Hello, I’m going to talk about Istanbul, one of my trips. I have chosen a pleasure and personal issue because I though it could be a funny and easy issue.
First of all to say to you that it has been very difficult for me decide the issue of this presentation, because I didn’t find anything enough interesting for you and for me. and at the end how my work is very boring, and we all are fed up with the crisis and al the bad news in the world, I’ve decided to talk about a trip that I did to Istanbul few years ago. And why Istanbul, maybe because I enjoyed a lot and we didn’t have any problem. Istanbul seemed to me an amazing city.
Turkey is a transcontinental country and Istanbul has a strategic position. It’s surrounded by 3 seas (the black sea the Mediterranean and the Marmara sea).
and has an strategic position between Europe and Asia.
It’s the biggest city in Turkey, and also one of the biggest in Europe. Turkey has 70 million and a half of population and only Istanbul has 10 million if you count the metropolitan area too. It has 1.538 square meters. It’s a crowded city.
Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey, the capital is Ankara, but Istanbul is the most important city because of its industry, commerce and culture.
Istambul is a historical crossroads between the Eastern and the western cultures and civilizations.
First than Istanbul was named Constantinople and before Byzantium. It has always been an important and rich empire. Turkey has a Democratic republic since 1923 when the Otoman empire fell down.
The currency is the Turkish lira, one euro are two point 35 Turkish lira approximately.
Turkey has a Muslin religion although there is a minority of Christian people. The 99% is muslin.
Istanbul has two parts, one European and another Asian. These two parts are separated by the Bosforo strait. The Bosforo connects the Marmara Sea with the Black sea. This Strait connects Asia with Europe through two bridges, the Bogazici with 1.074 meters of length and Fatih Sultan Mehmet with 1014meters.
In Istanbul you can appreciate this contrast between Europe and Asia, it’s a city full of contrasts. In one hand you can see The Istikal street, it’s like Passeig de gracia in bcn, you can find all the important and well known shops, like Adidas, lacost, zara… and in the other hand you can find a nighbouhood where the same kind of shop are concentrated in the same street, the competence is together. I mean in the same street all the shops sale the same thing. I found this very strange. When you set up a business the first thing that you do is analise your competence and considerate a distance between. The competitor.
TURKEY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION:
Turkey has wanted to belong to the European Union since 1999, but it hasn’t happened yet because it has some requirements to carry out. In this moment Turkey has already carried out some requirement like forbidding the capital punishment, increasing the women rights but the problem is that Turkey keeps its military forces in the North of Cyprus and Cyprus is a member of the European Union and it cannot there are conflicts between members of the Union.
Another problem are germany and france that they don’t want turkey in the EU because they think that the immigration would increase and the Islamic influence would grow up inside the EU and they are not interested in this.
Before the crisis Turkish people wanted to be a member of the EU, nowadays instead nobody wants, Europe is not so attractive than before the crisis. The negotiations are stopped.
In Istanbul there are many works of art, mosques and churches. The most famous is Ayasofya. First it was a Christian church under the Ottoman Empire afterwards it became a mosque and nowadays is a museum.
Another very famous and in my opinion the most beautiful is The blue mosque although there are a lot of mosques in the city.
The 99%of the population is Muslim, follows the Muslim religion.
It exists a ritual before entering to the mosque. Outside the mosque there are these tips of water, and men wash their feet, their face … with cold water, because they have to enter without shoes and have to pray clean and tidy.
I think 4 or 5 times a day you can listen to this call. Around the city are distributed loudspeakers and it’s used like an alarm to warn the time to pray. The first day, we were sleeping and we were frightened because I think the first call was at 6 o’clock in the morning and we said What is this?
Women have to enter with her hair covered with the hijab, and if it’s summers their shoulders and arms too.
Istanbul is a commercial city, I would define it like an outside market. there are numerous street salesmen, selling fresh fruit juice, chestnuts, biscuits, tea … everything is sold in this city. It’s a market city with a lot of/ much colour and smells.
Turkish people drink tea all day and when you are buying something they offer you a cup of tea, in order to create a comfortable atmosphere so that you buy very much you buy more than you need.
In Istanbul like in other Muslin cities you must bargain over/ haggle over all your purchases and services. For instance if you take a taxi you must specify the price before you get into the taxi, if not they can trick you.
There is a fish market next to the Galata Bridge, where there is fresh fish and you can buy it and next to this market they cook this fish for you. It is a restaurant but you can choose the fish that you prefer. Mostly of this fish is still alive.
The most famous markets in Istanbul are: the spicy market and the Great Bazaar. The spicy market is very nice because there are several colours and everything is absolutely tidy and it smells is pretty peculiar/particular; and Great Bazaar, It is a labyrinth of narrow streets, full of everything and all the shopkeepers follow you to sell you something. In Great Bazaar there are more than 3 thousand shops. There you can buy rugs, carpets, fine gold (cheaper than here). I bought in the Bazaar the Turkish eye. The legend says this eye care you against the evil eye. Then in all the houses and shops there is a Turkish eye to protect against the bad things.
If you are in Istanbul, one obligatory visit is a hammam. A hammam is a Turkish bath where the bath is a ritual. Long time ago this place was a reunion place, where men spend time talking and where the women look for girlfriends or wives for their sons. First of all you enter into a sauna to sweat, then you pass in a marble circular hot room, where you stay there and you can wash yourself and finally a staff washes your body with a special sponge that cleans your dead skin and scrape your body and at the end you receive a massage. When you finish your body become soft and smooth. It was amazing.
Another obligatory thing to do In Istanbul, like in other muslin countries, is to smoke in pipes. You can choose tobacco with different tastes such as melon, apple, strawberry…. we chose a cappuccino pipe, and inside the pipe there was milk instead of water. It was good but you must do a strong inhale and the smoke goes directly to yours lungs and produces some cough.
Well, that’s all, I recommend you to visit this exciting city and I hope you have enjoyed with my presentation, thanks you.