We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

City of amazing skylines

I am out of London for a few days, taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of Istanbul.


They know a thing or two about footie in these parts


Almost every turn brings an interesting skyline


It would appear the gun laws are far less benighted than in poor defenceless Britain

The skylines are really amazing (click for larger image)


Rather cool Turkish police station… no doubt best seen from the outside


I had not realised how dramatic the Bosphorus is… a tremendously busy sea-lane running right through the centre of a large city is quite something to behold

The sense that the city revolves around the sea is everywhere. There are so many rod fishermen that my fanciful head started having images of ancient phalanxes (click for larger image)


And just to ensure no one thinks this report from Istanbul is being posted by an impostor… yes, the city is well stocked with rather fine ladies

My first impressions of Istanbul are that it is dirty, chaotic, its traffic verges on homicidal, the food is great, people seem helpful and friendly. In short, simply splendid!

16 comments to City of amazing skylines

  • Old Jack Tar

    Did seeing all those turkey in Pennsylvania give you the urge to go see… Turkey? (Sorry, I just could not resist)

    Ataturk, now THERE is a name to scare the jihadis with!

  • Yes, you cannot escape statues and pictures of Ataturk. I had not really thought of him in those terms but yes, you are right, he must represent the Islamists worst nightmare.

  • gravid

    Hubba, hubba !

    Pictures of a Turkish police station no less, it’s a wonder you didn’t see the inside of one of the cells. I suppose if you can’t do it at home you might as well have a go in foreign parts, eh?

  • Fred

    Bosphorus a busy waterway…oh yeah, and aside from all the commuter traffic back and forth try imagining piloting a 100,ooo dwt oil tanker (with, needless the say, the inertia of god himself ) through that mess. And oh yes, there are serious currents and several sharp turns in the shipping lanes.

    The shipping business is betting on a major accident there, it’s damn near inevitable.

  • Pretty photos, thx. Ohhh, how I want spend some days in Istambul, really.

  • >I had not really thought of him in those terms but
    >yes, you are right, he must represent the Islamists
    >worst nightmare.

    Hell yes. If the Hagia Sophia (which you absolutely must go inside while you are there Perry – the building is mindblowing) is ever converted back into a mosque, then that will indicate that we have lost the war.

    There were at least rumours that a terrorist plot to blow up Ataturk’s tomb in Ankara had been foiled several years back. I don’t know how much truth there was in this, but it really would not surprise me.

    One of my more amusing moments in Istanbul was being told by a travel agent (who was admittedly trying to sell me tours of other parts of the country) that “There is only three days worth of things to do in Istanbul”. I wanted to tell her to walk out and look around. I think I could be occupied there for three years.

  • And being in Istanbul must have been, well, interesting, when the Soviet Black Sea Fleet was sailing through the Bosporus.

  • Verity

    Cute cat in the outdoor restaurant shot.

  • Andi Lucas

    And when the city is Constantinopoli again we will have won. 🙂

    (as it should have been post-WW1 if the Entente had enforced their peace settlement on the Ataturk regime and not left the Greeks to go it alone)

  • Verity: You are so predictable.

    Another city that Istanbul reminded me of was actually San Francisco. Not so much in the sense of the architecture, but in the sense of the physical geography. An immense body of water, with more city on the other side. Lots of opportunities to eat fish right on the water. Really impressive bridges over the water. And particularly the hills. Really steep hills, with roads going down them, and with amazing views of sensational skylines at the right places. (I am thinking particularly of the city north of Taksim, but it is pretty hilly everywhere). And the city seemingly surrounded by water.

  • RAB

    I was in Kalkan 2 years ago.A touristy bit of Turkey that probably didn’t exist until a few years ago, except for the little fishing village it was based on.
    Now it is all restaurants, hookey designer clobber etc.
    I was browsing in a shop that sold those hand made curly leather slippers and various nick nacks, when I came across a wad of old postcards in black and white.
    Flicking through I came to one I thought I recognised.
    “Ah Bella Luggossi!” I proudly said to the Turkish shop assistant , showing him the card. “No ” said he .”Attaturk!”
    E bye gum! if the ground could have swollowed me up.
    But you guys upstairs are right. By the look of him he must really have been Islam’s worst nightmare!
    Trouble is, like the Shahs Iran, everything that seems embedded and westernised can be gone in the twinkling of an eye with the arrival of one Funked up Ayattolah.
    For that reason, though I have always had a great time in Turkey I think it would be a big mistake to let them into the EU. Ha! but then I think the EU was a big mistake period.
    The trouble is everyone I ever met there under 30 wanted to leave, but couldn’t. When they can, where they gonna come?

  • Verity

    Michael Jennings – Cats.

    RAB – Yes, the EU is an aggressive virus and I hope it will be destroyed. Attuturk was brilliant. Think about how far thinking he was for the time. But Turkey still shouldn’t be allowed in. Never. Ever. Ever.

  • Doesn’t Haga Sofia function as a mosque now?

    Istanbul is very interesting, but not a city you would call beautiful. I was amazed at how secular most people, especially young women, look.

  • RAB

    Ah but pop into the countryside and see how secular they look!

  • dionysos

    Doesn’t Haga Sofia function as a mosque now?
    Haga Sofia is a museum since Ataturk.

    Actually I popped into countryside and young womens are more interested in foreigners:) and as secular as Istanbul. You can test it.

  • Hi

    Just came back from Istanbul a month before. I was residing in Sultan Ahmet area near the tram station which was really helpful to see in and around Istanbul…Like everyone talks about Bospherous and Princess Iseland I have wonderful pictures to share, do let me know if you need thém for here

    Kind regards