A rainy winter evening at the Istanbul Technical University. January 1st, 2022.

A rainy and cold winter evening at the Istanbul Technical University. The wet road reflects the streetlights and creates a beautiful, romantic scene. I took this photo on January 1st, 2022.

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Newspaper-selling boy (Istanbul, 1958)

This famous photo of a newspaper-selling boy was taken in 1958 at the Little Hagia Sophia district in Istanbul by the journalist Hilmi Şahenk (1903-1972). The 9-year-old boy is running, waving a newspaper in his right hand, and there’s a small bunch of newspapers under his left arm. There’s a 1950 Plymouth in the background.

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A beautiful sunset in Istanbul

Sunsets in Istanbul are beautiful. Here are a few photos that I took while I was crossing the Bosphorus aboard a Vapur (ferry) on a January evening. Istanbul’s ferries, locally called “vapur”, travels between two continents, between Asia and Europe.

The word vapur comes from French “Bateau à vapeur”, sometimes simply referred to as “vapeur”, which means steamboat in English (vapeur means steam).

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The Great Fire of Pera in 1870

On June 5, 1870, a horrendous fire in Pera which is known as “The Great Fire of Pera” today, destroyed a large part of the district. It is also known as “The Great Fire of Constantinople”. Pera, today’s Beyoğlu, located on the European side of Constantinople (now İstanbul), separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn, was the district of diplomatic residences and European society around 1870. Actually, now, it still is.

The great fire destroyed two-thirds of the quarter, burnt down countless buildings, and killed many people – perhaps thousands. Many hotels, nightclubs, theaters, and embassies went up in flames. British embassy, which already burnt down once before in the great fire of 1831, was also destroyed. Because of the wooden buildings and the strong wind, the fire spread rapidly.

According to the Manchester Weekly Times, a weekly newspaper published from 1828 to 1922 in Manchester, England, “…sheets of the flame extended a mile in length”. The fire was put out after thirteen hours. But, even after then, some burned houses continued falling down and killing yet more people. According to Glasgow Daily Herald (founded in 1873, it is the longest-running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world), cannons were used to bring down such dangerous buildings.

The fire was also covered by the Western newspapers – here is a compilation below.

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