We always hear about what you can do in Turkey, mainly about Istanbul. The places you could see and be amazed with but while all of that is true, there is so much that we as miss to experience despite its right in front of us. Istanbul in its self is a world.
I might be wrong and yes another person who has been there might say that it’s not true but when you are in the city, you do in-counter a little more of cultural shocks from what you have expected to. They are not really bad in nature but they might be misunderstood.
The best way I could describe Istanbul would be, imagine that a place with Greek and Roman construction, Murree ground, weather like London and attitude like someone from Karachi. From all the places that Istanbul could come across, it came across like Karachi. here is a reason for everything I am saying, I am not crazy, not enough yet but coming back to the point. What I meant by construction was that Istanbul’s architecture is based on Greek and Roman’s style because at point in history they were in their control and after that those vintage feels and mirroring became a part of Istanbul for good. Even the new building that are being constructed are similar to it in one way or another.
One can tell both by history and visual representation of landmarks in Istanbul that even the Sultans in the past had a liking towards their, the Romans and Greek’s, work regardless of how beautiful their own work was. There was something eye capturing and honest about these structures that their simple looking forms took you near them to explore the real complexity of their existence. Hagia Sophia or Aya Sophia, whatever must call it, is one of the most well-known example of that sort of creations. This faded pink church that later turned into a mosque and now a museum is healing to sore eyes.
Not only does it look simple from outside, it gives you a major throw back of some old centuries that you were never a part of but you will end up thinking what if you were? The streets either have an old feel to it or they are colorful by all means. You do be shocked when you enter a lively street on one end and see the old Victorian landmark on the other end.
Now the explanation behind why I said it was like Murree in a way. Like Murree, Istanbul is built on an un-evened surface of mountain. The level of greens are there but they are not too extreme. There are millions of time you will go against gravity as you might walk up to a certain street near Taksim square or if you think about going around Galata to only end up to the Galata tower itself, and say this was one aching walk alright but the view is mind blowing, so do not miss it. The sight of the whole Istanbul is like magic.
Peaceful and vintage. Truth to be told, I am a sucker for old streets and vintage vibes, and both Istanbul and Murree give you exactly that. The colder click of vibes are so prominent that you might just buy a cup of Turkish tea for a lira and just sit by any empty spot and admire the sincerity that environment provides with some voices from the wonderers and birds.
London is because of obvious reasons and not so obvious reasons. Obvious reason is that it’s mostly cold and wet in Istanbul just like it’s in London. It will rain and you might be somewhere in the Sultan Ahmet district or Faith region but the wind might be a little bit extra in the whole weather case but that has its own fun. Strangely the depressing part of this wet cold from London does not really exist in Istanbul, as if it is immune to it. You will still find people outside doing their thing.
The not so obvious reason is that transportation system. You might have heard that Turkey has world’s best transport system and that is not a lie at all. I rather prefer taking a subway instead of a taxi any day. The subway and bus system is very similar to what London is famous for apart from its other stuff but if I do be a little Istanbul lover, Istanbul did it better. Yet do not be fooled that there is not any traffic on the road or people don’t buy cars, they do and man it can be amusing to see them try to fit into the smallest place and try to get out of there.
Now the grand idea why I say that Karachi and Istanbul have similarities despite the weather difference and the region difference? I know the difference is pretty obvious to the eyes but you need to be there to understand why it is like that. Karachi and Istanbul both have same economical value when it comes to finical status of a city for its country. Apart from that the people and their mind set.
Like people of Karachi, people of Istanbul might be misunderstood for their manners which is not even true. People in Istanbul are chilled out and casual when it comes to acting in the public. They would be doing their own thing without bothering on to who is doing what beside you.
Even if you collide with them on the street they neither will apologize to you because they walk fast so be prepared for a lot of bumping if you are a slow walker, and also they do not expect you to say sorry to them. They won’t even mind if you literally collided into them. They would just smile and ask are you okay and if the answer is evet, they will go their own way. They will literally go to extreme level to help you despite their lack of English skills.
I accurately felt I was in a colder version of Karachi. Like Karachi you will find random street art done by someone who was not even an artist but was just pissed and had a spray paint but there might be some art that will make you think again if this was done by just anyone and not someone. It has a Zaniab market version of it’s own known as The grand Bazar with more jewelry stores. You can find anything over there and the price will shock you and your greedy backside might just go in and spend your lira, euro, pound or dollar like a Richie Rich person.
And the fun part is when they start to fight. Call me weird if one must but public fights are a theater that is for free. I always end up laughing, it’s better than YouTube. The plus point every single person looks like a Pathan that you might end up talking to them in Urdu at least one time.
If I could really call a place home after Karachi, Pakistan, it do be Istanbul. There is so much that one could experience and still not get over it. They love Pakistan though but do not expect everyone asking you if you are a Pakistani because like I said earlier, they are like the people of Karachi, they really do not care who are you and what are you up to.
Yet when they find out that you are Pakistani, you should expect from them a Turkish tea and lots of random Urdu words with words of appreciation on your drama’s especially Meer Hadi. They might even sing few line from our national anthems and mind it, they look adorable when they sing it.