August 13, 2014

Teoman Şahin, Istanbul, English Language Instructor

“Walking around Istanbul my eyes wide shut” I suppose that’s what most of us are inclined to do even when our eyes are wide open. Walking in Nişantaşı with Nihan was a pleasant, informative, gripping, holistic but at the same time a melancholic experience that has brought Istanbul alive with many historic and mundane moments in time. An Istanbul, we would only consider to be of concrete buildings or streets. An Istanbul that has unfortunately fallen prey to the sprawling shadow of urban development. An Istanbul whose historical texture goes unnoticed while we are wandering in its streets. I was taken aback to find out that there is more to Nişantaşı than shopping and wining & dining; it was like a time travel in contemporary Istanbul… It was like taking a stroll with Sultan Abdülmecid, who granted the permission and encouraged settlement on these hills, thereby naming it Teşvikiye. I am grateful to Nihan for offering me an urban experience that opened up a new dimension for me in this city with her soft style, and amusing historical anecdotes. This was an outdoor activity I will probably join again and again to invigorate my urban life here. Looking forward to the next walk… Thank you, Nihan.

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Diana Westall, Perth, Australia