Whereist Driving Scenic Tour

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Anadoluhisarı (Anatolian Castle) is a fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian (Asian) side of the Bosporus, which also gives its name to the quarter around it. It was built between 1393 and 1394 by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I “The Thunderbolt” as part of his preparations for the Second Ottoman Siege of Constantinople, which took place in 1395.


Anadoluhisarı, constructed on an area of 7,000 m², is situated at the narrowest point with 660 m of the Bosporus strait and next to a creek named Göksu (ancient Greek name: Aretòs). The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the second bridge spanning Bosporus, is located just north of the fortress. Another fortress, Rumelihisarı, was built between 1451 and 1452 by Sultan Mehmed II opposite of Anadoluhisarı on the European side in order to obtain absolute control over the sea traffic of the Bosporus Strait, which was especially vital for the Genoese in Galata, who were allied with the Byzantines and had colonies in the Black Sea such as Caffa, Sinop and Amasra.

Anadoluhisarı was erected as a watch fort. It has a 25 m high, quadratic main tower within the walls of an irregular pentagon with five watchtowers at the corners. There is a masjid in the fortress. It is the oldest Turkish architectural structure built in Istanbul. The fortress was named “Güzelce Hisar” in historical documents. Sultan Mehmed II reinforced the fortress with a 2 m thick wall around it, which had three watchtowers. Some extension buildings like warehouse and houses were added as well. Due to changes made in the past, it no longer retains its original appearance. Following the conquest of Constantinople, it served as a military prison.

The Turkish Ministry of Culture restored the site in 1991 – 1993. Today, this small fort creates a picturesque appearance with the old wooden houses leaning to its walls and its surroundings. Anadoluhisarı is a museum (historical site), but not open to public.


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Rumelihisarı (Rumelian Castle) is a fortress located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosporus. It gives the name of the quarter around it. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople. The three great towers were named after three of Mehmed II’s viziers, Sadrazam Çandarlı Halil Pasha, who built the big tower next to the gate, Zağanos Pasha, who built the south tower, and Sarıca Pasha, who built the north tower.



Rumelihisarı is situated at the narrowest point with 660 meters of the Bosporus strait, just opposite of the Anadoluhisarı on the Anatolian side, another Ottoman fortress which was built between 1393 and 1394 by Sultan Bayezid I. The place was chosen to prevent aid from the Black Sea reaching Constantinople during the Turkish siege of the city in 1453, particularly from the Genoese colonies such as Caffa, Sinop and Amasra. In a previous Ottoman attempt to conquer the city, Sultan Murad II (1404-1451) encountered difficulties due to a blockade of the Bosporous by the Byzantine fleet. The necessity of a fortress opposite of Anadoluhisarı was thus well known to the Ottomans. At this place, there was a Roman fortification in the past, which was used as a prison by the Byzantine and Genoese. Later on, a monastery was built here.

In preparation for the conquest of Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed II (1432-1481), son of Murad II, started to realize the construction of the fortress immediately following his second ascent to the throne in 1451. He refused the plea for peace of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI (1404-1453), who understood the intention of the Sultan. The construction began on 15 April 1452. Each one of the three main towers were named after the Pashas who supervised their construction, which were later named after them. The Sultan personally inspected the activities on the site. With the help of thousands of masons and workers, the fortress was completed in a record time of 4 months and 16 days on 31 August 1452.



General view from Rumelihisarı. Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is in the background.

The Rumelihisarı fortification has one small tower, three main towers, and thirteen small watchtowers placed on the walls connecting the main towers. One watchtower is in the form of a quadratic prism, six watchtowers are shaped as prisms with multiple corners and six others are cylindrical. The main tower in the north, the Saruca Pasha Tower, is in cylindrical form with its 9 stories and height of 28 m (92 ft), has a diameter of 23.30 m (76.4 ft) and its walls are 7 m (23 ft) thick. Today, this tower is called the Fatih (Conqueror) Tower after Sultan Mehmed II. Halil Pasha Tower, a dodecagon prism, which stands at the waterfront in the middle of the fortress, has also 9 stories. It is 22 m (72 ft) high with a 23.30 m (76.4 ft) diameter and the walls are 6.50 m (21.3 ft) thick. The main tower in the south, the Zağanos Pasha Tower, has only 8 stories. The cylindrical tower is 21 m (69 ft) high, has a 26.70 m (87.6 ft) diameter with 5.70 m (18.7 ft) thick walls. The space within each tower was divided up with wooden floors, each equipped with a furnace. Conical wooden roofs covered with lead crowned the towers. The outer curtain walls of the fortress are from north to south 250 m (820 ft) long and from east to west varying between 50 and 125 m (164 and 410 ft) long. Its total area is 31,250 m2 (336,372 sq ft).

Halil Pasha Tower, Rumelihisarı

The fortress had three main gates next to the main towers, one side gate and two secret gates for the arsenal and food cellars next to the southern tower. There were wooden houses for the soldiers and a small mosque, endowed by the Sultan at the time of construction. Only the minaret shaft remains of the original mosque, while the small masjid added in the mid-16th century has not survived. Water was supplied to the fortress from a large cistern underneath the mosque and distributed through three wall-fountains, of which only one has remained. Two inscriptive plaques are found attached on the walls.

The fortress, designed by architect Müslihiddin, was initially called “Boğazkesen”, literally meaning “The Strait Cutter”, referring to the Bosporus Strait. The name carries a secondary and more macabre meaning; as boğaz not only means strait but also “throat” in Turkish.

It was later renamed as Rumelihisarı, which means “Fortress on the Land of the Romans”, i.e. Byzantine Europe, or the Balkan peninsula.

Usage in the past

Anadolu and Rumeli Hisari, Nusret Çolpan.

A battalion of 400 Janissaries were stationed in the fortress, and large cannons were placed in the Halil Pasha Tower, the main tower on the waterfront. A Venetian ship coming from the Black Sea which ignored the order to halt by the commander of the fortress, Firuz Ağa, was bombarded and sunk, and its surviving crewmen were impaled as a warning to any who might attempt the same. These cannons were later used until the second half of the 19th century to greet the sultan when he passed by sea.

After the fall of Constantinople, the fortress served as a customs checkpoint. Rumelihisarı, which was designated to control the passage of ships through the strait, eventually lost its strategic importance when a second pair of fortresses was built further up the Bosphorus, where the strait meets the Black Sea. In the 17th century, it was used as a prison, primarily for foreign prisoners of war. Rumelihisarı was partly destroyed by an earthquake in 1509, but was repaired soon after. In 1746, a fire destroyed all the wooden parts in two of the main towers. The fortress was repaired by Sultan Selim III (1761-1807). However, a new residential neighborhood was formed inside the fortress after it was abandoned in the 19th century.


In 1953, on the orders of President Celal Bayar, the inhabitants were relocated and extensive restoration work began on 16 May 1955, which lasted until 29 May 1958. Since 1960 Rumelihisarı has been a museum and an open-air theater for various concerts at festivals during the summer months.

The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge which spans the Bosporus is located close to the fortress, to the north.

Rumelihisarı is open to public every day except Wednesdays from 9:00 to 16:30.

The fortress was depicted on various Turkish banknotes during 1939-1986.[1]

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In recent years, many restaurants, cafes and hotels have replaced Turkish coffee with coffee made by automatic machines. International coffee shop chains appeal to young people, making espressos more popular than Turkish coffee.

A group of people who love to drink coffee and are disturbed by the diminishing popularity of Turkish coffee set up the Turkish Coffee Culture and Research Foundation last year. The chairman of the foundation is Atom Damalı, its members include people who contribute a great deal to the sector such as Ahmet Örs, Mehmet Aksel, Merve Gürsel, Osman Serim, Semir Orcan and Ali Sözmen. The mission of the foundation is to set up a standard of how to make Turkish coffee and give it the global attention it deserves. The foundation is also planning to write a book and film a comprehensive documentary on Turkish coffee.

Where did Turkish coffee come from?

Coffee, which is a crop native to Ethiopia, spread to the Arabian Peninsula, especially Yemen, after the 11th century. In 1517, Yemen Governor Özdemir Pasha fell in love with the drink when he was introduced to it and brought it to İstanbul. But the Turks changed the method of preparing coffee by using copper vessels called güğüms and coffee pots called cezves. Coffee made through this method eventually became known as Turkish coffee. Coffeehouses, the first of which opened in Tahtakale and quickly spread across the city, introduced locals to Turkish coffee. Sipping coffee and listening to poetry, literature and recitations from books at coffeehouses became a popular social activity during that time. News of the delicious coffee spread to Europe — and from there, to the rest of the world — with Ottoman messengers and merchants and travelers passing through İstanbul. Initially, Turkish coffee was made without sugar. Instead, it was customary to eat or drink something sweet before or after drinking coffee. But today, Turkish coffee is made either plain or with different amounts of sugar depending on taste.

Where to drink Turkish coffee

Coffee shop famous for its celebrities:

One of the most popular places to drink coffee in İstanbul is a coffee shop right by the waterside next to the Bebek Mosque. It is frequented by figures from the media, art and cinema world. It is especially crowded during the summer. It is also a great venue for a weekend breakfast. Coffee addicts love the foamy coffee offered there. It is open every day between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

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The last village on the Bosphorus: Rumeli Feneri

The last village  on the Bosphorus:  Rumeli Feneri - Anyone wanting to rid one’s self of weekly stress and fatigue needs only to go past Sarıyer, a district near the Bosporus’s Black Sea end, and head straight for Rumeli Feneri.

Anyone wanting to rid one’s self of weekly stress and fatigue needs only to go past Sarıyer, a district near the Bosporus’s Black Sea end, and head straight for Rumeli Feneri.

The sounds of the city, stop and go traffic, the chaos — these are İstanbul scenes we are all very familiar with. But just think, only a few kilometers beyond Sarıyer, everything begins to change. The road wends its way through a few trees and heads for an actual forest. Somewhere along this road, the smell of the air begins to change. Village life really begins to make itself felt, along with the sea and the nature surrounding you. A little further down is a lighthouse.

This is Rumeli Feneri — the final point at which the Bosporus opens up into the Black Sea. It is also one of Sarıyer’s nine villages. During Turkey’s War of Independence, most of the people living in this village were ethnic Greeks, but today most of the 2,000 or so residents come from the Black Sea provinces of Trabzon and Rize. With the sea only minutes away, locals have made a living out of fishing. Rumeli Feneri’s elderly residents often sit in the shade of a large tree in the center of the village, not unlike İstanbul’s retirees. And homes here carry a definite trace of Black Sea architecture, made predominantly of wood.

The most popular symbol here is the same lighthouse after which the village is named. This lighthouse, which greets ships coming into the Bosporus from the Black Sea, was built in 1856 by the French. Villagers say that at the time the lighthouse was being built, it was destroyed a few times. It was thought that a holy man was buried at this site, and a tomb was first constructed here. Later a tower that stretched 30 meters into the air was built. The Saltuk Baba tomb is now located in the tower structure and is open to visitors.

Dolphins at Rumeli Feneri

Also in this village is the Genoese-built Rumeli Feneri castle, approached by a dirt road. The place where it stands is quite large, but much of what can be seen is simply remains of what was once a large castle that was used to protect İstanbul. While here, look out from the castle’s doors out to sea and listen to the sound of the waves hitting the rocks. Sometimes you may even see dolphins playing in the water here.

Urbanization is slowly creeping in. What was once pure nature is now site to luxurious villas being built along the coast. One sign that the city is spreading into this area is evident in the pools and sports fields to be found behind the gates to these homes.

Continue on through the pine trees, and stop by the village of Marmaracık, where you can enjoy blackberry and rosehip bushes that stretch along the two-kilometer-long road.

Also, having come so far, don’t leave without tasting some fish. Not counting picnic spots that surround the village and castle here, only fish restaurants look out to the water. After all, Black Sea fish is considered by many to be some of the most delicious fish in the world. Some say seas without much salt product delicious fish. This is perhaps why the yield of the Black Sea is so good. It’s wonderful to enjoy the taste of your fresh catch while watching fishermen do their work. Try some hot tea, as well, as no meal is complete without it.

Getting here is very simple. If coming to Rumeli Feneri by car, drive up to Sarıyer and continue in the direction of Rumeli Kavağı. Along the way, you’ll see signs for both Rumeli Feneri and the village of Garipçe. About 10 kilometers later, you’ll reach Rumeli Feneri. Public transportation can also take you all the way here. Buses leave from Sarıyer.


02 December 2009, Wednesday


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Highlights of Çengelköy: Gherkins and MansionsFor Istanbul residents, free association with the word “gherkin” calls up the name Çengelköy, a village on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus.

Nestled in a nostalgic setting, overlooking the waters of the strait, Çengelköy lays claim to fame not only with her succulent gherkins, but also with her historical seaside mansions and tomatoes cultivated on stakes. Nonetheless, Çengelköy remains a village (köy) in name only.

Some fine spring day, chancing to find yourself in the nearby district center of Üsküdar, you may opt to rent a rowboat. Distancing yourself from the shore and delighting in the mild weather, you leisurely sail past, in turn, the villages of Pasha Limanı and Beylerbeyi. Your approach to Çengelköy will be signaled by a glimpse of the brick-red Sadullah Pasha Seaside mansion. On disembarking and inhaling the aroma of bread baking in wood-fired ovens, you may wonder whether you have landed in another world. Strolling the main avenue, you will pass by shops with small windows, stands of fresh fish, the historical bakery, wooden houses, many of whose doors open onto the avenue, seaside mansions from the pages of history, the local inhabitants, and, of course, greengrocers where pride of place is awarded to the “Çengelköy gherkins.”  One other place not to be overlooked is the savory pastry shop.

There are a couple of stories accounting for the uncertain origin of the name of the village. Though little information is available about its status in the 15th Century, it is known that Sultan Mehmed II, while preparing for his campaign to conquer İstanbul (1453), discovered a number of Byzantine palmed anchors in the neighborhood of the village, whose Turkish counterpart (derived from the Persian word for “claw”) is çengel. Thus, the village became known as the “Village of Anchors,” or Çengelköy.  Another story puts forward the claim that the village derived its name on account of its renown as a place where anchors were forged.

Regardless of the source of its name, Çengelköy possesses a justly earned reputation as one of the most charming villages on the Bosphorus. Çengelköy preserves its special distinction despite being incorporated, like the other quiet Bosphorus villages, by the greater metropolitan area of Istanbul.

The Bosphorus has been justly acclaimed for the beauty of her wooden seaside mansions. In the past, Çengelköy also possessed a bounty of such structures. A number of these historical witnesses have been sacrificed to fires.  The Sadullah Pasha seaside mansion, built in 1783, is one of the few to have survived to the present.  On its last legs, the Edip Effendi seaside mansion is one of those still awaiting restoration.

Friendly inhabitants, piping hot tea, and a fatal plane tree
Seaside mansions are not the only reflections of history, of course. The inhabitants of Çengelköy are also distinctive.  The hale and hearty local old-timers and veterans beam with friendly smiles.  What makes them stand out is that they still enjoy amicable relations with their neighbors. Nowadays, when those of us who make our homes in outsized apartment buildings have difficulty in even recognizing our next-door neighbors, the residents of Çengelköy are closely acquainted with each other.

When shopping in Çengelköy, you are always greeted by warm, friendly faces.  True, the tradesmen and local residents already know each other. Though you may be a newcomer, you are certain to be treated as one of them. That is why the population of Çengelköy doubles or even triples on weekends. Many folks come simply to partake of the tranquil, friendly atmosphere.

Tea gardens named “Under the Plane Tree” are ubiquitous and Çengelköy has one, too.  Some 500 years old, the plane tree is 15 meters tall and measures 6.6 meters in circumference and 1.92 meters in diameter. Its history includes one unfortunate incident, however, and it has thus received the epithet “The Killer.”  As the story goes, one day a dead branch fell from the top of the tree and caused the fatality of someone sitting in the tea garden. Nonetheless, the popularity of the tea garden remains high on weekends. In any case, the tree itself is becoming decrepit. One sizable limb extends horizontally about a dozen meters.  Extending a helping hand, the Üsküdar Municipality has provided it with iron props at one meter intervals. In view of its antiquity, the tree was designated one of Istanbul’s monumental trees and taken under protection. Çelik Gülersoy, the late president of the Turkey Touring and Automobile Club, included it in his listing of monumental trees.

Fishers and cats
What more could anyone wish for than to sit by the sea with their legs stretched out, in the shade of this tree aged half a millenary? The waiter will soon bring you a glass of full-bodied tea to complement the savory pastry with ground beef filling you have at hand. Inhaling the fresh sea air, you survey the scene of boats, one after the other, docking and launching at the diminutive pier in front of the tea garden. These are the fishermen who set out before the sun was up. But it would be an error to assume that all those going out to fish were men. For the fishers of the sea include women and even children. You will be amazed at the quantity of fish that is harvested.

If you are not a cat-lover, you may be somewhat discomfited sitting Under the Plane Tree, for numerous stray cats of all colors and sizes wander about the tea garden. It is not unheard of to take home a cat to your liking. Growing up in this setting, they are tame. The local residents are very fond of cats. Bowls of food and water for stray cats are set out in front of nearly every house here. Several pet shops also offer a variety of cats from which to choose.

For car aficionados
Çengelköy also boasts a car museum. Going up on Bosna Boulevard, you will come to the Automobile Museum of the Sabri Artam Foundation. The museum preserves a variety of vehicles, including antiques, race cars, custom-designed cars, and motorcycles. It also offers a maintenance and restoration service for aging cars. This represents the most comprehensive car museum in Turkey.  It is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Çengelköy, which formerly supplied the entire Üsküdar area with its famous staked tomatoes and whose fragrance wafted throughout Çengelköy, is today simultaneously nostalgic and modern. It seems small, but, as you will discover, it possesses a number of pleasant features. Summer and winter, it welcomes the visitor with the same warm reception: You will always be glad that you decided to pay a visit.

In Istanbul Issue 4
An article by: Hande Kızıltuğ

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Desserts, puddings, kazandibi, tavuk gogsu.


Telefon: 0212 242 68 83
Yer: Sarıyer
Adres: Yenimahalle Cad. No:23/1 Sarıyer
Ücret: TL

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Famous throughout Turkey for its yogurt, Kanlıca’s specialty is made with a mixture of cow and sheep milk. This is not an ordinary, store-bought treat. Kanlıca yogurt is so thick that it was originally served by cutting it with a knife. The true test of quality was said to be that the yogurt would remain firm, even if it were accidentally spilled on the ground. While today’s version may not be as solid as it once was, it is still dished up with sugar sprinkled across the top of the creamy skin.

However, there is more to Kanlıca than merely yogurt. Situated on the shores of the Bosporus at its narrowest point, Kanlıca is more like a sleepy fishing village than a suburb of bustling İstanbul. No one knows for certain how this hamlet got its name. One theory is that before the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, this was the area where many two-wheeled ox carts (kağnı) were made by artisans who had emigrated from Anatolia. Another theory is that the village name refers to the red seaside villas that once lined its shores.

During Byzantine times, the area was known as Boradion in honor of the nephew of Justinian I. By the time of Süleyman the Magnificent’s reign, Kanlıca was a town of 1,200 inhabitants, surrounded by gardens, forests and vineyards. People often arrived by boat for moonlit parties along the Bosporus. In the 17th century, Mehmet IV presented the town and vicinity to Sheikh Bahaeddin Efendi, and the area became known as Bahai Körfezi, or Bahai Bay. Eventually, though, the name reverted back to Kanlıca. This was a popular place for equestrians who came for long rides in the surrounding wooded areas. Even today, the Mihrabat Woods, high above the village, are a popular spot for weddings and picnics.

Visitors disembarking from the ferries exit to a small square that has one of the best-known landmarks of Kanlıca — the İskenderpaşa Mosque. This mosque was commissioned by Gazi İskender Paşa. Built by master architect Mimar Sinan, the mosque dates back to 1560. Originally the mosque was part of a complex that included a hamam and school. Sadly, all that remains now is the mosque.

In addition to its rich yogurt, Kanlıca is also known for the many yalıs that line the Bosporus shoreline of the village. A reminder of the area’s more elegant past, the wooden yalıs are perched on the water’s edge, some lovingly restored to their former glory, while others are slowly falling into decay. Among the many yalıs that adorn the shores, there are a few of note, none of which are open to the public, however. These are best viewed from the water.

The oldest yalı on the Bosporus is the Köprülü Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa Yalısı (the “Köprülü Yalı”), located between Anadoluhısarı and Kanlıca. Built in 1698 by Hüseyin Paşa, grand vizier under Sultan Mustafa II, it was here, in 1699, that the Treaty of Karlowitz was signed, acknowledging the Ottoman Empire’s loss of territory in Austria, Venice, Poland and Russia. Sadly, all that remains of this once grand home is the T-shaped salon, with its dome propped up to keep it from completely collapsing.

Dating back to the 1850s is the Sadrazam Kadri Paşa Yalı, another of the wooden mansions that line the shores of Kanlıca. This mansion was bought by Kadri Paşa when he married the daughter of the palace physician, İsmail Paşa. A grand vizier to the sultan, he later went on to serve as the governor of Edirne. Following his death in 1883, the mansion was passed down to his heirs.

Considered by some architects to be the epitome of 19th century arabesque style, the Ethem Pertev Yalı is featured in almost every guidebook of mansions on the Bosporus. Built in the mid-19th century by a former palace courtesan, the residence recently underwent massive renovations to restore it to its former glory. After her passing, the yalı was bought by Ethem Pertev, who opened one of the first modern pharmacies in the Ottoman Empire. He also bought the lot next to the yalı and expanded the structure. Disaster struck the family, however, when his youngest son, Fehmi, was found drowned next to the boathouse. In 1932, the yalı was bought by Murside Günesin, a widow with two sons. In the mid-1940s, the household was stunned when a ferry slammed into the house. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident, and there was minimal damage to the dwelling. Her sons continued to live in the yalı on and off and they raised their families there. Eventually, though, the house was sold once again, this time in May 2000, to the Köprülü family.

Two other wooden mansions of note in Kanlıca are the Hacı Reşit Bey and Princess Rükiye yalıs. The Hacı Reşit Bey Yalı was built in the 1850s and was restored in the 1980s by Barlas Turan. The Princess Rükiye Yalı, located next to the Hacı Reşit Bey mansion, was presented to Princess Rükiye, the daughter of the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Abbas Halim Paşa. In later years, the house passed on to Princess Iffet, one of the relatives of Khedive Ismail Paşa. In 1957, the mansion was purchased by Özdemir Atman.

Even though it is a part of the sprawling city, Kanlıca has managed to retain the feeling of a small, intimate village. Tucked away in a cove on the Bosporus just past the second bridge, Kanlıca offers a step back to a more sedate, elegant time.

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Meflhur Bebek Badem Ezmesi


Time was when Turkey was chock-a-bloc with places selling cheap and tasty marzipan in great big piles. Since then, however, the bottom seems to have fallen out of the market – or the soaring price has put paid to the market – take your pick of reasons for the vanishing of marzipan from the shelves! Nowadays if you want to buy the fudgey stuff you’re going to have to look pretty hard for it, so it’s worth knowing about this Bebek fixture (here since 1904 apparently) which sells little else but marzipan. This is the real, quality item and completely delicious. However, like most of the good things in life, it doesn’t come cheap at a whopping 80 YTL for a kilo.

What else can you buy here? Well, there’s Mabel chocolate, which comes in a wrapper that depicts Mabel as a black woman in a red-chequered headscarf that, one feels sure, would see it whipped off the shelves as non-PC in Europe or America. Myself, I’m more fazed by the price – 4 YTL for an 80gr bar! If you want your marzipan at a cheaper price, you can always get it in the Spice Bazaar or at Koska (see above)… Pat Yale
Meşhur Bebek Badem Ezmesi
Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No 53/C, Bebek (0212) 263 5984

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Emirgan Grove

Around mid-April the most beautiful Tulips can be found at the Emirgan Korusu.

This wooded area is on the hills facing the Bosphorus above Emirgan. Kiosks, built as gifts to the sultan by the family of the governor of Egypt, are surrounded by large and well-kept gardens and serve today as restaurants and cafes. Emirgan Grove is one of the richest parts of huge existence of trees of the Bosphorus that reaches today from the ancient times.

Partially open to the public as a picnic place for some time, it was fully opened to the public in 1943 by the Municipality. You may enjoy a magnificent and fabulous panorama from the hill. The European style has been influential in this grove. A romantic English garden has also been designed here. Emirgan Grove, between Baltalimanı and Istinye, is famous for its pavilions and Çınaraltı (Plane tree) Cafe.

Emirgan Groves, is on the northwest slope of Emirgan district in the European side. In the Byzantine periods, this green area had been used as a service area. In mid 16th Century, it was called as “Feridun Bey Garden”. When Murad IV gave the area to Emirgüneoğlu in 1635, it was called as “Emiroğlu Garden”, later it was changed as “Mirgun” and “Emirgân”

In the second half of the 19th Century, Abdülaziz gave these groves near to Emirgüne village to Hidiv İsmail Pasha. And he had built three more houses other than the wooden palace in the shore. The groves, then, was given to Saffet Lütfü Tozan and after to the Metropolitan Municipality of İstanbul and was opened to public use.

If you would like to enjoy the magnificent seascape of the Bosphorus, you should surely come to visit Emirgân Korusu. After a peaceful jogging, you will enjoy Istanbul’s beauty in Sarı (Yellow), Pembe (Pink) and Beyaz (White) Villas which were restored by remaining loyal to their original forms.

Emirgan Pavilions
There are two pavilions in the grove that will enable you to spend a good day.

Sarı Köşk (Sarı Pavilion)
The Sarı Köşk (built by Khedive İsmail Paşa between 1871-1878 and used as a residence) looks like a bird’s house. The layout in which the sofa is central to the living place as a requirement of traditional living style has remained unchanged for years. The ceiling and wall ornaments in the buildings of Sarkis Balyan as well as big and high doors and windows, and brilliant and colorful carvings inside the pavilion all play an important role. Sarı Pavilion consists of three rooms and one hall on the upper floor and four rooms, hall and kitchen at the basement.

The pavilion was decorated to recall a birdhouse using the yellow color with white motifs. Wood work from the 17th and 19th centuries in Ottoman Empire has rendered a warmer atmosphere to the buildings. Walnut, apple, plane, lime, ebony, rose and oak tree materials were used. There is a small pool on the hill. Tiny water falls draw your sight to the large lake and cascade cavern behind it.

The Sarı Pavilion was used for many years for hunting, resting and guest hosting purposes by its owners. It was also operated by Turing as a restaurant and cafeteria, and it was later transferred to Municipality of Metropole Istanbul. The pavilion offers a la carte service during weekdays and with breakfast in the morning and an open buffet with 55 kinds of food in the afternoons during the weekends.

Pembe Köşk (Pink Pavilion)
The Pembe Köşk, one of three pavilions in the grove, is a typical two-story Ottoman house with wooden coated walls, painted in sardine pink color. It suites its name and will embrace you as soon as you go in. It has three entrances: protocol, front and personnel entrance. At the main entrance there is a spacious hall and two rooms opening into this hall, and there is another secret room entered through protocol entrance.

The first floor also houses a bathroom and a kitchen. A large stairwell from the hall goes up to the second floor, where there is again a big hall, two big rooms and also another five big rooms past the aisles and two small case rooms.

It was repaired and restored by Turing in 1982 and transferred to the Municipality of Metropolitan Istanbul in 1995. Now it serves as a restaurant and cafeteria with five-star service for three-star prices. The pavilion offers a la carte service during weekdays and with breakfast in the morning and an open buffet in the afternoons during the weekends.

The pavilions, Yellow, Pink and White, were built by Khedive İsmail in the 19th century and now are run by the Municipality of Metropolitan Istanbul.

Emirgan Grove, between Baltalimanı and Istinye, is famous for its pavilions and Çınaraltı (Plane tree) Café.

The pavilions, Yellow, Pink and White, were built by Khedive Ismail in the 19th century and now are run by the Municipality of Metropolitan Istanbul. You can visit these works of art for a reasonable price.


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 |  CATEGORIES: Bosphorus, Scenic & Park & Sightseeing, Tours, Whereist Driving Scenic Tour

Between Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Rumeli Fortress ridges lies a lovely park in which to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The panorama of this section of the Bosphorus together with the view of Hidiv Kasrı is magnificent. Especially during the redbud season of Istanbul, that is late April and early May you will be surrounded by and in awe of the beautiful exquisite colors.

The park is very crowded during weekends and holidays. We suggest you visit on a weekday in order to make the most of the Park. If you are an early riser you can have a perfect breakfast at the café within the park, even on Sundays. We are sure this park will become one of your favorites which to view the Bosphorus.

Doğatepe Cafe
Nispetiye Caddesi, Duatepe Parkı 4/6
Rumeli Hisarüstü, Sarıyer
Tel: (212) 257 43 91 – 257 08 19 – 287 57 90
Fax: (212) 257 08 15

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