İstanbul could be rainy, cold and windy in December. Average temperatures for the training school days are estimated to be between 10 and 15°C. Please make sure you are packing warm cloths. Adding a comfortable walking shoe, hat, raincoat, umbrella and gloves into your pack will keep you at the safe side. In case you do forget to bring your items, please do not panic, İstinye University Topkapı Campus is near to several shopping malls. Textile industry in Türkiye is highly developed and you may find good products for reasonable prices for your missing items. You may need a visa for entry. Please check the e-visa portal (https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/apply/), otherwise the visa que at the airport can sometimes last quite long.
On the Plane
Istanbul is connected to Europe and the World by frequent flights. It can be your first time or one of your several visits. Istanbul will show you her multi-cultural, multi-layer and colorful faces. If you would like to adjust to a tiny part of it, you can turn on the music of Karsu Dönmez, a Turkish-Dutch singer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karsu). She is an inspiring bright sound and a personality admired by young generations.
Istanbul has two international airports. They are almost always quite busy. Public transport is convenient. The bus shuttle (https://www.hava.ist/?lang=en) is the one we frequently use. They take you from the airport to the various centers of the city. The taxi is also not so expensive. There are two types of taxies at the airports. The ones in yellow color are the regulars. The blue ones are luxury and they charge a higher fee. Please do not search for cheap solutions as they can be risky. Purchasing an e-sim card for your mobile at the airport will ease your communication and navigation. Nearby hotels to the training school venue are listed at our web site however you may prefer to stay in any other one (https://acets2023.istinye.edu.tr/accommodation). Istanbul is a mega-city with 15.5 million population officially declared in 2022. The day time population may increase largely as people frequently arrive from nearby cities to work. The city is mostly safe however we recommend you to stay out of large crowds, secure your belongings and do not travel to less-know districts. Emergency phone number for ambulance, fire and police is 112.
For the First Time Visitors
Istanbul is a layer-by-layer partially discovered historical site dating back 8.000 years. She is a universal heritage preserved for future generations. Please be prepared to explore her as much as possible. The Time Out Istanbul (https://www.timeout.com/istanbul) and all other guides on Istanbul will help you explore the city. Traveling to Istanbul and Turkey can be mystical. You can step off the Orient Express at Sirkeci Station, take a taxi, go through the Egyptian and the Grand Bazaars, shop for jewelry, rugs and silk and stay at Pera Palace where once Agatha Christie wrote “Murder on the Orient Express.” Shortly after arriving you will feel the pace of the city and the country. With this pace you may easily miss the little details that make a trip special. The ezan that invites Muslims to pray may wake you up at sunrise and the horns of ships passing the strait may not let you sleep. But you needn’t worry, as the city will definitely make up for the sounds. Istanbul is located in both Europe and Asia at the crossroads of East to West and North to South. Routes of trade, which were once named as the “Silk Road” are still active today except that ships, trains, planes and trucks have replaced the camel caravans and caravanserais.
For Frequent Travelers
The Bosporus is a strait that divides the city into the European and Asian sides. According to international agreements, the Bosporus is an international body of water. The number of ships that pass-through Istanbul, including tankers that carry natural gas or petroleum is four times greater than that of the Panama Canal. Istanbul is former Constantinople. Greeks established the colony of Byzantium in the 7th century BC, and it became the capital (“Roma Nova” and later “Constantinople) of the Roman Empire under the emperor Constantine in 330 AD. After the defeat of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Turks in 1.453, it became known as Kostantiniye as well as Istanbul, and then officially the sole name became Istanbul in 1930. Columns of the stone of Million (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milion) still can be seen in Sultanahmet. This is the location that stands for “All roads lead to Rome” as Istanbul was the center of the Eastern Roman Empire. Sinan (1489-1588) is the most famous Ottoman architect who designed and built hundreds of beautiful constructs including the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul. When you take off your shoes, enter this mosque and sit under the dome, please close your eyes and relax for about two minutes, he will reach your soul and you will feel him. Piri Reis was one of the commanders of the Ottoman navy. His world-famous map drawn in 1513 is the oldest extant map showing the shores of North America and contains notations from Christopher Columbus. This map is now among the holdings of Topkapı Palace Museum. Pierre Loti was a French novelist, a naval officer and a lover of Istanbul. The Pierre Loti Café in the Eyüp district is a nice spot to see the Golden Horn (an inlet of the Bosporus), which once was the base of the Byzantine navy. Aziyadé is the autobiography of Pierre Loti that tells his illicit love affair with an 18-year-old harem girl. The legend is that she was his greatest love, proof of which the golden ring engraved with her name that he wore for the rest of his life. Born to Mustafa Rıza and an Army officer of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal became a revolutionary after WW I and founded the modern Turkish republic in 1923. His added name, “Atatürk” meaning “father of Turkey”, which was granted by the parliament in 1932. He is inarguably the most important person in modern Turkey and his name is still revered. He wrote nine books on philosophy, history, military and science. We consider him not only a leader but also a respected social scientist. How many military and political leaders could have written a book on Algebra to teach the children of their nation?
Turkey has been an independent secular republic since 1921. Sorry, no Sultans, Kings, Queens or Caliphs exist in today’s constitution of Turkey. In 1934 earlier than most other European countries, Turkish women received their rights to elect and to be elected. Mrs. Tansu Çiller was Turkey's first and only female prime minister between 1993 and 1996. 14.2 % of the parliamentarians are women in the Turkish parliament with 550 seats. Orhan Pamuk is the first Nobel price-winning novelist of Turkey. His book “My Name is Red.” is a masterpiece that takes you back to the narrow streets of old Istanbul. If you do not know his Nobel Award ceremony talk, we suggest you read “My Father’s Suitcase.” His, “Istanbul: Memories and the City.” is a masterpiece describing the soul of the city. The Alexander Sarcophagus is considered as the most important item displayed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. It was found in the Royal Necropolis in Sidon in 1887. Though it is called the Alexander Sarcophagus, in fact, it does not belong to Alexander the Great. It is thought to be the sarcophagus of Abdalonymus, the king of Sidon. Still, the artwork on this historical tomb is marvelous. Istanbul was the fourth capital city of the Ottomans after Bursa, İznik and Edirne. Built next to the former Byzantine Palace, Topkapı Palace was the home to the Ottoman Sultans for about 400 years. The palace developed over the course of centuries, with sultans adding and changing various structures and elements. In front of the Gate of Felicity, in the Second Courtyard once stood the Ottoman Flag, that ruled the three continents of the ancient world, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Since foreigners were not allowed behind the gate, illustrations and stories of the Harem and the treasures were only fictional. The historical peninsula called Sarayburnu where the Topkapı Palace is now located, is a UNESCO World Heritage. Built in 1461, the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul was the last stop on the “Silk Road”. It has 3,600 shops. Today, it is still the heart of trade for jewelry, antiques and carpets. The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is not a series of shops but a civil society construction and almost each street is devoted to a handcraft production. Owners of the shops keep Ottoman titled deeds and the whole structure is run by a foundation. Without exploring the Grand Bazaar, the visit to Istanbul is not accomplished. Saffron is the most expensive and specific spice of Turkey. Saffron added to pilaf is one of the most traditional cooking of the Turks. There are various spices that are also specific to this region. We recommend isot, a kind of chilly produced mainly in South Eastern Gaziantep city. Just like in Rome, Paris and London, in Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, at the old hippodrome, there stands the obelisk of Tuthmosis III erected by Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in AD 390.
At the end of the 14th Century the Republic of Genoa controlled a quarter of the city of Constantinople (shared with the Byzantine Empire). The Genoese built the 67 m high Galata Tower that can be visited today. Leonardo da Vinci designed a bridge to cross the golden horn. In the years 1502–1503 there were plans to construct a bridge at Galata. Sultan Bayezid II solicited a design and Leonardo da Vinci, utilizing three well-known geometrical principles, the pressed-bow, parabolic curve and keystone arch, created an unprecedented single span 240 m long and 24 m wide bridge for the Golden Horn, which would have become the longest bridge in the world of that time if it had been constructed. Michelangelo was also invited to design a bridge for Istanbul. Michelangelo rejected the proposal and the idea of building a bridge across the Golden Horn was shelved until the 19th century.
Please make sure that you are taking all your valuable belongings with you. You will receive a certificate of attendance for the training school. Your travel from your hotel to the airport ay take you longer than you assume. Rush hours of Istanbul can get intense. There is triple security check in Istanbul Airports so we recommend to leave for your flight ahead of time.
Thank you very much for attending the Articular Cartilage Engineering Training School.