Istanbul views – My local parks

Istanbul is a densely populated city sprawling over both banks of the Bosphorus Strait. It is a metropolis full of highrise apartments and office blocks. Nonetheless, Istanbullu (people who live in Istanbul) value their green spaces and make good use of them. In the event of an earthquake, these open spaces would be the only safe places to go. Here are some of the parks that make it onto my list of favourite Istanbul views.

8b Selahattin Giz - FB Parki 1950s

Fenerbahçe Park in the 1950s. From the Yapi Kredi collection of photographs taken by Selahattin Giz, exhibited at the Caddebostan Kultur Merkezi, September 2012.

9a Fenerbahce Picnic 22 July

Late afternoon swimming in the Sea of Marmara off Fenerbahçe Park

Fenerbahce 1

Cooling down with a refreshing drink at Romantika Cafe

7b Fenerbahce Picnic 15 JulySmile for the camera

7c Goztepe Park

           Göztepe Park – these are real fish

7f Goztepe Park

  Whirling Dervish topiary in Göztepe Park

IMG_5945Özgürlük park, which means Freedom Park in English, is my favourite park. In summer it plays host to Turkish music nights, traditional puppet shows, theatre performances and other special events. Year round there are weekly organic markets and people exercising, jogging and walking their dogs. At the moment local high school students are holding a three day event to remind us how valuable these green places are, to make it clear they believe the parks belong to the people.

IMG_5939The Banner reads, “This is our park”.

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About Goreme1990

I’m Lisa Morrow, the person behind I was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up a leafy middle class North Shore suburb. After finishing high school I went to Sydney University but failed to find my niche. After working as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter, I went overseas. Once there I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. My three months stay in the small central Anatolian village of Göreme changed my life. On my return to Australia I earned a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder. After several false starts I moved to Turkey and lived there for ten years. In 2017 I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, but continue to travel regularly to Istanbul. In addition to my blog I've written a travel narrative memoir called "Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom: Adrift in Istanbul" and two collections of essays, "Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City" and "Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries". I have a regular segment on San Francisco Turkish radio and in early 2017 I released an audio walking tour called "Stepping back through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk", through VoiceMap. In addition I write for various international and Australian magazines and websites, as well as for this blog. A full list of my published articles, with links, can be found on the Writing on Turkey and Writing Beyond Turkey pages.
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