Art , Culture !
Istanbul is an international art and cultural centre. The international art and culturel Festival is hed each year in June-July..it is full of with famous artist coming from all over the world..they are mostly held in Ataturk Cultural Center ( Ataturk Kultur Merkezi )
International Film Festival is held in March-April,it is held at the Cemal Resit Rey Hall.Operates,Ballets,films,concert,exhibitions and conferences all contribute to the cultural palette of the city..
Rare Roman Memorials
While ambling through Rome, the shortest of walks will bring you past arches and columns commemorating some past emperor. In Istanbul the practice continued under the Byzantine emperors, but today only three such columns remain. In the Topkapi compound stands the Goth's column, the oldest such memorial still standing. On Divanyolu Caddesi stands the "Burnt" or "Hooped" Column erected by Constantine the city's founder, and away from the main sites stands the Column of Marcian, now a lonely sentinel in an out-of-the-way neighborhood.
Melt In Your Mouth Baklava!!
Save room for dessert!! Baklava is a pastry made of layers of phyllo dough that is filled with chopped nuts such as pistachios, walnuts or pecans. It is usually sweetened with syrup or honey. In Turkey it is sweetened with sugar. It is so sweet and juicy, and just melts in your mouth! It is prepared in large trays and then cut into square/rectangular pieces. Baklava can be served at room temperature, rewarmed, or even cold. I think room temp was best.
Although it it not certain, baklava is thought to have originated in the Ottoman Empire. It is further suggested that in its current form, baklava was developed in the Topkapi Palace kitchens.
Be sure to bring some home with you!! There are sweet shops all around Istanbul. The store I kept returning to was Ali Usta Burma Kadayif & Baklava. (It was not far from the Beyazit tram stop towards Cemberlitas on the left side of the street.)
An easy Baklava recipe from TurkishCook.com
1 glass melted margarine
1 glass of ground walnuts
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
250 g flour
750 g sugar
Knead flour, salt and a glass of water to a dough. Fold dough and knead again. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for some time.
Divide dough into 8-10 pieces. Spread starch on it and roll out as thin as possible. Place half of it into a pan, pouring margarine on each layer. Spread walnuts evenly on it and place the remaining layers with margarine between one upon the other. Cut into squares. Pour the remaining margarine evenly on the baklava. Bake in medium hot oven for about an hour.
In the meantime put sugar in a saucepan, cover with water, add one tablespoon lemon juice and boil to a heavy syrup. Pour it upon the lukewarm baklava, a little at a time, so that baklava absorbs the entire syrup. Serve cold.
AHIRKAPI HIDRELLEZ SENLIKLERI
Istanbul has a lots of "Off the beaten paths points" Non touristy and not well know places by foreigners.
First Place is AHIRKAPI.It is in the oldest part of old Istanbul.Full of with old monuments
and old Istanbul houses.And also poor and alive part Istanbul.You can still find old Istanbul life style in these old neighboorhoods narrow lanes.
WHAT IS "HIDRELLEZ"?
It is said that whatever you wish for on that night, will come true!
"Hidrellez", is one of the seasonal festivals of all Turkish world which is celebrated as the first day of the "early summer". It is also "day of Hizir", the day on which prophets Hizir and Ilyas met with each other on earth. The words Hizir and Ýlyas have since fused together pronounced as Hidrellez. Hidrellez Day falls on May 5-6. There are various theories about the origin of Hizir and Hidrellez. Various ceremonies and rituals have been performed for various gods with the arrival of spring or summer in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Iran, Greece and in fact all eastern Mediterranean countries since ancient times. One widespread belief suggests that Hizir is a prophet who has attained immortality by drinking the water of life (ab-i hayat), and who has reached God, and wanders around among people from time to time, especially in the spring, and helps people in difficulty and distributes plenty and health. The identity of Hizir, the place and the time he lived in are not certain. Hizir is the symbol of spring, and the new life which emerges with it. In Turkey, where belief in Hizir is widespread, the characteristics attributed to him are as follows:
• Hizir rushes to the aid of people in difficulty and grants peoples’ wishes.
• He always helps well-meaning, benevolent people.
• He brings plenty and wealth wherever he stops.
• He brings remedies to those who are troubled and health to the sick.
• He helps plants to grow, animals to reproduce, and human beings to grow strong
• He helps improve peoples’ fortune.
• He is the symbol of good omens.
• He has the God-given power of working miracles.
Hidrellez Festival, which is still celebrated with grand ceremonies in Anatolia, has been celebrated since ancient times. Although it is celebrated under different names and in different times, it is possible to see the motifs of Hýdrellez in many places. The arrival of spring and awakening of nature have been perceived by mankind as a phenomenon to be celebrated. In fact, Hidrellez, as a spring festival, has a universal character.
"The Hidrellez at Ahirkapi" activities
The Armada Hotel has first started to organize a semi-contemporary “Hidrellez” at Ahirkapi streets and invited all of Istanbul’s citizens to come and participate in 1997. For the last couple of years “The Hýdrellez at Ahýrkapý Streets” event has been turned to a collective civil community activity. Each year the activities begin on Ahirkapi Street and spread to the adjacent streets on 5th of May. Towards midnight the traditional fires will be jumped over and the wishes will be attached on the traditional Nahils. -The individual wishes are written on a piece of paper and attached on the Nahil´s that you will find in front of the Armada Garage.-Nahil is a symbolic "wish-tree" and an ornament from Ottoman culture. The ones at the Ahirkapi Street were first designed and used during an "Earth Day" celebration on April 22, 2002. Since then they are being used as the "wish tree" of the Hýdrellez spring festivals which is organized by "The Association of Ahirkapi Hidrellez Festivals" and supported by local Eminönü Municipality as well as by Istanbul Governorship.
All the traditional spring foods and drinks (both the traditional ones and the brewery) are sold through the street-buffets, while the local musicians perform gypsy and Balkan music.In order to get food and drink at Ahirkapi Street you should buy the coupons for food (the white ones) and brewery (the red ones) first. These coupons will be treated like cash money! The Ahirkapi Roman Orchestra, which is consisting of the neighboring musician groups of Ahirkapi community, performs street concerts along with the guest performers... Küçük Hasan from Lüleburgaz a zurna genius and the drum master Tamer Kum and his group come every year. Last year The Ahirkapý Junior Orchestra (the children of the “Great Roman Orchestra” members), The "Macedon Koçani Orkestar", Buzuki Orhan, Yannis and Gorkem Saulis; Semaver Theatre Company, Goksenin Ileri Istanbul Songs Group joined and and DJ Shantel performed along with the others during whole evening.
MUSEUM OF HUMOUR & CARTOONS.
First of all, I didn't have a look inside this Museum, I just found it when I was looking at the Aqueduct of Valens. It is right beside the Aqueduct and I was looking at the Building & Roses, when I noticed it was a Museum. If I had known it was for FREE, I would have gone in, but I couldn't see any signs of admission prices.
If you are interested here is a little information.
Quote:......... "It is housed in a late 16th-century Gazanfer Aga Medrese just in front of the Valens Aqueduct. It has a collection of cartoons dating back to 1871. You might think they would be difficult to appreciate if you don't read Turkish, but if you can remember that “baris” means peace and “savas” means war, that will go a long way to aid understanding. In any case many of them are obviously hilarious even without a word of Turkish."
OPEN 9- 4.30 pm Tuesday - Saturday
Kavacylar Sokak 12,
off Ataturk Bulvari,
Transport Tram Laleli