As you open up your eyes and look out the window, you can catch Istanbul telling you a ferrytale with all its bright colors. It stands right in front of you with its European look and talks to you with its Middle Eastern mouth. It will surround you with its eternal waters. And the pigeons will bring you the salty smell of the sea every morning when you find yourself rushing.
While I travel up and down all over the world, I tend to forget the beauty of this city. I miss this place, its colorfulness, its diversity, its integrity, its chaos, its dirtiness, its roughness and its bohemian look. Each time I realize how similar I am to this city, I feel like this is really where I belong to. Istanbul is me, and I am Istanbul.
Istanbul whispers art in your ear, sings you songs of the past. In the sorrowful manner of the East, and with the peace of the West. It digs its nails into your skin, and trains you to be strong. It shows you how to suffer and then gives you the joy. It teaches you how to love, and how to live without her. It makes you save the world over a glass of rakı. It teaches you not how to stand on your feet, but on your toes.
Istanbul is fighting for your rights, fighting for tomorrow. Istanbul is making the wrong right. Istanbul is making a no yes. It is staying brave against your biggest fears. It is a good morning with a glass of tea. Istanbul is being brothers with your enemy. Istanbul is pushing your limits, and believing in miracles. Istanbul is running away from Istanbul, but missing it every day. Istanbul is waking up to a dark morning and making it bright. Istanbul is sharing the loneliness.
The capital of my heart. A nostalgia located on top of seven hills. The silence in my loud nights. The source of my wildness. The honey on the cream. The most beautiful book I have ever read, the most stunning poem I have ever listened, the most beautiful woman I have ever met. Breathing together with twenty million. Improvising the life. Watching one movie again and again, but never getting bored of it. Waking up to a new life every morning with new hopes. Istanbul is building your life, and loving it no matter what it looks like. Istanbul is a love story under an old bridge.
In a place where makes you do the same thing right after you say never again, and in a place where you will swim the waters just to hold her hands once again, you will forget the reality, and dive into the deep, watery and mystical stories of Istanbul. Don’t rush the life, it will show you where to go. Don’t go fast, it will give you a life that you will want to rewind all over again. You will drink a bit too much and dance into the loud and crowded nights of it, knowing that tomorrow may never come.
Istanbul is not only a city. It is a personality. Istanbul is an art of living, a door opening to the history. Istanbul is addiction to the sea. Once you listen to it, Istanbul is a song you keep singing for the rest of your life. And if they ever ask you where you are coming from, tell them neither Europe, nor Asia, but Istanbul.
“Halkları ile barışmış ve kucaklaşmış özgür bir Türkiye sabahında gözlerinizin içine gülerek bakmak isterim.”
September, 5, 2015
Traveling to Istanbul? See your wanderlust checklist before you hit the road!