If I were to tell you that the world's most beautiful city is Istanbul, you may not care about this statement as you probably have heard the same about many other cities.
And if I were to point out what Napoleon said? "If all the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital." Or Alphonse de Lamertine? "If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul." Or Petrus Gyllius? "All other cities are mortal, except Istanbul."
And if those are enough, either, I have friends who only come for away games to Istanbul and even though they spend just a few hours, they fall in love with this sleepless city. We have rivals who point at the "Istanbul" text on our jerseys and say, "Amazing city, value it."
The truth is, you don't have a chance to see all of its charm on a short visit, but you might – only through seeing some photographs – find yourself marking a calendar and noting to yourself, "I must see these places."
I like walking around in the city when I have time to spare from our intense game calendar. Last weekend, I grabbed my camera and I visited a route that I took before going to practice. Let's look at it together…
Sometimes there are things that you pass by millions of times and didn't pay attention to. Then suddenly one day you realize it and are surprised at yourself. One of the most important reasons for this is that you became used to. That beauty, that precious thing, whatever that is, has been there forever. The Bosphorus is one such example. Millions of people go on it every day in boats. Millions of people have a sip from their coffee looking at it. Looking at this unique necklace that brings the both sides of Istanbul together, I think about nature and human relationships straight away. Nature's two pieces of land come together with a human-made structure between them and a massive city life based on them.
As you go a little further from it, underneath the bridge there is a brilliant bosphorus view and Great Mecidiye Mosque. You may call it Ortaköy Mosque as well. Imagine that you are right here and looking at this view while drinking a hot cup of tea. What crosses your mind?
Through the road that links Beşiktaş to Kabataş, Dolmabahçe Palace accompanies you with its magnificent structure. It is so good to walk for 10 or 15 minutes on a road where there are trees on both sides. To come to this art that you see… Isn't it amazing?
It is amazing with one word. This is the door of the Dolmabahçe Palace. In its structure you see such fine workmanship, such aesthetic perspective, such architecture.
Let me ask you a question that we already know the answer to. Where do you eat a fine fish dish? Where do you catch a fine fish? It is so fascinating to see hundreds of fishing lines reaching to the sea from Galata Bridge… At this exact point, there is the historical peninsula ahead. You can hear the history. To see these places, visit places knowingly and learn about them, might worth reading tens of books.
I feel like skipping a scene while watching the film called Istanbul. One of the first things that absorbs me in this scene is Süleymaniye Mosque. Mimar Sinan's ranking work. Its redoubtable structure, its dome's strong view, its minaret tips that reach to the sky, all give peace and trust…
Wherever you come from, you find something to love in this city.
What you do think, am I right?