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Essay on Architecture of Istanbul

1) Istanbul is the only city in the world that stands astride two continents. The main part of the city, which forms the south-easternmost extremity of Europe, is separated from its suburbs in Asia by the Bosphorus, which flows through a deep cleft that separates the two continents in the north-western corner of Turkey. The European part of the city is further divided by the Golden Horn, a scimitar shaped estuary fed at its upper end by two streams.

Q1:What effects did this almost unsurpassable natural setting have upon the history of the city from its founding in c. 658 B.C.?

The effects of this unique geography on the development of the city can be demonstrated through several major events from its history:

First, as legend says, when Byzas (the son of Zeus and Keroessa) asked the Oracle of Delphi where he should settle, her answer was “opposite the blind.” Sailing across the Bosporus in 658 B.C., he arrived to a Greek colony at the Asian shore and saw the potential of the west (European) side. The answer to the Delphi’s enigma was thus that the settlers in the East shore were blind to the spot, where Byzantium (the first settlement, which was ruined in approximately 200 AD) was established. Continue reading

July 7, 2012Tags: , ,

Personal Essay: About Growing Up and Chinese Paintbrushes

Perhaps one of the greatest distinctions of the new era of human progress, I believe, is possession. The average person now is the owner of much more, well – stuff, than any time before. People want larger and larger houses; they take loans and cause financial crises just because they need more space for their stuff. Yet if you ask that same average person whether they are wealthy, they will probably laugh. This is so because, in contrast to the past, besides basic needs and various luxuries, people have started storing more and more objects of no monetary value; tokens of happy memories, symbols of personal importance, in general – any object of no obvious use, whose owner has particular trouble disposing of. People keep coins, medallions, toys, stones – all sorts of “stuff”; I keep a paintbrush. Continue reading

June 28, 2012Tags: