The rhythm of Istanbul

This is the rhythm of Istanbul melted in the city’s vivid colours, flavours and emotions. 🎶  The streets of the city are a living ethnographic museum, which invites us to a multicultural exploring adventure. The video catches the heartbeat of the metropolis, its colours and diversity. Street musicians, having different ethno-religious backgrounds and unknown stories perform on the stage of humanity asking the rushing passers-by to stop for a second and breathe the beauty of life. Let your thoughts and worries go. Free yourself and feel the music. Let the energy of different cultures passed from generation to generation and preserved in the heart of the performers take you to other worlds, other realities, other times. Music speaks the same language, the language of joy and emotion. Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Persian and Spanish street musicians give Istanbul a touch of mystery, a unique sense of togetherness, a mosaic made of contrasting pieces embracing each other. A noisy peace, where everyone shouts, sings or whispers and celebrate his/hers identity. Istanbul stands as the unofficial capital of Turkey (and why not of Eurasia) ~ a testimony of the past, a sample of the present and a metaphor of multiculturalism.

Let your heart be stolen by this wonderful city. Escape today. Enjoy the magic. ✨

Special thanks to my special friend for creating this special video for Turkish Delight Bazaar (originally created for the Facebook page, however, I decided to share it on the blog as well).


Turkey through Zeynep.’s eyes

Now that’s what I understand by the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”! I found Zeynep. on Flickr… I was so enchanted by her pictures that I couldn’t help but share them… I just love these people. I love the way Zeynep. catched the spirit of Turkey… She took me back to Turkey and made me miss it even more… You should definitely check her albums here. She takes really amazing pictures not just of Turkey but of other countries as well. Enjoy my favourites:270402454_bd97aa763d_o






















The Muse Meets the Artist. The Art meets Istanbul

3131f607c569c2b2490640bca6403af9Orhan Gürel

Late Summer. Late Sunday. Late… Still not too late for art. Not too late for dreams. Never too late for Istanbul. Depicted in blue and orange. Cold and hot. Rational and passionate. One muse, several artists. Frozen moments in warm rays. Past and present. History and future. Tradition and modernity. It’s all here. No technical terms, only paint drops and feelings from someone who loves Istanbul and art. Far from being an expert, grounded only in the reality of subjective emotions aroused from less or more famous canvases. I made a selection of my favourite paintings, which have the power to make me dream about their muse. About the world’s capital, as Napoleon used to call it. About Istanbul.

I’ve unwittingly chosen paintings dominated by orange and blue. After a brief reflection I’ve concluded that these have to be the colours of Istanbul. At least for me. I see Istanbul in orange and blue. Whether we talk about tradition, warm sunny days, adventure, passion, rust, noisy people and music, electric burst… or silence, modernity, reason, dreams, refreshing waves binding the icy sky, it’s all Istanbul. Orange and blue. Orhan Gürel knew this, and added to his blue Istanbul mild rays of orange. He melted the contrasting colours until it was impossible to separate them (see the first painting).

Another painter who was inspired by Istanbul and whom I admire is Erbil Devrim. His unique painting style is somehow opposing Gürel’s style by tracing clear lines instead of blurred contours. His originality caught the attention of the international audience. According to Quadro Art, in 1968 Devrim was elected Turkey’s “Young Artist Of The Year” and in 1991 he was awarded the prestigious title of Turkey’s State Artist. [1] In my opinion these are two of his best pieces:

devrim erbil

gOrange or blue? Or both? I cannot decide!

My list couldn’t ignore the painter who was awarded “The Most Successful Artist of Turkey” in 2004, Ismail Acar. In his paintings the “East appears to meet the West, with tens of thousands of years’ history viewed by him in a contemporary way . Ismail Acar applies contemporary media techniques, including computer technology, to traditional painting techniques.” [2] The following painting is without question my no. 1 from his work! It gives me a dreamy insight of reality, without drawing a line between fantasy and truth, providing the opportunity to choose which Istanbul fits us better. The inside one, the outside one? The upside down Istanbul?

However my favourite paintings depicting Istanbul were created by the Ukrainian-born Russian-Armenian painter Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky  (1817-1900). Tutt’arta tells us his story: “In 1845, Aivazovsky went to İstanbul upon the invitation of Sultan Abdülmecid I, a city he was to travel to eight times between 1845-1890. During his long sojourn in İstanbul, Aivazovsky was commissioned for a number of paintings as a court painter by the Ottoman Sultans Abdülmecid, Abdulaziz and Abdulhamid, 30 of which are currently on display in the Ottoman Imperial Palace, the Dolmabahce Museum and many other museums in Turkey.” [3] When I’m looking at these paintings I feel like travelling back to time. They nurture my curiosity about the Ottoman past and flatter my imagined memory. istanbul ivan as

Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky + Ива́н Константи́нович Айвазо́вский - Tutt'Art@ (35)


Is there anything more beautiful than Constantinople bathing in the warm sunset rays? I would love to have one of this painting in my living room! Although it’s quite risky…as I might be unable to take my eyes off this master-pieces…

What about you? Which one do you prefer?


  1. Erbil, Devrim, Quadro Fine Art Gallery (visited: 31.08.2014)
  2. The Evolution of Turkish Art, “The Art History Archive” (visited: 31.08.2014)
  3. Ivan Aivazovsky | Seascape and landscape painter, “Tutt’arta” (visited: 31.08.2014)

Meet the Cats of Istanbul + VoCATulary

I’ve just found the best guides to lead us through Istanbul: Turkish cats♥

And in case you want to adopt one, you may need the following voCATulary:
kitten=yavru kedi
to purr=(kedi) mırlamak
to keep a cat= kedi beslemek
cat food=kedi maması
sandbox=kedi kumluğu

And some expressions:
cat in gloves catches no mice=eldiven giymiş kedi fare yakalayamaz
like a cat with nine lives= kedi gibi dokuz canlı
when the cat is away the mice will play= kedi gidince meydan farelere kalır
has the cat got your tongue?= dilini kedi mi yuttu?

“Nine Lives – Cats in Istanbul is a documentary feature focusing on the millions of street cats that live in one of the world’s most populated cities and the people who love and care for them. It is a profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat.”
Directed by Ceyda Torun

4. Formation of plural nouns in Turkish

Sadece bir İstanbul… bir çok renk, duygu, kedi…
(Only one Istanbul… many colours, emotions, cats…)

Let’s break the myth of lazy Saturdays and learn the Turkish plural! In Turkish the plural is formed by adding the suffix –ler or -lar in accordance with the little vowel harmony.


Ev (house)-evler (houses)
Balık (fish)- balıklar (fishes)
Kedi (cat)- kediler (cats)
Kitap (book)- kitaplar (books)
Mektup (letter)- mektuplar (letters)

Harf (letter-alphabet)- harfler (letters)
Saat (hour)- saatler (hours)
Kalp (heart)- kalpler (hearts)

Many Turkish greetings are expressed by using the plural:
İyi günler!– have a nice day!
İyi akşamlar!– good afternoon/evening!
İyi geceler!– good night!
İyi yolculuklar!-have a nice journey!
İyi şanslar!- good luck!
İyi eğlenceler!- have a good time/ have fun!
Mutlu yıllar!-happy anniversary!
Mutlu bayramlar!-happy hollidays!
Renkli rüyalar!-Sweet (literary colourful) dreams!
Tebrikler!- Congratulations!

Other uses:
• Collective nouns: aile (family)- aileler (families)
• Personal nouns: Mehmetler (Mehmet and his family/friends)

! We don’t use plural suffixes with numerals and other words expressing quantities!
• Bir kalem (one pen)
• İki kalem (two pens)
• Çok kalem (many pens)
• Üç Silahşorlar– The Three Musketeers
• Yedi Cüceler– The Seven Dwarfs
• Kırk Haramiler– The Forty Thieves

1. Rosita D’Amora, Corso di Lingua Turca, Hoepli, 2012