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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Flowers and Istanbul

Istanbul is becoming a city of concrete buildings and tall buildings.
It's not the Istanbul that I moved to in 1999. Lots changed.
Topkapi Palace Garden 
 Yesterday [22 April] we spent the day in Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park. April is known to be a month of tulips in Istanbul. Tulips have a significance for Turkey: they symbolise God. You can write the word 'lale' which means tulip and 'Allah', the word for God in Islam, using exactly the same letters. That's one of the reasons why you see lots of tulips in Turkish arts, particularly in Turkish tiling. In April, IBB [Istanbul Municipality] surrounds big parks with big beds of tulips. It's pretty to see whole bunches of tulips everywhere but I realised today that the enormous amounts of tulips actually symbolise the crowdedness of Istanbul. The tulips in those gardens [particularly Emirgan, Gulhane and Yildiz Parks] are not naturalistically designed but on the contrary designed so that they are very crowded and packed.
On the 23rd of April, Children's Day in Turkey, we spent the day in Ataturk Arbetorum which is located on the outskirts of the Sariyer district. All green and beautiful.. There were daffodils, buttercups, tulips and some purple and white flowers but all naturally spread out. It was very relaxing and inspiring to look at them. The day that Delfina and I were in Gulhane Park, it was lovely to see millions of tulips but it was nothing compared to our experience at Ataturk Arbetorum.

Young and old scientists
in Ataturk Arbetorum
I guess human nature is changing so very fast and artificially that people don't care about natural harmony anymore. That's because we stopped to look at nature. Throughout the day, what we see in Istanbul is only concrete buildings and rapidly rising skyscrapers. Maybe that's why, naturally, looking for artificial patterns becomes natural in an environment where we only look at artificial concrete buildings. 

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