Posts Tagged ‘istanbul’
Anti-government protesters in Turkey have called for a massive demonstration in the middle of Istanbul today.
The country’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has planned a huge rally of his supporters in a different part of the city.
After massive clashes between police and protesters last night, which continued into the early hours of this morning, the atmosphere in Istanbul is tense. Even now there are reports of small clashes around the city.
Riot police evicted the protesters from Istanbul’s Gezi Park and Taksim Square after two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.
The square is cordoned off by police this morning as Istanbul residents prepare for what comes next.
BOSPORUS BLOG: Pamuk’s museum and an Istanbul property tale
May 2, 2012
Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature, opened a museum April 28. Ensconced in Istanbul’s Cukurcuma neighbourhood, which is known for artists, expats and antique shops, the museum celebrates the past (and Pamuk); it is likely to put the already charming area more on the map.
Based on his 2008 novel of tragic love, “The Museum of Innocence”, Pamuk’s museum is located between an old wooden mosque and a hamam, or Turkish bath, in Cukurcuma, a small leafy neighbourhood about 10 minutes walk from the city’s central Taksim Square and adjacent to Cihangir, one of the city’s most sought after real estate spots.
In a press conference on April 27, Pamuk, who is as much a symbol of Turkey for his once being charged with “insulting Turkishness” after talking about the Armenian genocide as his novels, described how Istanbul had changed in the past 10-15 years. When he first bought the building to house the museum in 1999, Cukurcuma was rundown, with others saying it had a reputation for being unsafe and frequented by wandering drunks. Now, the entire city – especially central neighbourhoods like Cukurcuma, Cihangir, Galata and the port district of Karikoy – are being transformed as the city becomes “richer” and the Istanbul of Pamuk’s childhood, which he remembers in his nostalgia-rich novels, disappears. “I cannot keep up with the change,” he says, describing himself as a chronicler of Istanbul.
In place of the city that Pamuk knew are high-rises and gentrification. He describes the museum as Istanbul’s first city museum, a “modest” one, as a memento to a bygone city. Yet more than a place to remember the past, Istanbul’s present is seen in Cukurcuma in striking clarity. There are the antique shops where Pamuk claims to have bought many of the museum’s antiquities. Then there is also the rush to build and sell property in one of the most dynamic cities in the region. Anyone aiming to live or invest in even as small a neighbourhood as Cukurcuma will be unable to escape the neighbourhood intrigue and rivalries that arise in the quest for property.
A local dispute
The centre of the city has been cleaned up, but Istanbul’s development threatens to become its own worst enemy. In Cukurcuma, this was evident a few weeks ago when Coskun Kilic – a Turkish man with Pamuk’s passion and more bluster – walked out onto the roof of his building and began throwing shingles at a group of construction workers below just a few buildings up the street from The Museum of Innocence.
The workers were finishing laying the foundations for a new building next to Kilic’s. The previous building had been torn down completely. The police were called, but Kilic moved to the edge of the roof and threatened to jump unless someone from the Istanbul mayor’s office came and examined the foundations that were being laid. Yelling loudly, Kilic claimed that the foundations did not comply with local code. In the days before climbing on his room, he had repeatedly requested that someone from the city municipality come and examine the foundations in person. No one came. So, as fire-trucks arrived and a massive inflatable cushion meant to break his fall was laid at the bottom of his building, he teetered at the edge of his roof, drawing a crowd of antique dealers and passersby.
Istanbul- Recently, I wrote about how Turks are coming back from abroad in search of jobs, bringing skills and education with them.
But what kind of work awaits them in Turkey?
The country is not known for producing much innovation or unique ideas. However, that is changing. As I describe in this article for the emerging markets magazine business new europe (bne), some companies in Turkey are focusing on the unique.
From the article:
Turkey is known more for copying ideas and products that originate in western countries than for innovation. But a young, increasingly skilled population, together with a developing venture capital industry, is changing this stereotype.
In the past, cargo ships unloaded in Karakoy, a bustling waterfront district in central Istanbul known for its brothels that served the sailors. Even in Muslim Turkey, consecutive governments lauded Matild Manukyan, the Armenian women who owned 32 of the legal brothels. During the 1990s, she was Istanbul’s top taxpayer five years in a row; in 1992 alone, she reportedly paid $1.2m to the city – a massive amount in Turkey, where shrinking the grey economy is among the government’s top economic priorities.
However, with Manukyan’s death in 2001, the brothels closed and Karakoy became a desolate neighbourhood of architecturally quaint, but ill-kept buildings. Until recently that is – today, a growing number of small businesses are setting up shop and the neighbourhood is fast becoming the city’s new creative hotspot.
Istanbul-I’ve got a new article out in the Guardian
“Istanbul could be split in two, says Turkish prime minister”
The SETimes has published a photo essay I made of Istanbul’s Tatavla Carnival, along with words by writer Alina Lehtinen.
Istanbul’s Tatavla Carnival unites many can be view here.
ISTANBUL- Happy New Years from Istanbul!
The podcast explains why Turkey celebrates New Years with Santa.
ISTANBUL- There was enough blood and animal innards spread across a parking lit in the Kasimpasa district of Istanbul Tuesday afternoon to make even the staunchest meat lover consider vegetarianism.
I’ve got an article out on the start of the holiday, published by AOL News.
Charity toward the poor is common in Muslim countries and one of the five principal tenets of Islam. Turkey is extending this charity further with individuals making donations of meat to impoverished people in other Muslim countries, part of the country’s increasingly far-ranging foreign policy. Organizations such as Cansuyu even let Turks avoid the messy sacrificing and allow them to pay for meat to be given to Muslim families across the world.
ISTANBUL- I’ll be working around the Balkans for approximately the next two weeks, though I’ll remain in touch with Turkey via phone and internet.
In 2008, I spent about six months in Serbia while in university, also visiting Bosnia and Kosovo, and briefly, Macedonia and Greece.
Photographer Igor Barandovski’s photos from our trip to Sandzak can be seen here.
Today bne published my story on the threat posed by the country’s communists after Moldova’s ruling coalition was forced to disband parliament and call for new elections.
“Growing hopes the ruling pro-EU coalition in Moldova would finally bring Europe’s poorest state a period of political stability and reforms have been dashed as the acting head of state was forced to dissolve parliament on September 28 and call snap elections for November 28. Worse, recent moves to lift the immunity of former president and long-time head of the Communist Party, Vladimir Voronin, and prosecute him is a sign of how concerned many are about the communists returning to power.”
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