Art & Cultural

 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Cultural & Museums, Historical Landmark


Köprülü Mehmed Pasha (in AlbanianMehmed Pashë Kypriljoti or Qyprilliu, also called: Mehmed Pashá Rojniku) (born at 1575, 1578 or 1583 in Rojnik, BeratAlbania– 31 October 1661 Edirne), was the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1656 until his death. He was the first leader and founder of the Albanian Köprülü noble dynasty/family.


He was recruited as a part of the devshirmeh system and was trained in the palace school. He eventually rose to the rank of pasha and was appointed the beylerbey (provincial governor) of the Trebizond Vilayet in 1644. Later he was to rule the provinces of Eğri in 1647, of Karamanid in 1648, and of Anadolu in 1650. He served as vizier of the divan for one week in 1652 before being dismissed due to the constant power struggle within the palace. He retired to an estate in the small town of Köprü in northern Anatolia that he had inherited from his father-in-law. The town became the seat of his family, and the family came to be called as Köprülü, meaning ‘from Köprü’. It is called Vezirköprü today to the family’s honor.

In 1656 the political situation in Ottoman Empire was very critical. The war in Crete against the Venetians was still continuing. The Ottoman Navy under Captain-of-Seas Kenan Pasha on May 1656 was defeated by the Venetian and Maltese navy at Battle of Dardanelles (1656) and the Venetian navy continued the blockade of the Canakkale Straits cutting the Ottoman army at Crete from Istanbul, the state capital. There was a political plot to unseat the reigning Sultan Mehmed IV led by important viziers including the Grand Mufti (Seyhulislam) Mesud Effendi. This plot was discovered and the plotters were executed or exiled. The Mother Sultana Turhan Hatice conducted consultations and the most favored candidate for the post of Grand Vizier came out as the old and retired but experienced Koprulu Mehmed Pasha. Koprulu Mehmed Pasha was offered the post of Grand Vizier but he would only accept it if he was given extraordinary powers and political rule without interference, even from the highest authority of the Sultan. His conditions were accepted and he was appointed Grand Vizier by the Sultan Mehmed IV on 15 September 1656.

As the Grand Vizier, his first task was to advise Sultan Mehmed IV to conduct a life of hunts and traveling around the Balkans and to reside in the old capital of Edirne, thus stop his political interventions. In 4 January 1657 the household cavalry Sipahi troops in Istanbul started a rebellion and this was cruelly suppressed by Koprulu Mehmed Pasha with the help of janissary troops. The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Istanbul was proven to be in treasonous contacts with the enemies of Ottoman state and Koprulu Mehmed Pasha approved of his execution.

Against external enemies of the Empire Mehmed Köprülü was also quite successful. He started on a military expeditions against the Venetian blockade of Dardanelles Straits. The Ottoman navy had a victory against Venice in the Battle of the Dardanelleson 19 July 1657. This allowed Ottomans to regain some of the Aegean islands, including Tenedos and Limni (15 November) and to open the sea-supply routes to the Ottoman Army still conducting the sieges of Crete.

Koprulu Mehmed Pasha then directed his attention to internal rebellions in Anatolia and started on a military campaign in Anatolia. He suppressed the revolts some of the Anatolian governors of provinces, most notably the revolt of Abaza Hasan Pasha, the ruler of Aleppo and of Ahmed Pasha, Kenan Pasha, Ali Mirza Pasha, Ferhad Pasha, Mustafa Pasha in 1658–1659.

In 1658 he conducted a successful campaign in Transylvania where he defeated the disloyal vassal prince, George II Rákóczi (György Rákóczi), and had him replaced. He also annexed Yanova (Jenö) on 1 August 1660 and Várad on 27 August.

In July 1660 there was a big fire in Istanbul (the Ayazmakapi Fire) causing great damage to persons and buildings, leading later to a food scarcity and plague. Koprulu Mehmed Pasha became personally involved in the reconstruction affairs. The honesty and integrity in conducting state affairs by Koprulu Mehmed Pasha is shown by an episode in this task [see Sakaoglu (1999) p.281). The burnt-out Jewish quarters from the Ayazmakapi Fire were decided to be compulsorily purchased by the state. The Jewish merchants with the aim of changing this policy offered the Grand Vizier a very large monetary bribe from their ‘Accidents and Emergencies Fund’. This was refused by the Grand Vizier and those who offered the bribes were punished.

Koprulu Mehmed Pasha died in Edirne on 31 October 1661. During his short extraordinary rule as the Grand Vizier from 1656 to 1661 the Ottoman Empire had regained some of its former prestige and power internally and externally. Koprulu Mehmed’s victories in Transylvania would push the Ottoman border closer to Austria. He was succeeded as Grand Vizier by his son, Köprülü Fazıl Ahmet Pasha.

 |  CATEGORIES: Activities, Art & Cultural

Hosts NEY listening sessions every Saturday.


Zeytinburnu Kültür Sanat Merkezi
İrtibat Tel:              0 212 415 58 58

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 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Bars & Drinks, Bosphorus View, Cultural & Museums, Food, Historical Landmark


Tuesday – Saturday 12:00-8PM

Sunday: 10:30am – 6PM

Cafe is open until 11PM


French Levantine architect Alexandre Vallaury designed the original building of SALT Galata to house the Ottoman Bank as inaugurated in 1892. The building is a landmark unique to İstanbul with surprisingly distinct architectural styles—neoclassical and oriental—applied on opposite façades.The redesign of the building, also undertaken by Mimarlar Tasarım, involves the introduction of major new structural interventions, while the office’s architectural approach clears the building of later surface additions to reveal original contemporary features.SALT Galata is organized to enable a challenging, multi-layered program that includes SALT Research, which offers public access to thousands of print and digital resources; a 219-capacity Auditorium; the renovated Ottoman Bank Museum; Workshop spaces; an Open Archive where archival research projects are interpreted and discussed; a temporary exhibition space; as well as a Café, Restaurant and Bookstore.
The two floors above ground level on SALT Galata’s new extension, overlooking Perşembe Pazarı, have been allocated to the Café and Restaurant. The open-plan Café is built from concrete, while the Restaurant, accessible through the Café, is a steel and glass cube. The choice of building materials applied here and the deliberate exposure of the structure of the extension, as designed by Mimarlar Tasarım and Zehra Uçar, ensure distinction from the original 1892 building. The Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin library—an important asset of SALT Research—is housed inside the Café.
SALT Galata
founded by Garanti
Bankalar Caddesi 11 – Next to Merkez Bankası Building
Karaköy 34420 İstanbul TürkiyeT +90 212 334 22 00
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 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Bars & Drinks, Bosphorus View, Whereist Eminonu

Seyr-i İstanbul (Cafe Haliç)
Demirtaş Mahallesi Ayrancı sokak No:9 Süleymaniye/Eminönü
Tel: 0212.528 10 25-26 – Gsm: 0555.392 41 77

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 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Whereist Beyoglu

For 16 years, Akbank Sanat has been hosting more than 700 activities from exhibitions to modern dance, from film displays to theatres, from classical music recitals to jazz concerts and from panels to master classes with the mission “a place where change never ends”.



Second floor is holding the Multi Purpose Common Stage which can hold 135 people is hosting mainly theater plays, live musical events, panels, conferences, seminars and film screenings The Contemporary Art Workshop which is at the third floor of Akbank Art Beyoğlu is holding a serigraphy and also a lithography workshop Forth Floor is holding The Café, and The Library. The Listening Room is suitable for 9 people to choose and experience music simultaneously from an archive of 1892 compact discs. The Library of Akbank Sanat is covering national and international issues on art history, painting, photography, music, sociology, philosophy etc. Dance Studio located on the sixth floor is hosting open rehearsals, workshops with guest choreographers, panels, technical classes from national and international instructors and also video screenings.

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 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Cultural & Museums

Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi
Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi 42, Emirgan
Tel: (212) 277 22 00, Fax: (212) 229 49 14

Visiting hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – 10:00 – 18:00.  Wednesday 10:00 to 22:00. Closed on Monday.
Entrance fee is 10 TL, for teachers, students and 60+ is 3.00 TL.

Sabanci University Sakip Sabanci Museum (shortly Sabanci Museum) was opened early 2002 summer and since it is located at Emirgan the museum has the easiest access. If you are not going to drive you can take a bus from Beşiktaş en route to Sarıyer and take off at Çınaraltı stop after a short but joyous Bosphorus trip and when you cross the road you reach the entrance of the museum. Meanwhile the museum has a large parking lot. You can review the history of this site, known as Atlı Köşk (Equestrian Villa) among Istanbulites, given as the subtitle.

You enter a stately and well-kept garden, get your ticket and begin to walk uphill by following the signs. Statues, sarcophaguses and embroidered stones are scattered on the roadside. There are also banks on this quite steep slope, which are ideal to sit for a while and enjoy the beautiful Bosphorus panorama.

When you reach the top, the Kiosk, which is the museum building, and a section in which the bronze statutes of Sabancı family are exhibited meet you. The living and dining rooms once the Sabancı family used are located at the entrance of the museum. These rooms are preserved, as is with their original furniture and the family’s collection of 18th and 19th century China porcelains, polychrome vases, decorative plates, Ayvazovski and Zonaro’s paintings, Sévres vases and 19th century French and German china meet you.

This floor also hosts a boutique at which silk scarves, neckties, t-shirts created for this museum by worldwide famous Turkish designer Atıl Kutoğlu who is inspired by Sabancı Calligraphy Collection, books, and CDs. Then you go upstairs and find several closed doors, however the signs will lead you the right room. Wait for a few seconds to adapt the dimness of the room and examine your surroundings. The silver divit (ink holder) collection consisting of samples of instruments used in writing such as pens, pen cases, pen knives, reed-nibblers and polishers displayed on the center of the first salon and the walls are full of the most exquisite examples of calligraphy art. The Ottoman calligraphy works have previously been on show at the famous international New York Metropolitan Museum and Paris Louvre Museum. After touring these three halls, which are leading one another, you are going to reach “Panorama Room”, take a deep breath and absorb the magnificent Bosphorus view. The other three halls on the same floor again host rare examples of calligraphy work such as hand written Korans and imperial decrees.

Then you go downstairs and tour the “Memory Room” at which the memories and photos of Sakıp Sabancı as well as his plates are exhibited. After this tour “Winter Garden” meets you with its very pretty café.

Passing from the winter garden you reach “The Gallery” which was built afterwards. This two-story building house the paintings of Turkish Artists owned by Sakıp Sabancı. Since painting and sculpture is not welcomed by Muslim beliefs, Turkish painting has begun to creep only in early 20th century. You can follow the improvements of Turkish paintings while admiring the works exhibited. However the goal of the museum is to host international exhibitions in coming days.

After the museum tour you can either order an excellent breakfast at Sütiş or an ice cream at Çınaraltı Çay Bahçesi with special tastes; or drink a cup of famous Emirgan tea.

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 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Historical Landmark, Whereist Turkish Hamams

Aga Bath

The hammam was built in 1610 by Ismail Aga who was the head (Aga) of food storage keeper of sultan Ahmet I. It has separate sections for both men and women. The hammam is in the Uskudar district, on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Seçilen yerin resmi

Tel: (216) 333 38 27

Gündoğumu Caddesi & Pırnal Sokağı

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 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Historical Landmark, Whereist Turkish Hamams

This 15th century hamam is the oldest one in Üsküdar and therefore called “Eski Hamam” (Old hamam). The real name is Şifa Hamamı (cure hamam). There are separate sections for men and women and tea, coffee and soft drinks are available

Located in the entrance to Dari Street, where Dogancilar Street and Uncular Street intersect in Uskudar, is the Eski Hamam. While the architect and the year in which was built are unknown, certain evidence points to it having been built in the 15th Century.
Also known as the Sifa (Cure) Hamam, it has separate sections for men and women. Both sections are in use today. Although the oldest hamam in Uskudar, it has still managed to retain its original appearance.

The Old Hamam was built towards the end of the 15th century for the purpose of generating revenue in order to support the Ruh Mehmet Paşa Mosque in Üsküdar. The men’s section is located on Doğancılar Street and the women’s section is located next to the Hüsrev Ağa Mosque. It has also been known as the Historical Şifa Hamamı (Historical Cure Bath) and is a remarkable structure whose original shape has been protected through the ages.
One enters into the men’s section of the historical bath through a hall covered with marble pavement. The hall leads to the Camekan, a court made of wood surrounded by small individual changing rooms. In addition to the changing rooms located on the left side, there are changing rooms upstairs. In the entry of the Halvet, a very hot bathing cubicle within the bathing complex, there are two water vessels made of marbel. On the oppside side of the halvet are seven shower baths, three of which are open and are internally covered by a half-domed vault, and four of which are covered with a full-domed vault. Furthermore, the bath is covered by a large dome as well as a modest navel stone (göbek taşı) which draws the attention of visitors under the dome of the Old Hamam.
We have learned from an advertisement published in a newspaper in September 12, 1860 that the Historical bath was transfered to a single owner, and from another source, it we learn that it was also renovated.
This bath is not in contradiction with Ottoman Architectural style. In particular, it has been serving for visitors, the great majority of whom are Turkish citizens.

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 |  CATEGORIES: Art & Cultural, Historical Landmark, Whereist Beyoglu, Whereist Turkish Hamams

It was a raining day, and after my friend and I walked back to Galatasaray
hamam to take photographs of the interior and exterior, and we had
planned to take a trip to another hamam on the same road as
Galatasaray – being that it was raining, and seeing the sign
for Ağa Hamamı as we walked to our destination we decided to
walk in and check it out. The entrance was not street-level;
we had to walk down a few marble steps to get to the lobby. It
was very dim; even after the lights were raised for our
arrival (there no one else there at the time) it still stayed
quite dim. Discussing, and then settling on a price, the two
of us opted to receive the base-hamam experience, as well as
massage and scrub. We changed, and entered the hamam. The
dimness there was not an issue – it was much nicer than the
florescent colored lights of Galatasaray. As we lay upon
the stone I was surprised that it was not as hot as expected.
There was either condensation gathering and falling from the
dome, or there was water leaking in from the roof, dripping on
the two of us. The stone was also not nearly hot enough –
throughout the entire experience, until after my massage and
scrub and sitting in a side room (including a request for a 15
minute delay for our services to begin) I did not break a
sweat! Regardless, the experience was relaxing, and the keseci
was decent enough. The keseci did, though, react in a
particularly odd way concerning my body – for example, as he
scrubbed my arm (and this happened for both) he was, from how
it appeared, purposefully placing and rubbing my hands
particularly on his body- it was not offensive, but quite
Another odd note – during the visit a small group of women
came into the hamam, at first using one of the side rooms,
but then laying on the central stone. I felt no objection
other than shock – this happened after the two of our massages
and as we were sitting in the side rooms – even a regular to
this particular hamam was in shock!
Overall, this was an “ok” experience – apparently, this hamam
is open twenty-four hours, which sounds great, say, after a
long night out. The prices were much more reasonable,
especially for the neighborhood (located just off Istiklal)
and my only chief complaint was the heat of the central stone!
To have been waiting to break a sweat was taxing on my relaxation!

Ağa Hamamı. Turnacıbaşı Sok. No. 60, Beyoğlu.
Hours: 24. Prices: Hamam 29 YTL, 5 for Kese, 5 for Massage.
Visited Dec. 28th, 2008, Sunday, 3:30 pm

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 |  CATEGORIES: Activities, Art & Cultural, Food, Whereist Beyoglu

Melekler Kahvesi is the first fortune reading cafe all around the world by using Turkish Coffee and Tarot. Also the cafe has become a game cafe with 35 various types of games till 2001. And it has more than 21.000 members and can service 1.000 person a day.

Writer: Jeff Gibbs

Fal has a long and colourful history. Jeff Gibbs investigates.

There’s an old saying in Turkish: Fal inanma, falsız kalma!  Don’t believe in fortunes, but don’t get stuck without one.  Most people insist kahve falı (coffee grounds fortunes) are an utter crock, but no one wants to be left out when the coffee witch starts prophesying.  Having your grounds analyzed is a time-honoured Turkish tradition, and it is the rare foreigner who has not had a Turkish friend spin stories about the future from smears of high-octane caffeine sludge.  But there are readers and there are readers in Turkey, and two cafes in Istanbul are renowned for their fortunetellers.

Kahve falı, or just fal, has been flourishing in Istanbul since the fifteenth century, but the city’s most well regarded 21st century coffee prophets scry at Melekler Kahvesi off Istiklal.  Melekler (Angels) is located down a side street in a building reminiscent of a run down 19th century Chicago hotel.  The walls are covered with Dali paintings and the high ceilings have an Art Deco flair.  The place is self-consciously hip.  Scruffy waiters sport headsets, wear ripped jeans, and have an air of self-importance that dares the customer to interrupt them.  There is an extensive menu with decent food and an abundance of games.  Readings should be arranged upon ordering your coffee–many of the fortunetellers speak English; just let your waiter know.  But be warned, the place is busy.  Big time Turkish celebrities frequent Melekler, along with all the fans hoping to catch sight of them, so there can be quite a line.  The first time I went with a Turkish friend; a coffee and a reading cost ten lira and I waited forty-five minutes for my turn.  The second time, with a fellow foreigner, it took an hour and a half and cost twelve, so there appears to be room for negotiation.

Up the same road is perhaps the second most respected place for fal, the Cine Majestic, a cafe above the theatre of the same name.  Coffee and a reading cost only eleven lira, and the place is definitely more laid back than Melekler, with games, floor cushions, big screen TVs, food, and nargile–in short, a full supply of Turkish keyif.  Though the readers don’t speak English, one of the waiters can easily be summoned for an interpretation.  My girlfriend’s sister swears by a guy named Emre, who scried my past and present with alarming accuracy, but seemed like he was reaching when it came to my future.  Apparently, I’ll be buying a mansion in Cihangir soon!

There are few things aficionados advise before having your fortune told.  The first is that you should always sip from the same spot on your cup.  Also, you should be in a relaxed mood.  When you’ve drunk your coffee down to the grounds, put your saucer over the mouth of the cup and make a wish. With your thumb on top of the saucer and your fingers on the bottom of the cup, circle it in front of your chest three times.  Some insist it must be turned counter-clockwise, others clockwise, but apparently to move it toward you (clockwise) is to make the fortune about your private, internal self; the other way leads to a more general fortune.  Once you have finished, flip the cup and saucer in one quick motion being careful not to separate the two.  Now you must wait for the cup to cool.  Many people put a piece of metal such as a coin on top of the cup.  This not only speeds the cooling process, but also wards off evil omens fomenting inside.


All of my readers said they listened to their intuition to divine the shapes formed along the cup walls, but there is a general method to scrying.  The handle of the cup represents the seeker.  An imaginary line is drawn horizontally across from the handle to the other side.   Another is drawn from top to bottom so that the cup is divided into four parts.  What these four parts mean is open for interpretation–with every Turkish friend swearing that theirs is the only correct method.  Most people say the shapes to the right of the handle have positive meanings, while the shapes to the left have negative.  Shapes in the upper half of the cup can refer to the near future, while shapes in the lower half refer to the far future.   Another tradition says the top half is the future, and the bottom half is the past.  Readers turn the cup clockwise and start either from the handle or from where your lips touched.  The saucer is read last.  It both reinforces the fortune in the cup and tells about your home life.  Don’t forget to tell your reader, ağzına sağlık, “health to your mouth”, at the end!

Though most real fortunetellers go with their gut, there are a few standard interpretations floating around in the folklore.  A knife means that someone around you is dangerous; be careful!  If you see a wine glass, then a well-protected secret will soon be discovered.  A cradle means that you will get married soon if you are single.  If a large chunk of grounds falls to the saucer when the cup is opened, it means a great burden will soon be lifted.  If it is difficult to separate the saucer and cup, it should not be forced.  This is called “The Prophet’s Fortune” and means your wish will easily come true if you don’t break the seal.  If the reader says “içine kabarmış” (the grounds are puffy) upon lifting the plate, it indicates a negative situation.  “Ay doğmuş” (a moon is born) shows a positive one.


According to writer Yahya Kemal, coffee is more than a drink in Turkey; it is a civilization unto itself.  If so, fal is a crucial part of that civilization, a spooky finale, and an experience with one of Istanbul’s elite fortunetellers is not to be missed.

Symbol Cafe
İstiklal Caddesi Ayhan Işık Sok. No: 23 Beyoğlu – İstanbul – (212) 292 53 54

Melekler Kahvesi
Ayhan Işik Sokak ÷zverim Apt. No: 36 Istiklal Caddesi Beyoğlu
Tel (0212) 251 31 01

Ayhan Işik Sokak No: 10
Tel (0212) 204 97 07

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