Istanbul in June

Approaching Kadiköy, Istanbul

Approaching Kadiköy, Istanbul

Reunited with Jieun

Reunited with Jieun in Istanbul

In June, before leaving Turkey for a nice long visit to America, I spent a weekend in Istanbul with my good friend Jieun. She had just arrived in Turkey the week before to intern with the Turkish Ministry of the Treasury in Ankara. We were roommates while we were both interning in Vienna a few years ago, and it was wonderful to get a chance to hang out again, especially in one of my favorite cities in the world. We wandered around, ate, chatted, and tried to avoid much tear gas consumption. We were in Istanbul in the midst of protests and demonstrations, which were frankly hard to avoid if one had any interest in visiting the most popular areas of town. Jieun covers some details of our weekend in her blog, so I’m just going to send you there for the bulk of it:

http://baekjieun.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/an-unforgettable-weekend-in-istanbul/

Enjoying the city with my friend

Enjoying the city with my friend

Jieun LOVES coffee!

Jieun LOVES coffee!

The city contains open spaces along the water

The city contains open spaces along the water

It was a particularly interesting time to be in the city

It was a particularly interesting time to be in the city

Scenes of Istanbul

Scenes of Istanbul

Discovering colorful side streets

Discovering colorful side streets

Demonstrators from both sides at Taksim

Demonstrators from both sides at Taksim

Every day is a good day for fishing

Every day is a good day for fishing

Such great sites

The Hagia Sophia

A closer view of the Hagia Sophia

A closer view of the Hagia Sophia

Layers of superb sweets in the Spice Bazaar

Layers of superb sweets in the Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar is not ideal for diabetics...

The Spice Bazaar is not ideal for diabetics…

Exotic tea options

Exotic tea options

Beautiful details of Istanbul

Beautiful details of Istanbul

Poles waiting along Galata Bridge

Poles waiting along Galata Bridge

I love PTT... well, when they come through. Really, I just like mail, and mail services.

I love PTT… well, when they come through. Really, I just like mail, and mail services.

Istanbul

Istanbul

Fishermen by night

Fishermen by night

The Balik Ekmek boat... One purchases a fish sandwich off the actual boat.

The Balik Ekmek boat… One purchases a fish sandwich off the actual boat.

Waiting on Balik Ekmek

Waiting on Balik Ekmek

Pickle juice, essentially!

Pickle juice, essentially!

Chillin in Istanbul

Chillin in Istanbul

The crowded street of Istiklal by night

The crowded street of Istiklal by night

The crowded street of Istiklal by night

The crowded street of Istiklal by night

Jieun mentioned in her blog the tear gas we accidentally had for dinner, several stories up and several blocks from the main street.

Jieun mentioned in her blog the tear gas we accidentally had for dinner, several stories up and several blocks from the main street.

The street which was crowded with night life just minutes before cleared out once the tear gas poured through. You could see it wafting through the streets like a haze.

The street which was crowded with night life just minutes before cleared out once the tear gas poured through. You could see it wafting through the streets like a haze.

Ozan, a friend I met in Osmaniye, hosted us on Jieun’s last day in the city. We went to an interesting bar with a view of a famous old meyhane and had a sampling of Abkhazian cuisine at a quaint cafe, Fıccın, off Istiklal, which was delicious. Later we encountered a large demonstration on Istiklal complete with banners, flags, costumes and music.

Friends!

Friends!

Lovely

Lovely

A former meyhane

A former meyhane

A church on Istiklal

A church on Istiklal

Abkhazian cuisine in Istanbul

Abkhazian cuisine at Fıccın in Istanbul

Abkhazian cuisine at Fıccın in Istanbul, like large manti

Abkhazian cuisine at Fıccın in Istanbul, like large manti

LGBT demonstration down Istiklal

LGBT demonstration down Istiklal

LGBT demonstration down Istiklal, complete with costumes and music

LGBT demonstration down Istiklal, complete with costumes and music

Demonstrators

Demonstrators

Some stores along Istiklal showed damage

Some stores along Istiklal showed damage

Beautiful Istanbul

Beautiful Istanbul

After sending Jieun on her way, we sipped Turkish coffee along the Sea of Marmara and wandered around a bit. The next day I spent some time reflecting on my incredible year in Turkey. I went to a hamam, a Turkish bath house, and enjoyed one last Adana kebab that night with Ozan, before eventually making my way to the airport and on to America.

Turkish coffee on the Sea of Marmara

Turkish coffee on the Sea of Marmara

My wonderful host Ozan

My wonderful host Ozan

Side streets of Istanbul

Side streets of Istanbul

Galata Tower

Galata Tower

A bit about Galata Tower

A bit about Galata Tower

I chose this lovely cafe in Beyoglu

I chose this lovely cafe in Beyoglu

A fantastic bowl of homemade lentil soup on my last day in Turkey for a while

A fantastic bowl of homemade lentil soup on my last day in Turkey for a while

One of my last meals... manti! Mmmmm.

One of my last meals… manti! Mmmmm.

Coffee along the sea. Yakamoz, which translates to "phosphorescence" is also the full view of the sea when the moon shines on it.

Coffee along the sea. Yakamoz, which translates to “phosphorescence” is also the full view of the sea when the moon shines on it.

Goodbye for now, Istanbul!

Goodbye for now, Istanbul!

One thought on “Istanbul in June

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s