The protest group ‘Saturday Mothers’ gather every Saturday at 12:00pm for half an hour forming a silent sit-in demonstration in the Galatasaray district of Istanbul. They ask the fate of relatives who were victims of forced disappearances and political murders between the 1980’s and 1990’s. In memory they hold a portrait in one hand and a red carnation in the other, demanding justice for their relatives. The banner placed on the floor reads, “Failler belli kayıplar nerede?” which means, “Where are the missing?”
This mosque has an elegant style and is built in the Baroque style. It is placed in one of the most famous districts of Istanbul, Ortaköy and like all mosques built by the sultan, it contains a harem and sultan’s office. Wide and high windows are arranged in such a way that moves the changing light of Bosphorus inside the mosque. The stair-cased building has two minarets with a single balcony each. The walls are made of white hewn stone. The walls of the single dome contain pink mosaics. The mihrab features mosaics and marble and the mimbar is made of porphyry-coated marble, all products of superior workmanship.
The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı, meaning ‘Covered Bazaar’; also Büyük Çarşı, meaning ‘Grand Bazaar’) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it is listed No.1 among world’s most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors.
The Grand Bazaar is located inside the walled city of Istanbul, in the district of Fatih and in the neighbourhood (mahalle) bearing the same name (Kapalıçarşı). It stretches roughly from west to east between the mosques of Beyazit and of Nuruosmaniye. The Bazaar can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci by trams (Beyazıt-Kapalıçarşı stop).
Today the Grand Bazaar is a thriving complex, employing 26,000 people visited by between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily, and one of the major landmarks of Istanbul. It must compete with modern shopping malls common in Istanbul, but its beauty and fascination represent a formidable advantage for it. The head of the Grand Bazaar Artisans Association claimed that the complex was in 2011 – the year of its 550th birthday – the most visited monument in the world. A restoration project starting in 2012 should renew its infrastructure, heating and lighting systems. Moreover, the hans inside the Market will be renovated and later additions will be demolished. This project should finally solve the big problems of the market: for example, in the whole Bazaar there is no proper toilet facility. Moreover, the lacks of controls in the past years allowed many dealers to remove columns and skive walls in their shops to gain space: This, together with the substitution of lead (stolen in the last years) with concrete on the market’s roof, has created a great hazard when the earthquake expected in Istanbul in the next years will occur.
The Grand Bazaar is opened each day except Sundays and bank holidays from 9:00 until 19:00.
Heybeliada or Heybeli Ada (Greek: Χάλκη, Halki) is the second largest of the Prince Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul. It is officially a neighborhood in the Adalar district of Istanbul, Turkey. The large Naval Cadet School overlooks the jetty to the left as you get off the ferry or seabus. There are two interesting pieces of architecture on the grounds of the school. One is Kamariotissa, the only remaining Byzantine church on the island, and more importantly the last church to be built before the conquest of Constantinople. The other is the grave of Edward Barton, the second English Ambassador to be sent to Constantinople by Elizabeth I of England, who spent his last days in Heybeli in order to escape the plague raging through the city in 1598. His remains were later relocated to the British Cemetery in the Haydarpaşa quarter of the Üsküdar district.
To the right of the jetty lies the town with its bars and cafés, a hotel that stays open all year round, and many lovely Ottoman era wooden houses. At the top of the central mountain is an 11th-century Greek Orthodox monastery which houses the currently defunct Halki seminary, the main Greek Orthodox seminary in Turkey and Theological Seminary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 1971, parts of the Private University Law were ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Turkey; subsequently all private institutions of higher education either became part of the state universities or closed down. Halki’s Board of Trustees refused to have it become a part of the University of Istanbul. Consequently, the seminary section of the Halki Theological School was closed down. The high school section is still open, but no longer has students. The monastery attracts tourists from all over Greece and Turkey.
To prevent the island from becoming polluted, the only motorized vehicles permitted on the island are service vehicles (ambulance, fire, police, and the like), the only forms of transport are by foot, bicycle, horse and buggy and service transport. There is no airport; the only way of getting there is by boat. The winter population of the island is around 3,000, but in the summer, the owners of the summer houses return and the population swells to approximately 10,000 people. The main attractions during the summer are small-scale open-air concerts laid on the local council, a swimming and fitness club next to the sea, and an annual Independence Day march which is commemorated by a resident naval band touring the island.
TCG Heybeliada, the lead ship of the twelve Milgem class corvettes (first eight) and frigates (last four) that are being built for the Turkish Navy, is named after the island.