It is like a magnet attracting people and arousing curiosity with its unique location, civilizations it hosted and their intersecting marks. It is impossible to fit its glorious history into just 100 structures or 1000 steps. In every step you take, you have to know the city’s history to feel its texture, inhale its smell, and establish a cause and effect relationship.

The books you read will guide you in this city, but it is your job to find your way. Wouldn’t you be interested in learning who Dimitri Kantemir is when you stop by Balat to take some photos and see his mansion? Wouldn’t you appreciate the beauty of the Church of Saint Mary of the Mongols and Phanar Greek Orthodox College, which is covered in red due to firey bricks greeting you when you walk on the track of colorful houses with oriel windows? Wouldn’t you wonder what the parts appearing far away really are as you rest enjoying the view of the Golden Horn? If you were one of the residents of this city, wouldn’t you promise to absolutely visit the buildings you know only by name and pass by quietly – next time, as you lay your eyes on them?

Both Istanbul’s residents and visitors need to be a traveler to discover innumerable stories on its seven hills.

Old or new, neighborhood or continent, the theme could be left to the traveler. Should one start their stroll in Eminönü with fish and bread, and continue to street tastes from kumpir (jacket potato) to kokoreç, crispy bagel to chickpea rice to pickle? Certainly! Someone seeking a romantic and classic gesture should start the day across the Maiden’s Tower observe the sunset across the Galata Tower, and still not leave here until listening to a legendary name, İlham Gencer on the piano at Pera Palace, the grand white structure of which is filled with secrets.

Looking at this unique city from the sea is a must as it turns purple with judas trees that blossom in the spring. One should sway over the sea turning from blue to green between Asia and Europe from one bridge to another while wondering about the life in the waterfront residences that decorate the Bosphorus coast like jewels.

You welcome summer by invariably going out to the terraces all around Istanbul with views or passing to the Prince Islands in search of seclusion. One should listen to the local people to learn about the city’s previously favorite spots such as the coast of Moda Cape and Tarabya. Though it may not be easy to go from one district to another if their name ends with the suffix “-köy” (village), one must try this to be able to experience different worlds Visiting holy places is one of the keys to understanding the cultural mosaic. Individuals curios about everyday life should add to their lists the neighborhoods that rise with modern touches such as cafes, restaurants, and galleries. It is also a good idea to visit the city’s popular parks, groves, palaces or summer palaces that hold a cultural heritage. After all, Istanbul is rich in its offerings.

Everyone should definitely see this city and draw up their own experience in order to discover one of the 1001 reasons as well as see this Istanbul love for themselves.
by CANAN DEMIRAY

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