconds and think about what this photo is saying. You can keep it for yourself or write a comment if you want: it does not matter; the goal is to make you watch something without the usual rush.

Why I’m doing this? Because this what usually happens when you are a commuter in Istanbul… You are always, constantly in a hurry, and thousands of people around you are in the same situation: most probably, you will have to take a bus, then a boat, then a metro and finally maybe a taxi or a “dolmus”… However – here I’m coming with my message – if you can find the time to “think about what you are doing”, then you will realize that the frustration of “being a commuter” can develop into the consciousness and – let me say – emotion of “being a commuter in Istanbul”.

I took this photo some years ago, and it is still one of my favorite one: I was waiting for my boat, but I was so hypnotized by the situation, that I remained on the side of the Bosphorus for a long time watching this scene. What for everyone – me included – was something of absolutely normal (even boring or, as I said, frustrating) was slowly becoming unique. The ferry (in Turkish they are called “vapur”, keeping the old name of steamboats) was slowly leaving the dock from Uskudar to bring people to Besiktas: the sky is grey, the city’s colors are totally erased. A group of seagulls is following the boat, and people are feeding the animals with small pieces taken from their “simit”. In the background, the Galata Tower interrupts the skyline made of old houses and some mosques.

Now, think about it one more time: how is being a commuter in Istanbul?


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Landscape of Fes

Fes (Morocco). I was very impressed when I saw this landscape of Fes. Particularly, I was intrigued by the contrast between the fierce, tall, solid mosque’s minaret, and the confused background of many small houses. I like landscapes when are made by elements in clear opposition among themselves: I can stay hours watching the same scene without getting bored. Fes is one of the “must-sees” in Morocco: getting lost in its Medina and walking along its narrow alleys is a life experience that I will never forget.

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Ouzoud Waterfalls

Marrakesh (Morocco). Not too far from the city of Marrakesh, there are the wonderful Ouzoud waterfalls. Tourists can even go close to the water falling from the top of the mountain, using one of the boats rowed by locals. However, it’s a place that deserves a visit contemplating the large amount of water and the contrast with the dryness of the region. And – as for every important waterfall – listening to the sound of water…

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Broken Chain Berlin

Berlin (Germany). The Berlin’s “Broken Chain” is my photo of today. Well, this is indeed one of the most popular monument in Berlin, and its meaning is very clear: it’s about the two divided sides of the city – Est and West. But as it symbolise the separation between the two parts of the city, I think it is the most appropriate picture for me today. Those who know me perfectly understand what I’m talking about…

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