Sunday, October 13, 2013


Imperial Treasury of Ottoman Empire is full of ancient daggers, pendants, book covers, chests, rings, and various other ancient artifacts but Spoonmaker's Diamond is the most precious and valuable single exhibit. It is an 86 carat (17 g) pear-shaped diamond, surrounded by a double row of smaller forty-nine diamonds which makes it one of the world's most valuable diamond.

It is origin is still not clear but there are few myths about its past. According to one tale, a poor fisherman in Istanbul near Yenikapi was wandering idly, empty-handed along the shore when he found a shiny stone among the litter, which he turned over one over not knowing what it was. After carrying it about in his pocket for a few days, he stopped by the jewelers Market, showing it to the first jeweler he encountered. The jeweler took a casual glance at the stone and appeared disinterested, saying "It's a piece of glass, take it away if you like, or if you like I'll give you three spoons. You brought it all the way here, at least let it be worth your trouble." What was the poor fisherman to do with this piece of glass? What's more the jeweler had felt sorry for him and was giving three spoons. He said okay and took the spoons, leaving in their place an enormous treasure. It is for this reason they say that the diamond's name became the "Spoonmaker's Diamond" 

According to more convincing tale, in 1774 a French officer by the name of Pigot purchased a diamond from the Maharajah of Madras and brought it to France. After changing a number of hands, the diamond was put up for sale at auction, in which Napoleon's mother purchased it. For a long time she wore it on her breast. When Napoeon was sent into exile, his aged mother put the diamond up for sale in order to be able save her son. One of Tepedelenli Ali Pasa's men, who was in France at the time, bought the diamond on the Pasa's behalf for 150 thousand gold pieces, bringing it back and handing it over. During the reign of Mahmud II, Tepedelenli Ali Pasa was killed on allegations of rebelling against the State, and his treasure was confiscated. The whole lot of precious jewelry was moved to the Ottoman Treasury, during the course of which the diamond purchased from Napoleon's mother, subsequently becoming famous as the Spoonmaker's Diamond, also entered the Treasury. It is known that the stone known in France as the Pigot Diamond which was purchaed by Tepedelenli Ali Pasa's men was 86 carets. The Spoonmaker's Diamond in the Treasury of Topkapi Museum is also 86 carets. Thus, the world-renowned Pigot diamond must be the Spoonmaker's Diamond in Topkapi.

Even we are not sure its origin, this masterpiece of deathless beauty still sits alone in its case, smiling at its spectators in Topkapi Palace.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Discovering Coastal Beauties

Discovering Coastal Beauties
The largest conurbation on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, Antalya is famous for its old city, Kaleiçi, which lies at the modern town’s heart. Here, within the old city walls, you can find superb boutique hotels, resplendent in their local architecture. For those who delight in discovering ancient ruins, Antalya is a great spot to base yourself.


Close to the city of Antalya, Belek is a very popular resort. Its sandy beaches, superb all-inclusive hotels, and entertainment are good for families with children who prefer to be based in one place rather than move around.
A popular destination for holidaymakers, like Fethiye, Marmaris is also well-known for the bays that pervade its coastline. Many of the bays are home to some extraordinary properties that act as special retreats for ultimate relaxation.

Kalkan – Kas
Popular with foreign visitors, Kalkan & Kaş together form a district, about three hours away from Antalya. Along the way, you can stop in Demre – Myra where Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) was born. These villages boast not only charm but also pure and inviting turquoise water along the coastline.


Very close to the UNESCO world Heritage site of Xsanthos & Letoon, Fethiye is an important harbor for gület (large wooden boats), which travel out to the numerous beautiful bays. Close by is Olüdeniz, well-known for its beautifully shaped beach, for swimming, and for paragliding.

Popular with foreign visitors, Kalkan & Kaş together form a district, about three hours away from Antalya. Along the way, you can stop in Demre – Myra where Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) was born. These villages boast not only charm but also pure and inviting turquoise water along the coastline.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Eye Of Istanbul - ARA GULER


Ara Guler (born in August 16, 1928, Istanbul, Turkey), Armenian origin, is one of the most famous Turkish photojournalists and nicknamed as “the Eye of Istanbul” or “the Photographer of Istanbul”

“Beauty is hidden in details...” World known photographer, Ara GULER’s picture- book named “Ara GULER” published by Eczacibasi “photographer series no: 2” reminds this sentence. While you will look into the pictures of Ara GULER, you will start to keep saying “how I didn’t see this beautiful door or window or just fragment of the door. He is like a guide of different dimension where the beauties unveil themselves and he pointed out for us to see...

Ara traveled for photography assignments to countries, such as Kenya, Borneo, New Guinea, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Iran and other cities of Turkey. In 1970s, he also took photography interviews with noteworthy artists and politicians, like Salvador Dalí, Marc Chagall, Ansel Adams, Alfred Hitchcock, Imogen Cunningham, Willy Brandt,John Berger,Maria Callas, Bertrand Russell, Pablo Picasso, Indira Gandhi, and Winston Churchill.

In addition, Ara also directed The End of the Hero, a 1975 documentary based on fiction on a World War I battle cruiser.

Ara's work is included in the collections of institutions worldwide, such as Paris's National Library of France; New York's George Eastman Museum; Das imaginäre Photo-Museum; Museum Ludwig Köln; and Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery.

He has won several awards for his work, including Turkey's Photographer of the Century, 1999; Master of Leica, 1962; France's Légion d'honneur; Lifetime Achievement Lucie Award, 2009; and Turkey's Grand Prize of Culture and Arts, 2005. In 2004, he was give honorary fellowship by Istanbul's Yıldız Technical University.