Category Archives: Tourism

Feyhaman Duran

Born on the Asian side of Istanbul in Kadıköy in 1886, İbrahim Feyhaman was orphaned nine years later. His father had been a poet and calligrapher. His mother’s dying wish was that Feyhaman attend the Lycée Impérial Ottoman de Galata-Sérai; his maternal grandfather, Duran Çavuş, saw that this happened. Some time after graduation, headmaster Tevfik Fikret had Feyhaman come back to Galatasaray to teach calligraphy.


Garden of Aşiyan, September 10, 2015

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The geometry of numbers in Euclid

This is about how the Elements of Euclid shed light, even on the most basic mathematical activity, which is counting. I have tried to assume no more in the reader than elementary-school knowledge of how whole numbers are added and multiplied.

How come 7 ⋅ 13 = 13 ⋅ 7? We can understand the product 7 ⋅ 13 as the number of objects that can be arranged into seven rows of thirteen each.

Seven times thirteen

Seven times thirteen

If we turn the rows into columns, then we end up with thirteen rows of seven each; now the number of objects is 13 ⋅ 7. Continue reading

Thales of Miletus

This is about Thales of Miletus and what it means to study him. I am moved to ask what history is in the first place. It is a study of the freedom in which we face our conditions. Thales had his way of understanding the world, and we may benefit from trying to learn it.

“The Thaleses of the future are meeting in Didim, September 24, 2016”

“The Thaleses of the future are meeting in Didim,
September 24, 2016”

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Beykoz, Istanbul

After five years in Istanbul, we continue to learn how much there is still to discover here. Now we have been to the Asian borough of Beykoz. Much of what we saw there was rural, and the topography and flora reminded me of Appalachia. I have nothing to say about the poverty and ignorance that might be suggested by this term; for me, Appalachia was always a locus for holidays, mostly at my late uncle’s place in West Virginia, but also in the form of bicycle tours. Travelling now to Beykoz, Country roads, I could think, take me home, to the place I belong! We got there by public bus from our European borough of Şişli.

Polonezköy, Beykoz, 2016.08.14

Polonezköy, Beykoz, 2016.08.14

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Early Tulips

Emirgan Korusu, 2016.03.12

Ayşe was still in Ankara, but I had seen rumors on Twitter that tulips were already blooming in Emirgan Korusu. The bulbs were being dowsed with ice water, lest the flowers be overblown for the Tulip Festival in April. Anyway, I wanted to get away from the crowds of Şişli and Beyoğlu. The morning was mostly sunny. Thus on Saturday, March 12, 2016, I headed out to Emirgan, repeating the trip that we had made the previous April.

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Art on Büyükada

This is about a weekend in the islands, and contemporary art.

The Fourteenth Istanbul Biennial (September 5 to November 1, 2015) had exhibits or installations all over Istanbul, and several of these were on Büyükada, the Big Island, which is Πρίγκηπος in Greek. The Big Island is the last of the four islands visited by the ferry from the mainland. For easier access, Ayşe and I stayed on the second island, Burgazada, the night of Friday, October 23, 2015. We caught the ferry from there to Büyükada on Saturday morning. We visited all of the venues of the Biennial on the island. Illustrating this article are photographs from some of these venues. Continue reading

Turks of 1071 and Today



Skip to Michael Attaleiates on Alparslan after the Battle of Manzikert

Published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire tells the story of a thousand years and more, from before the founding of Constantinople in 330 till after its loss in 1453. Gibbon can be ridiculed for his title: a millenium is a long time to be in decline. The three thick volumes of the Penguin edition took me a long time to read, if not quite as long as Gibbon took to write. I was living in Ankara at the time, but I enjoyed being able to read Gibbon’s work also while visiting the three old imperial capitals: Istanbul, Rome, and Milan. Continue reading

Pictures

This entry features assorted photographs from recent months, along with my reasons for taking the photographs in the first place.

Devices for taking them

In a tweet there was a photograph of a crowd of excited people, all brandishing cellphones, except for this one old woman. Continue reading

Joan Baez in Istanbul

While living in a group house in Washington in the 1990s, commuting by bicycle to the University of Maryland for my graduate studies in mathematics, I joined a discussion group of readers of the Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. I suppose the group met as frequently as the magazine was published, though it could have been twice a month: I do not clearly recall. Neither do I recall just how I became involved with the group, though it must have been through a professor in my department who was a member.

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Teos

This is about a visit to the ruins of the ancient Ionian city of Teos. These ruins are in what is now the district of Seferihisar, in the province of İzmir, on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Continue reading