I have always felt privileged living in Istanbul—a city that has hosted many civilizations. Istanbul is a remarkable blend of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman cultures. Ever since I was a young child, I have tried to capture and immortalize the city’s beauty on my palette and canvas. Istanbul, who lives through four seasons, is attractive in each one. I would not want to miss a minute of her transformations from summer to fall and from winter to spring. When I watch these transitions, I etch scenic details in my mind and transcribe them onto my canvas at first chance.
The Bosphorus lies between Asia and Europe like a blue bead necklace. In springtime, the Judas trees sprawling across the coastlines blossom in a penetrating pink. The flowers stay in bloom for all but fifteen days. Catching a glimpse of a short-lived fantasy as such and turning it into a painting that will live for years to come gives me an immense sense of gratification.
As a tour guide, I take many people across my city. I get so excited about sharing Istanbul’s natural beauties alongside its historical heritage. The Golden Horn, Hagia Sophia , the Maidens Tower ,the cobble-stoned Istanbul streets with wooden houses, the glorious Ottoman palaces with their rose and tulip gardens and the magnificent mosques I visit with my guests serve as my source of inspiration.
Years may not be enough to paint all the beauty Istanbul possesses. Many poets, musicians, writers and artists were struck in awe of the city’s charm. They dedicated a life’s work to understand its moments and tell its stories. I realize that I may not have enough time to cover every inch of Istanbul, with its ever-changing landscape. Yet, knowing that I get to share my city with people who appreciate art makes my life all the more meaningful.