Sunday, October 9, 2011


We made it, finally we are in IS-TAN-BUL!!!...aaand this giant city is already trying to swallow us with its size and run-run-in hurry life style. Sorry for not being able to write anything since our arrival. My last visit here was almost six years ago, when my father passed away. It is so nice to be back, enjoy the city and the loved ones.

Susan seems to enjoy our visit. Most of our days start with a "big", I mean "BIG" breakfast and family time...I mean "BIG" family :)  My four sisters, brother-in-laws, nieces, nephew(s), cousins, they all are doing their best to be with us, to be in touch with us and to show their hospitality in the best way they possibly can. It makes both of us so happy and feel welcomed.

Except two days with rain (today is the second one) we went out everyday and took many photos and videos (we need to convert those videos, will post them later on). Two weeks is certainly not enough to see and get to know Istanbul, but I think we are on a right path. Its a good start for Susan. I'm saying this based on her reactions: "many more trips to Istanbul/Turkey are on the way." Of course it puts a big smile on my face.

I'm sure Susan will tell you her impression of Istanbul and Turks; well, I have already mentioned it, "I'm in love" with Istanbul, so I may not be able to be objective about it. So, I won't tell you too much about it and bore you to death! I will post a few photos and videos with small caption lines next to them. Enjoy.
Mom with her accordion.
Mom and Dad, 50 years ago

Last week, when all the sisters were together, my Mom played Circassian music with her accordion and we, sisters, "tried" to do Circassian folk dance for her. Here is a photo of my mom with her accordion. She was so happy to have her five (and the new one, Susan) daughters all together. My mom is one of the Circassian Turks. Circassians are people of the Northern Caucasus (south of today's Russia). They were migrated to Turkey in the course of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the 19th century, especially after the Russian-Circassian war of 1862. There are two million Circassians (also known as Adyghe or Cherkess) in Turkey.

Metro station we use the most, sea gulls shown on columns
One of the nicest parts of Istanbul is Bogaziçi (Bosphorus) shore line. Istanbul is the only city in the world that is built on two continents. Two large bridges connect Europe and Asia. Also, since 2004 they are working on a very important underwater tube-tunnel project to connect Europe and Asia. It will be the world's deepest immersed tube-tunnel. 13.6 kilometers (8.5 miles) under the sea crossing. Earthquake-proofed immersed tube is placed down to 60 meters (197 feet) below sea level. Its scheduled to open in 2013.

A passage with nice Cafes, in Beyoglu
One of many street musicians of Istanbul

Before we left San Antonio, Susan and I have promised to each other to walk as often and long as we can. So far we kept our promise. Istanbul is a huge city, so we have to use public transportation (mostly metro) all the time, but we start walking once we arrive to the area we are interested. We both love it. It gives us chance to take many photos and videos of the streets, buildings, people, street musicians etc. Yesterday we walked more than 3 hours, almost non-stop. Here are some of the photos/videos of the buildings and street musicians of Beyoglu. There are all kinds of musicians on the streets and metros of Istanbul, from violin to santur players, from saxophone players to traditional Turkish saz name it.
Susan with her happy smile.

Istanbul silhouette, during boat trip, October 5th, 2011

Its raining today. It gave us an opportunity to stay at home with my Mom (Bedriye) and one of my sisters (Sacide), and also catching up with organizing our photos, and writing our blogs "to you". Susan is working on her blog post right now...window is open, we are listening to the sound of the rain and wind...shear curtains are moving softly...I can hear my Mom and sister Sacide's voices from kitchen, they are chit-chatting...Life is good...better with loved ones!


  1. AWESOME! The entire blog! AWESOME!!!

  2. Beautiful architecture - foods, sights and scenes overwhelm the senses. Looks like a wonderful trip!

  3. İt's wonderfull,to take a news from a person,describes a history I share.Now,we're close relatives,I feel.I'll follow you closer.Best wishes.Orhan

  4. Mr. Kurt, I'm / we're grateful and honored. Thank you!