A city view from the Galata Tower, the 65-meter medieval fortification that dominates the Galata District. The tower is said to be the site of the first intercontinental flight in 1632, when Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi used artificial wings to glide six km over the Bosphorus.
Istanbul – Been There

This photo is dedicated to a guard turning a blind eye

Photo by Ton Koene

Istanbul – Been There This photo is dedicated to a guard turning a blind eye

There is no city in the world with more mosques than Istanbul. In both old and new Istanbul, there are minarets wherever you turn your eye.

Ton Koene
Ton Koene Travel Photographer

One evening I was on the viewing platform of the Galata Tower, just before it closes at sunset, when the guard told everyone it was time to go. He then started to lead everyone else away. The sun had just disappeared and the lights of the many buildings had turned on.

This was the moment I had been waiting for, so I decided to push my luck and ignore his request.

In the distance, I saw an old mosque surrounded by ugly concrete, like an old monument overgrown by weeds and bushes.

I could only see the upper part of the mosque but that just made the picture more perfect.

It showed that mosques were built to impress, to rise above the rest of the city, a role which nowadays has been stolen from them by modern high-rise buildings.

I needed 15 more minutes for the light of the sky to become darker and balance the light of the mosque. “If the guard wants me to come down, he has to come and get me,” I decided.

When I eventually took the picture and went back inside to take the lift down, the guard was waiting for me.

He just smiled when I greeted him. I realized he must have known I would not come down but decided not to bother me. So I want to dedicate this photo to him and his kindness.

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View of the Golden Horn from the Pierre Loti viewpoint, which takes its name from the pen-name of Julien Viaud, a French naval officer and writer who fell in love with Istanbul. The Golden Horn is an inlet of the Bosphorus, forming a great natural harbor behind which lies Old Istanbul – one of the world’s largest cities when it was founded. Photo by Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Canon EOS 5D-II

Aperture
ƒ/5.6
Exposure
1/400
ISO
200
Focal
300 mm

View of the Golden Horn from the Pierre Loti viewpoint, which takes its name from the pen-name of Julien Viaud, a French naval officer and writer who fell in love with Istanbul. The Golden Horn is an inlet of the Bosphorus, forming a great natural harbor behind which lies Old Istanbul – one of the world’s largest cities when it was founded.

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