1 INTERNATIONAL MEDIA TOURISM IS GUARANTEED BY ODE INSULATION! A Gulf News Sponsored Supplement Ramadan in Turkey The Holy month of Ramadan is a time for fast, self-reflection, communal goodwill and festivities. Famous Turkish hospitality also embraces guests
2 Suleymaniye Mosque Life s changing RHYTHMS The beating of the drum in Turkey indicates that the month of Ramadan has dawned upon the faithful The custom has been in existence since Ottoman times BY AIDAN MCMAHON CITY LIGHTS During the holy month of Ramadan, Turkey is illuminated by mahya: messages and symbols written out in lightbulbs, strung between the minarets of the major mosques across the country BY GARETH REES These lights are not just simple decoration; mahya is a tradition stretching back more than 400 years to the Ottoman Empire, and it is a spectacle unique to Turkey, adding to the festival atmosphere during the holy month, especially in Istanbul. Some scholars believe that the first mahya were hung between the minarets of Istanbul s Blue Mosque during the Ramadan of 1616 or 1617 by the calligrapher and muezzin Hafiz Ahmet Kefevi, who had impressed the ruling Sultan Ahmed I with his intricate mahya designs. Whether this story is accurate or not, it is certain that in 1723 the renowned Ottoman statesman grand vizier Damat Ibrahim Pasha officially decreed that mahya be hung between the minarets of all imperial mosques, the only ones at the time with two or more minarets. Traditionally, mahya were hung in the major Ottoman cities of Istanbul, Edirne and Bursa; they can now 2 > 3 GLOBAL CONNECTION JUNE 2015 be seen all over Turkey, but Istanbul remains the city most commonly associated with the mahya tradition. The appearance of the mahya signals the start of Ramadan in Istanbul, and visitors during the holy month will see the city s best-known mosques, including the Blue Mosque, the New Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, Eyup Sultan Mosque and Yeni Valide Mosque, lit up with these striking creations. Traditionally, mahya were made up of oil lanterns, but today light bulbs are used, with messages constructed of scores of bulbs hung hundreds of feet off the ground between the minarets of Turkey s grandest mosques. The position of mahya master, originally a calling passed on from father to son in the same family, is a prestigious one, and some practitioners of the art, such as 19th century craftsman Abdullatif Efendi, are remembered and celebrated for their skill and intricate creations. Today, after years of decline, efforts are being made to revive the art and train a new generation of craftsmen, and the art of mahya is still very much alive. VIEWING THE MAHYA DURING RAMADAN PRESENTS A PERFECT REASON TO VISIT ISTANBUL S MOST FAMOUS MOSQUES Blue Mosque The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, know to most people as the Blue Mosque, was built in the 17th century during the reign of Sultan Ahmed 1, whose tomb can be found at the site. It s architect, Sedefhar Mehmet Aga, ensured its iconic status by creating both a grand exterior, which features six minarets and a vast courtyard, and a stunning interior famed for its 260 windows and, of course, the thousands of blue Iznik tiles that give the mosque its unofficial name. It is one of Istanbul s most popular tourist attractions. New Mosque Located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul at the southern end of the Galata Bridge, which crosses the Golden Horn, construction of what was then the Valide Sultan Mosque began in 1595, before coming to a halt in Damaged by the Great Fire of Istanbul in 1660, the mosque was finally completed in 1663 and renamed New Valide Sultan Mosque, later shortened to New Mosque. It is one of Istanbul s most famous landmarks. Suleymaniye Mosque Commissioned by Suleyman 1 (Suleyman The Magnificent), the Suleymaniye Mosque was completed in It sits atop one of Istanbul s seven hills, overlooking the Golden Horn, and is one of the city s most impressive sites. Eyup Sultan Mosque Traditionally the site for the coronation of Ottoman sultans, the site of the Eyup Sultan Mosque, in the Eyup district close the Golden Horn, marks burial place of Ebu Eyup el-ensari, a great warrior who died in battle during the siege of Constantinople in the seventh century. A mosque was built in the 18th century by Sultan Mehmet II to mark el-ensari s tomb. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1766, it was rebuilt by Sultan Selim III in 1800, and is today Istanbul s principal Islamic shrine. Each city has its own unique soundscape. Living in Istanbul, you grow accustomed to the perpetual honking of car horns and the raucous call of seagulls, but occasionally other noises interrupt these unvarying city sounds. From the call to prayer from mosques to the air-raid sirens in November, marking the anniversary of the death of Kemal Ataturk, there is no shortage of distinct aural stimuli to be found. One summer night on a terrace, I heard a peculiar sound that I had never heard before. Just before dawn on the first night of Ramadan, the lonely beating of a drum began to rise from the street below. It was the, or ceremonial drummer, who had been assigned to the residential community of Hasanpasa on the Asian side of the city. He was taking his job seriously, striking the drum and bellowing to wake the faithful in time for them to eat ahead of sunrise. As I looked over the edge of the terrace, lights in the fourstorey apartment blocks opposite to my friend s house came on, and children peered out of windows to get a better view of what has become a fading tradition. The custom has been in existence since Ottoman times, and is also present in Egypt. In both countries though, alarm clocks and technological advances have rendered it all but obsolete. WAKING UP THE FAITHFUL The davulcular are selected by the local municipality several weeks before the beginning of the month, and these men meet ahead of time to decide which areas to work in. They play a selection of songs known as mani, singing simple allegorical lyrics often divided into quatrains, and urge listeners to live right and carry out their religious duties. Later, the performers call on houses, and appreciative listeners pay generously for the service. Listening to the beating of the drum, I was reminded that the INTERNATIONAL MEDIA Headquarter: Rue de la Mercerie 12 CH-1003 Lausanne, SWITZERLAND. TEL: Turkey Contact: Tekfen Tower Kat.8 Buyukdere Cad. No Levent Istanbul, TURKEY. Tel: UAE Contact: Emirates Towers Level.41, Sheikh Zayed Road, PO Box 31303, Dubai, UAE. Tel: Creatively cooperated with Day Dreamers Ltd. Chairman Burhan Ozkan Publishing Director Mehmet Aktop General Coordinator M. Onur Tayşu Director Bernard Jahrmann Editors Handan Açan Nilgün Yılmaz Designer Arzu Kaya month of Ramadan was just beginning. Not long after, the call to fajr, the first prayer of the day, reverberated from the thousands of minarets across the city. As is elsewhere in the Muslim world, the importance of fasting and being observant of the various requirements of the holy month are obvious in Istanbul. Although many in the larger cities of western Turkey do not abstain from THE DAVULCULAR PLAY SONGS KNOWN AS MANI, SINGING SIMPLE ALLEGORICAL LYRICS OFTEN DIVIDED INTO QUATRAINS eating, drinking or smoking during the day, the sacrifice being made by those who do is evident as you go about your day. Bus and taxi drivers can be less affable. Street-side tea houses are still full of the usual suspects, although glasses are not filled. The men sit idly, chatting and awaiting sunset to dutifully return home and break fast with a light iftar meal. Contributing Journalists Shalini Seth, Arno Maierbrugger, Gaby Doman, Neesha Salian, Sanaya Pavri, Gareth Rees, Ruqya Khan, Aidan McMahon, Burak Kuru Business Development Coordinator İsmail Burhanoğlu Sales and Marketing Coordinator Filiz Ozkan Advertising Coordinators Banu Zeynep Kotan Tunç Altınbaş A TIME TO BOND Each year I am reminded of the fact that I am an outsider in Istanbul. Families are more than happy to have a foreign guest around, and will spare no effort in attending to visitors. This is truer than ever during the month of Ramadan, as believers strive to set an example and carry out good deeds where possible. But as the lunar cycle advances toward its conclusion, and bayram, better known internationally as eid al fitr, people gather at home and spend precious time with relatives. At this time of year the elation of the city s inhabitants is palpable, but I find myself feeling apart from colleagues and friends as they celebrate with their own families. With just weeks left before this now familiar drumming again awakes my neighbours and me in the early hours of the morning, these percussion artists are vying for performance spots on the circuit. They will make their rounds and earn their keep, and I look forward to hearing them play once again. It is a fleeting chance to embrace one of the many traditions that make Istanbul unique, and to marvel at one of the many sounds that constitute the city s complex tapestry of impressions. Operations Manager Berna Guzelce Project Manager R. Ali Zincirkıran Business Development and Digital Marketing Manager Kurtuluş Ozturk Business Development and Sales Support Specialist Anıl Gul Representative in Middle East Ozan Turan **All materials strictly copyright and all rights are reserved.
3 The way to stay different Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO of Jumeirah Group, talks about the launch of the hospitality group s latest property and other plans in Turkey BY SHALINI SETH We have taken over the operations and rebranded the Golden Savoy Bodrum, now known as Jumeirah Bodrum Palace, on the Aegean Sea. It is already up and running and now looking forward to a good season this summer. The property has 135 suites and villas, of which 57 have their own private swimming pools. We have cabanas on the beach front. It is a spectacular property very ornate, with generously sized rooms and many individual touches. LIKELY GUESTS The largest source markets into Bodrum by region are Europe and the UK. A lot of the large yachts from the Greek Islands visit the Turkish Riviera as people sail across the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas. Bodrum is a popular summer destination. Travellers from Europe and the Middle East really enjoy the nature around Bodrum and its mild Mediterranean climate. For cultural exploration, the old town is also well worth a visit. Bodrum also gets a lot of conference business, stretching into the autumn, spring and winter. That makes the destination an attractive proposition, even in the quieter seasons. IMPORTANCE OF TURKEY Turkey is a strong market and it continues to expand at a healthy rate. We see Turkey as a natural fit for Jumeirah Group, particularly for our Middle Eastern guests. We can now offer a two-city destination whereby one can spend days in the historic Istanbul at Pera Palace Jumeirah and then relax at tan Mosque, which was completed in But, many of the Asian side s attractions are for the foodie. Bayramoglu Doner serves up Turkey s famous kebab sandthe Turkish Riviera after a short 45-minute flight from Istanbul. Last year, the number of GCC tourists travelling to Turkey increased by 38 per cent, led by Kuwait. Jumeirah is very well placed to drive that awareness of Turkey in the GCC market. Istanbul is also very well connected with the rest of the world. There are daily flights with Emirates, flydubai, Etihad and Turkish Airlines. The reputation and awareness of our brand and the loyalty of our guests are probably the biggest drivers of business to our properties. We remain very competitive in our market and regularly launch special promotions to ensure that we achieve the highest possible levels of awareness at different levels. A HISTORIC HOTEL FOR A MODERN GROUP We are a Dubai-born company and therefore we recognise our heritage and we embrace and cherish it wherever we go. Jumeirah as a luxury operator ensures that its hotels integrate well into the local community. Each of our hotels remains true to the brand promise of STAY DIFFERENT, whether it is a heritage hotel or a new one. This means that each of our hotels has its individual character and its own personality. We are especially proud to be operating Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah. It is one of Istanbul s most recognised historic hotels. It was built in 1892 originally to accommodate passengers from Orient Express who used to travel from Europe all the way between Paris and Istanbul. When the hotel first opened, it was well ahead of its time. Agatha Christie stayed at Pera Palace for a long time as she wrote quite a big part of her novel, Murder on the Orient Express. We still have Room 411 which is preserveson not be there. EVOLUTION OF THE F&B EXPERIENCES The business of food and beverage is very important in Dubai. Jumeirah Group already operates more than 100 outlets. Among these is a portfolio operated by the Jumeirah Restaurant Group (JRG) Dubai. JRG Dubai is run within Jumeirah but it remains relatively independent of the hotel management company to offer the guests an impression that our own restaurants are as good as independently owned ones. We believe that this is how our restaurant business should evolve for the future. In Turkey, we would be very happy to have JRG running a restaurant on a third-party basis in our hotel. For example, the noodle house has been very popular as a franchise. In Dubai, we operate most noodle houses ourselves but outside of Dubai most are franchised, whereby a third-party investor would own and operate the restaurant to our specifications. There is no reason why we could not apply the same model in Turkey, if we had an appropriate Turkish restaurant operator. THE BODRUM EXPERIENCE It was my first time in Bodrum and we had an opportunity to walk into the heart of the old town which fascinating. There are restaurants all along the seafront and the famous castle. It feels like such a lovely place to stroll in the evening. Jumeirah Bodrum Palace is a gem and I am sure our guests will appreciate Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO of Jumeirah Group its unique ambiance. All of our rooms, suites and villas are generously sized and the location is spectacular offering the finest sea views and privacy. The resort is nicely tiered down to the sea at different levels. Guests can enjoy extensive leisure facilities on the beach where we have cabanas and also a number of Maldivianthemed water villas. Night at the Bosporus Pretty seaside villages, lazy cafes and streets of aging mansions that seem far away from the hubbub across the river; the Asian side does indeed offer a lot to the intrepid explorer in Istanbul BY GABY DOMAN One of Istanbul s most exciting elements is the clash between East and West; perhaps the city where Asia and Europe collide hardest. But, despite this, the vast majority of tourists to Istanbul never venture across to the Asian side. While it s true the European side is home to most of the city s famous sights, the other side of the Bosporus has much to offer too, particularly for those who are in the city for longer than a few days or looking for a more authentic Ramadan experience. There are somewhat differing ways of dealing with Ramadan on each side of the river. The more touristy European side tends to be more or less the same during the holy month, with food and drink easily available at all times. Conversely, the Asian side is more observant of the tradition and it is well worth spending Iftar Kuleli and beyond along its shores. Some of the most attractive spots for sightseeing on the Asian banks are Beylerbeyi Palace, a former summer residence of the sultans and Mihrimah Sul- Rumelihisari Yenikoy wiched between two pieces of flat bread. The venue is held in reverence by those who have been and Turkish food aficionados won t want to miss out. Kanlica is another highlight. This neighbourhood is one of Istanbul s best-preserved, and is mostly unchanged by the city s rapid development. This charming location is characterised by its choppy seas, ageing but charming wooden mansions and its famous Kanlica yoghurt, which has been made from a mix of goat, cow and sheep milk since the 17th century. This tart, creamy yoghurt is served with a sprinkle of icing sugar and the option of toppings including strawberry jam. Today, there s only one place left making Kanlica yogurt the traditional way - Kanlica Doga Yogurdu, where it s produced fresh every day in a shop opposite the pier. Further south and closer to Istanbul s heart is Cengelkoy, which is another great spot for enjoying a taste of the more lowkey day-to-day life of Istanbul s residents. Its Ottoman Empire mansions make a beautiful backdrop to the area s seafood restaurants. Legend has it that the area was even named after the Persian word for crab, cenkar. Cengelkoy is also famous for its small cucumbers, although they are seldom grown here anymore. Instead, the modernday area offers narrow streets to wander down, a local bazaar to shop in and delicious pastries from the traditional bakery, Cengelkoy Borekcisi. But a mustvisit after Iftar is Cinaralti, one of the most famous tea gardens in Istanbul. In the garden is a sycamore tree offering both shade and a slice of history it s said to be 800 years old, which would pre-date the Ottoman Empire. The 15-metre-tall tree is said to have killed a patron with a falling branch (though these days it s secured by iron supports) and has been designated as one of Istanbul s most monumental trees. Moda is another good spot for tea drinking. There s a pretty tiled tea shop on the old pier, built in 1916, which overlooks the Sea of Marma or, alternatively, Kemal in Yeri or the restaurant at Old Moda Seaport are other spots that offer sea views and traditional tea. This bohemian little corner of the city is stuffed with record shops, artisans, theatres and bookshops, which make for a lovely, lazy day. A short stroll along Moda Avenue brings you to Kadikoy, which is famous for its antique shops and a few quaint cafes with terraces as well as its pretty trams. On Tuesdays and Fridays the area buzzes with a chaotic market, which, due to its abundance of food and snacks might be best avoided during Ramadan it s just too appealing for a foodie and is, undoubtedly a highlight of the Asian side but, after the sun sets, be sure to take advantage of the area s dried fruit and pastry shops, which are stuffed full of krep, halva, baklava and almond cookies the perfect sugary pick-me-up after a long day fasting. Seafood lovers should make a point of visiting Yenikoy, a moneyed neighbourhood on the European side of the Bosporus. This quarter is known for its incredible Ottoman era waterfront properties and for its numerous seafood restaurants Yalier is one of the most consistently good and best value. Once you re sated, the area is a beautiful one to wander around and Yenikoy Avenue is one of the very prettiest in the city, lined with platanus trees.
4 A community celebrates Ramadan brings people together in prayer and celebration BY NEESHA SALIAN From drummers who go through the streets waking people up at the crack of dawn for suhour (morning meal) to sharing iftar with family and friends under a tent in Sultanahmet Square, Ramadan in Turkey is an experience you are unlikely to forget. Most of the country s Ramadan customs have their foundations in the traditions of the former Ottoman Empire. For Turks, the holy month is not just a period of fasting from sunrise to sunset; it s also a time for selfreflection, communal goodwill and festivities. People visit the mosque to offer prayers and express gratitude. Charity is also a big part of Ramadan. While the days are usually spent in contemplation and prayer, sunset brings in its wake a flurry of activities that commence with the firing of a cannon noting the end of the fast and the iftar sofrasi, a traditional meal. The latter sees friends and family members congregate at home or in public places. Ramadan in Turkey For Turks, the holy month is also a time for self-reflection, communal goodwill and festivities In fact, the best way to experience the spirit of this communal celebration is a visit to Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul. Ramadan greetings decorated with lights hang between the minarets of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque bedazzling the night sky; big and small tents line the square, filled with people talking animatedly as they eat pieces of pide, Turkish flatbread, with butter, along with other traditional dishes. Restaurants serve traditional iftar and people who don t get seats make their way on to the grass, having an impromptu picnic amid the historic buildings. Various institutions and people also sponsor iftar across the city for the less fortunate, students and visitors. Street carnivals are a common sight during the month, as kiosks selling eatables, toys and curios spring up everywhere. These, along with cultural activities such as the Karagoz and Hacivat shadow theatre, which have roots in the Ottoman era, attract both tourists and locals. The Feshane International Fair Congress and Culture Center also holds cultural performances, including Turkish folk music and dances, Sufi music as well as a host of other performing arts and activities. Another resort town that has famous bazaars during Ramadan is Fethiye. If you head to Konya, make sure you see the whirling dervishes. The dervishes or semazens perform their spiritual dance or sema throughout the year but it takes on a more spiritual significance during the holy month. Another must-visit destination is the tomb of the legendary Oruc Baba in Topkapi. According to hearsay, people who end their fast on the first day of Ramadan with vinegar in this mausoleum will have all their wishes granted. Needless to say, the mausoleum gets a lot of visitors. Ramadan culminates in a three-day holiday called Seker Bayrami or Sweet Feast. Mosques and buildings are lit during the time and festivities are in full force. People invite family and THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE THE SPIRIT OF THIS COMMUNAL CELEBRATION IS A VISIT TO SULTANAHMET SQUARE IN ISTANBUL friends over and treat their guests to traditional food and desserts such as baklava. It is also customary to visit family members, especially older ones, and kiss their hand as a sign of respect. Children receive gifts from grandparents and other relatives. The wonderful thing about spending Ramadan in the country is that the Turks inherent hospitality soars just as their munificence does during the holy month and Seker Bayrami. A FEAST FOR THE SENSES Treat yourself to a traditional Turkish iftar, which has everything from tasty appetisers and hearty soups to delicious desserts and refreshing beverages BY NEESHA SALIAN Fasting and feasts are an integral part of the holy month of Ramadan across the Islamic world. In fact, in Turkey, families and friends get together and spend time bonding over warm meals and conversations after a long day of abstinence from food and water. The communal element of this period is best seen as loved ones break bread and partake in traditional foods, as their ancestors have been doing for generations. It s also the perfect time to sample the legendary Turkish hospitality. Iftar sofrasi, the first meal of the day that marks the end of fasting from sunrise to sunset, commences after the call to prayer is heard. It starts with people drinking a few sips of water and eating a couple of dates to soothe the parched palate. This is followed by the traditional iftariyelik, which is a selection of appetisers such as dates, figs, honey, sweet butter, pastirami (cured beef) and a selection of fresh and aged cheese. The next course is soup and the sumptuous special Ramazan pidesi, which is a large round loaf of flat pide bread, topped with crunchy nigella seeds. People faithfully line up outside their local bakeries to get their piping hot orders of this wonderful bread. This goes well with butter, cheese and a serving of traditional tomato or red lentil soup. Some of the other popular soups include ezogelin soup, yayla corbasi or suzme mercimek corbasi. Different varieties of borek (a baked dish made with filo pastry) are part of the spread. The feta and spinach version is utterly scrumptious as are the ones with meat and cheese. The main course is dominated by traditional Turkish favourites using meat and vegetables with a liberal use of olive oil. Dishes such as kuzu tandir, lamb cooked tandoori-style; hunkarbegendi, eggplant puree topped with lamb; imambayildi or stuffed eggplant are popular during this time. Other favourites include Izmir Kofte, which is a baked meatball and potato stew; mussaka, an eggplant The main course is dominated by traditional Turkish favourites with a liberal use of olive oil and ground beef casserole and manti, which are dumplings. Desserts are the stars of the iftar spread. The piece de resistance is the silky, indulgent gullac, a milk-based dessert. It is made using rice sheets, which are layered with walnuts and then soaked in warm milk syrup doused with rosewater. This dessert is refreshing, light and utterly delicious. The menu also includes Turkish specialties, such as baklava, a nut-based pastry; sekerpare, semolina cookies soaked in syrup and safranli zerde, a classic saffron pudding. Refreshing beverages are a standard offering in the customary Turkish iftar spread and a perfect way to round-off the meal. Ayran (a salty yogurt drink) and sherbet (sweet, fruit drink) are favourites as are beet juice, or salgam suyu and lemonade. 4 > 5 GLOBAL CONNECTION JUNE 2015
5 BLUE AND MAGNIFICENT The Sultan Ahmet Mosque dominates Istanbul s majestic skyline with its elegant outline of massive domes and soaring minarets BY SANAYA PAVRI A teenage sultan in command of an empire spanning three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa, wanted to pay homage to the legacy bequeathed to him, as well as leave an indelible mark on the fabric of the city that his predecessors conquered and what better way to do so than commission one of the finest mosques in the heart of the imperial city of Istanbul. The historically rich city is dotted with numerous mosques that were mostly constructed during the Ottoman era. Travel anywhere along the Bosporus and it s hard to miss the gracefully protruding domes and slender minarets reaching to the sky. These mosques don t just serve as places of worship, but each has a story to tell in terms of historical significance and architecture dating back centuries. Among these the most famous has to be the famed Sultan Ahmet Mosque, without which the city would be incomplete. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque is one of the distinctly defining features of Istanbul s skyline and was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I, who was driven by the desire to leave behind a mosque named after him, one that would rival the famed Ayasofya. He chose to build it opposite the Hagia Sophia and next to the Hippodrome on the exact same spot where the Great Palace of the Byzantine emperors was standing using the existing foundations and vaults. The mosque was completed in 1617, just a year prior to the death of the 27-year old young sultan, who is buried outside the mosque with his wife and three sons. The mosque dominates Istanbul s majestic skyline with its elegant outline of a series of ascending domes and six soaring minarets. Although considered a classical Ottoman structure, architect Mehmet Aga incorporated new architectural and decorative elements into the mosque s er gave up. Instead he succeeded in creating a structure that is impressive in its bearing, along with being fluidly graceful, thanks to its voluptuous cascading domes that were designed to primarily addresses the problem of creating a Any visit to Istanbul would be incomplete without a visit to the famed imperial mosque facade, combining traditional Islamic architecture with Byzantine elements, taken from the adjacent Hagia Sophia. At that time Aga s plan was believed to be impossible to build, yet the visionary architect nevlarge, covered interior space. The the Blue Mosque as it is popularly called refers to the interior, where the high ceiling is lined with over the 20,000 blue tiles. This careful choreography of thousands of Iznik tiles dazzles visitors with their blue, green, and turquoise hues. The tiles bear traditional motifs of cypress trees, tulips, roses and fruits conjuring visions of a bountiful paradise, the sultan requested these specifically for the building. The extravagant use of tile decoration in the interiors was a first in imperial Ottoman mosque architecture. But the beautiful blue hue that makes the mosque so distinct wouldn t be possible without adequate light to accentuate the colours of the tiles. The intensity is brought about by the play of natural light from more than 200 windows that are set in the drums of the central dome, each of the half-domes, and the side walls. These windows were originally covered with beautiful Venetian stained glass. The construction of this gigantic and magnificent structure took a little under seven years to complete and so eager was the sultan to have it finished that he would come and lend a helping hand or so the story goes. The original complex included a soup kitchen, a madrasa, a primary school, a hospital, and a market. A mausoleum is situated at the corner of the grounds, near the Hippodrome and Sultanahmet Park and houses the remains of Sultan Ahmet I, his wife and three of his sons. It also contains some fine examples of calligraphy on cobalt-blue Iznik tile. No matter how often you stand and stare, the Blue Mosque remains breathtaking as always. There are plenty of elegant curves thanks to an ascending system of domes and semi-domes and the giant courtyard, about as large as the mosque itself, is the biggest of all Ottoman mosques. Worshippers to the mosque enter through the main entrance, which is off the Hippodrome, while tourists have to enter from a portal on the south side. A symbolic chain marks the main entrance that required even the sultan to bow his head when he arrived on horseback. LIVING IN LUXURY Emaar Turkey, the wholly-owned subsidiary of global property developer Emaar Properties, is developing Emaar Square, its second project in Istanbul Emaar Square Istanbul, which is the second project of Emaar Turkey is a mixed use development in Camlica, Istanbul spanning sqms. Camlica is a beautiful and beloved location for many residents and tourists alike here in Istanbul. Emaar Square will comprise over 1000 luxury homes, a 183 room 5 star the Address Hotel, a world class shopping mall, entertainment centre and sqms of office space. THE ADDRESS RESIDENCE ISTANBUL OFFERS 5 STARS CITY LIFE The Address Hotels + Resorts, the five-star premium hotel and residences brand by Emaar, brings this outstanding lifestyle and investment opportunity to Istanbul. Introducing Istanbul to all the distinctive hallmarks of a world- class luxury lifestyle, The Address Istanbul is the centerpiece of Emaar Square Project located in one of the prestigious districts on the Asian side of the city. Overlooking the Marmara Sea, the Princess Islands and the Bosphorus, the 46 storey Address Residence Istanbul is an architectural marvel designed by two of the world s most prestigious architectural offices, Foster + Partners and Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). The Address Hotel, located on the first 11 floors of The Address Istanbul, offers guests a first-class accommodation and hospitality experience. EXCLUSIVE, DISTINCTIVE AND ELEGANT The 320 luxury residence apartments located on the floors above The Address Hotel, with their exceptional location, timelessly tasteful lines and 5 star service provided by The Address Hotel, have been designed to provide their owners a singularly sophisticated urban lifestyle. The Address Istanbul features 197 fully furnished units from 1 to 3 bedrooms and 123 luxury sky view residences ranging from 1 to 5 bedroom units, as well as luxury penthouses. Each of these elegant residences, in addition to offering its owners unparalleled lifestyles, also enjoys the exclusive convenience of round-the-clock access to The Address Hotel s 5 star service 7 days a week. A PREMIUM LIFE, AN INVALUABLE INVESTMENT The Address property owners have the opportunity to take advantage of an exciting and valuable investment opportunity. By enrolling your furnished apartment in the hotel s pool system, you will benefit from a shared revenue stream that makes your apartment an even more valuable investment. TIMELESS LUXURY IN A UNIQUE CITY Being developed as part of Emaar Square, Turkey s most unique mixed use project, and drawing on Emaar Square s experience as well as its reputation for exclusivity, at The Address Residence Istanbul, the full range of 5-star services are just a phone call away. And awaiting you right in your own home are concierge services and gourmet cuisine by world-famous chefs. ISTANBUL S NEWEST MEETING PLACE IS JUST A FEW STEPS FROM YOUR DOOR The Address Istanbul is just a few steps away from Emaar Square Shopping Mall that brings the world s most prestigious luxury brands, like Galeries Lafayette, to Istanbul featuring over 400 shops, including nearly 100 cafés and restaurants. Emaar Square will also bring a brand new social life to Istanbul and will have a number of leisure attractions, including The Discovery Center and an underwater zoo, the largest multiplex cinema complex on Istanbul s Asian side, an ice rink and several other entertainment options. You are invited to discover The Address Istanbul, an exclusive world with standards that redefine the luxury lifestyle, where you can find all you desire in a single place. Emaar Turkey team will be pleased to host you at Emaar Square and arrange a VIP transfer service from your hotel to Emaar Square sales office. For further information and VIP transfer please call: /
6 Through the eyes of a master Istanbul has hosted many greats, but none has left as much of a mark as Mimar Sinan, architect of timeless masterpieces The chief Ottoman architect was responsible for executing 300 major projects Karagoz plays are not based on pre-determined scripts BY BURAK KURU Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey in terms of the size of population and economy, as well as one of its most popular tourist destinations. It is also a very crowded city, but that shouldn t scare you if you have set out to discover it. Because there are two ways of discovering Istanbul - either you do what every organised tourist does i.e, plan your trip down to the last detail and see it the way millions have, or throw caution to the wind and just follow the crowds, slip in and out of places and experience the city the way the locals see it. The smarter tourists do a bit of both, and they also do another intelligent thing they hire a good guide to show them around. We were persuaded by ours to follow historic architect Mimar Sinan s creative trail to discover the city. The chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murad III was responsible for executing 300 major construction projects across Turkey. FIRST STOP: SULEYMANIYE Our first stop is the Suleymaniye Mosque, one of Sinan s most glorious structures. It was built over seven years during the golden age of the Ottoman Empire and has become an essential part of the Istanbul peninsula. The breathtaking blend of Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements will make you pause in your tracks and the experience will stay long after you leave. In between sightseeing, you could sip some Turkish coffee at Lalezar right next to the mosque. Next, head to the Grand Bazaar, one of the world s oldest, teeming with almost 4,000 shops that store all manner of goods ranging from jewellery and leath- Mimar Sinan er to carpets and Turkish sweets. If you stick around, don t forget to bargain your way through buying various knick-knack and souvenirs. You can exit through the Nuruosmaniye Gate, which leads to Sultanahmet. For first-time visitors, Sultanahmet s Hagia Sofia is a mustvisit. But for those who ve been there, done that it is well worth their time to stop by the Hurrem Sultan Bath, another Mimar Sinan creation. This 246-foot long public bathhouse was constructed in 1556 and is designed in the style of classical Ottoman baths with two symmetrical separate sections for men and women. The customary steam bath, peeling and soap massage will leave you feeling greatly refreshed. Remember to make reservations though. Once you are done take a leisurely stroll down to Eminonu in what is essentially still old Istanbul. You can cross the Unkapani Bridgeto reach Karakoy, where you will discover great options for shopping and dining. Some places include Namli Gurme, which serves breakfast at all hours, the Gulluoglu, for desserts, or the Karakoy Restaurant, where you can sample the best of Turkish cuisine (karakoylokantasi.com). You can also visit the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, which houses an enviable collection of contemporary art, and hosts various smaller exhibitions as well on the lower floor. There is also a cinema and arts library (istanbulmodern.org). SUNSET IN USKUDAR Istanbul is also known for its glorious sunsets and one of the best places to experience it is Uskudar. You can get there on a ferry from Kabatas a journey that takes about 7 to 8 minutes. The neighbourhood carries early traces of the Ottoman era. It has old bazaars, mosques, and food that will titillate your taste buds. Eminonu Savour the locally produced ice cream at the Kanaat Lokantasi restaurant. And while you are there dig into their versions of semolina halwa, and candied quince. Having indulged your gastronomic fantasies it is a good idea to stroll along the the Uskudar coast. About 200 metres away you will come across Kiz Kulesi, or the Maiden s Tower as it is more popularly known. While in Uskudar make it a point to visit the Semsi Ahmet Pasa Mosque, another of Mimar Sinan s architectural marvels. Commissioned by the Grand Vizier in Constantinople, it is one of the smallest to be built. However, its miniature dimensions combined with a picturesque waterfront makes it one of the most attractive in the city. The Dolmabahce Palace and Buyuk Mecidiye Mosque in Ortakoy are also places you can visit. THE CURTAIN OF IMAGINATION The traditional shadow theatre, Karagoz, brings all the colours and cultural treasures of the Ottoman era to you Shadow theatre or Karagoz as it is known in Turkey offers more or less a microcosm of the country s Ottoman roots by bringing to life the multicultural, multi-religious and multilingual social structure of the empire on stage. The shadow play employs tasvirs (figures) made from camel or ox hides in the shape of people or things attached to rods in front of a light source to cast a shadow on to a cotton screen. It also uses songs, music, poetry, myths, tongue-twisters and riddles to make the two-dimensional representations more lively and exciting. The creator of this form is believed to be Sheikh Kusteri, who lived in the Ottoman capital of Bursa, and he is paid homage in every show. ALL COLOURS OF THE EMPIRE ON STAGE The puppeteer of Karagoz is known as hayali, meaning imaginary. Almost every type of person from the various socioeconomic layers of Ottoman society as well as representatives of nationalities (Arab, Greek, Jew, Persian, Albanian etc.) living under imperial umbrella are included in the play. These characters stand out through their dressing styles, accents, behaviours, songs and dances of the community they represent and are thus understood by the audience right away. Karagoz plays are not based on pre-determined scripts thus improvisation is an essential aspect of the show. But there are some certain themes and subjects that are repeated. Stories are adapted according to the particular time period. However, a few original Karagoz plays have stood unchanged over time. KARAGOZ DURING RAMADAN A classical Karagoz show consists of four parts - prologue, quarrel, main plot and epilogue. Music - which is often performed live is also important. City theatres in former Ottoman capitals - Istanbul, Bursa and Edirne - stage Karagoz shows on a regular basis. You can buy tickets online. The best time for a Karagoz show is Ramadan. During the holy month in central districts of Istanbul like Sultanahmet and Feshane, they are staged until quite late. ABOUT KARAGOZ A play begins with the projection of an introductory figure to set the scene and suggest the themes of the drama, before it vanishes to the shrill sound of a whistle, giving way to a main performance that sometimes incorporates singing, tambourine music, poetry, mythical tales, tongue-twisters and riddles. Cultural conflicts between Karagoz, an illiterate nomad and Hacivat, an educated messenger form the base of the plot. The usually comic stories feature the main characters, Karagoz and Hacivat, and many others, including a cabaret chanteuse called Kantocu and an illusionist-acrobat named Hokkabaz. Karagoz is filled with puns and imitations of regional accents and the puppets are manipulated by one lead artist, the hayali, who may have one or more apprentice-assistants learning the craft by helping to create the tasvirs and accompanying the action with music. Once played widely at coffee houses, gardens and public squares, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, as well as during circumcision feasts, Karagoz is found today mostly in performance halls, schools and malls in larger cities where it still draws audiences. The traditional theatre strengthens a sense of cultural identity while bringing people closer together through entertainment. 6 > 7 GLOBAL CONNECTION JUNE 2015
8 SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP The Istanbul Shopping Fest is set to bewitch with its line-up of concerts, street parties, fashion shows and more Maral BY GARETH REES Istanbul is one of the most alluring cities in the world. Established more than two-and-a-half millennia ago, it has been the principal city of four empires. Straddling East and West, Europe and Asia, on either side of the Bosporus, Istanbul is the largest city in both Europe and the Middle East, and the fifth-largest in the world. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Istanbul has many attractions includ- MUST-VISIT MALLS Zorlu Center The recently opened Zorlu Shopping Mall at the Zorlu Center, in Sisli, boasts more than 180 shops, including the city s only Apple store, as well as numerous cafés and restaurants and a performing arts centre. Akmerkez Named Europe s Best Shopping Mall back in 1995, Akmerkez, in Etiler, is a four-storey mall housing more than 200 shops. International brands on sale include Gap, Nike and Lacoste. ing renowned sites such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Galata Tower. But perhaps its most famous is the Grand Bazaar. A major trading hub for centuries, occupying an important position on the famous Silk Road, Istanbul s commercial ties stretch back to antiquity. And the Grand Bazaar is only one of the many places to shop. To find more about the city s appeal to shoppers who have come from around the globe for hundreds of years to barter with the stallholders of its many labyrinthine bazaars, stroll down Beyoglu s great Istiklal Avenue or scour the city s many malls for bargains. MUST-VISIT BAZAARS The fifth instalment of the Istanbul Shopping Fest will be held from June 6 and 28. Visitors to the 23-day festival can enjoy not only numerous discounts in Istanbul s many shops, but also concerts, fashion shows, street parties and numerous other events taking place across the historic city. Whether you re looking to stock up on spices with a trip to Eminonu s Spice Bazaar, replenish your designer wardrobe with a few choice purchases from one of Nisantasi s luxury boutiques, unearth a bargain at one of the city s 120 malls or simple soak up the history in the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul will be able to cater to your needs. Grand Bazaar Attracting about half a million visitors a day, the Grand Bazaar is not just about shopping. The huge covered market has been operating since the 15th century, and getting lost on one of the many busy streets is a rite of passage for any first-time visitor to Istanbul. Spice Bazaar The second-most famous bazaar is just as eminent as the nearby Grand Bazaar. People have been buying spices, sweets, dried fruit and nuts here since Ramadan Holiday is Best Experienced in Turkey, Most Delightful Shopping is done at LC Waikiki Throughout Turkey LC Waikiki, Turkey s leader in fashion retail, is offering a wide range of products for those who don t want to compromise on comfort and elegance during the Ramadan holidays. The whole family will appreciate distinguished LC Waikiki choices for adults, young people and children With its summer colours and dynamic designs, LC Waikiki s holiday special collection for the young is quite striking. The Turkish label s accessories are also notable with a myriad of clothing alternatives making a splash. Comfortable summer bags, flat shoes and sandals indispensable items of the summer and colourful belts to complete each outfit await fashion lovers at LC Waikiki stores. Remember to visit LC Waikiki stores and Lcwaikiki.com to enjoy shopping to your heart s content this Ramadan holiday, as well all special occasions. LC Waikiki will be welcoming local and foreign customers at almost 400 stores throughout Turkey during the month of Ramadan with spectacular designs and lavish collections. LC Waikiki welcomes everyone, who wants to make children happy and indulge themselves, to its wide network of retail stores all around Turkey and abroad. An Everyone deserves to dress well mission and Accessible fashion motto drive LC Waikiki to dress Turkey and the world since 1985 when it was established and since 1997 when it began to operate under LC Waikiki retail in Turkey. LC Waikiki has maintained a growth trend at home and abroad for 18 years. LC Waikiki, serves customers at more than 500 stores in 25 countries, particularly in the Gulf countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Istanbul Bilgi University LEARNING FOR LIFE With three huge campuses and almost 20,000 students on its rolls, the Istanbul BİLGİ University is the top choice for international students in Turkey Located at one of the important intersections of different cultures, and in a region which is hugely impacted by global political changes, Turkey pursues a dynamic and visionary foreign policy with a view to steering these developments in a positive direction. As one of the first foundation universities and the only member of the Laureate International Universities in Turkey the Istanbul BİLGİ University (BİLGİ) holds a special place as far as higher education in the country is concerned. Founded in 1996, Istanbul BİLGİ University follows the motto Learning not for school but for life (Non scholae sed vitae discimus). With almost 1,000 academics, BİLGİ has close to 20,000 students and more than 22,000 alumni. About 1,500 of those enrolled are international students. Of this about 700 international students receive their degrees from BİLGİ, while the rest are exchange students. As an English medium institution, BİLGİ offers more than 150 programmes in its faculties of architecture, arts and sciences, communication, law, economics and administrative sciences and engineering, in addition to its vocational and professional schools and institutes. THE ONLY MEMBER OF LAUREATE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES IN TURKEY Since 2006, BİLGİ is the only member of the Laureate International Universities (LIU) in Turkey. LIU is a leading international network of more than 80 innovative higher education institutions, teaching more than 950,000 students in 29 countries and online. As a member of the LIU, BİLGİ students become a part of a global education network of 80 institutions. Through international partnerships and exchange agreements, BİLGİ has also become a destination for international students. Therefore BİLGİ students have real international experience whether they stay on campus or study abroad. A HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERIENCE OF FREEDOM AND DIVERSITY BİLGİ seeks to educate freethinking, creative, intellectually curious and enterprising individuals who will contribute to a world in which knowledge is accessible to all and, in which access to it is seen as a fundamental human right. BİLGİ holds a primary responsibility for providing, maintaining and further developing an academic environment in which both students and faculty members are able to engage in learning and producing knowledge at the highest level. CAMPUSES IN CITY CENTRES BİLGİ is a city university with A GLOBAL EXPERIENCE IN THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD 84% of all current BİLGİ students receive different types of scholarships First e-mba programme (online MBA) was established at BİLGİ More than events each year on three campuses 85% of all BİLGİ students are hired within the first year after graduation. Some BİLGİ students choose academic careers and go for masters or doctoral degrees Global companies prefer BİLGİ business alumni to all other foundation universities The biggest architecture studios of Turkey are at BİLGİ Faculty of Architecture BİLGİ Communication Studies alumni have won numerous awards all around the world three innovative campuses on the European side of Istanbul. Located in central neighbourhoods, the three BİLGİ campuses - Santralistanbul, Kustepe and Dolapdere offer easy access to social and cultural activities in Istanbul. Santralistanbul Campus is an arts and cultural complex located along the Golden Horn hosting more than 1,000 conferences, festivals and other scientific and social events each year and it includes Energy Museum, Main Gallery as well as educational buildings. Dolapdere Campus, an award-winning campus with its architectural design, is only ten minutes away from Taksim, the heart of the art scene, social activities and city life. Kustepe Campus is located in Sisli, the centre of Istanbul s business life. 8 > 9 GLOBAL CONNECTION JUNE 2015