Enrico MaciasA legend of unforgettable songs, Enrico Macias will come back to Istanbul for a new concert on April 14 due to demand following his concert in Istanbul this past November.

The concert, organized by IEG Live and Piu Entertainment, will be at Zorlu PSM as a part of Good Music in Town concert series.

While the Algerian War of Independence was raging in 1961, Macias fled Algeria with his wife Suzy and started living in France. With hundreds of recordings, 7 albums, 10 movies and TV series under his belt, Macias has become a legend in music history.

After a musical career of 50 years, Macias continues to be a beloved preformer all around the world with his enchanting voice and charisma, along with sensational concerts, albums and songs with record breaking sales volumes.

Macias’ famous songs include “Zingarella,” “La Guitare,” “Aie Aie Aie,” “Solenzara” and “Le Femme De Mon Ami.” He has many fans in Turkey with over 80 songs covered in Turkish.

istanbulkartIstanbul’s smart transportation ticketing service “Istanbulkart” received the “Best Smart Card Ticketing Service” award on Wednesday at the Seventh Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global event held in London.

With over 20 million cards in circulation and continuing growth, the Istanbulkart system operated by the city’s transport body IETT received the award.

The jury assessment said the card system currently covers 98 percent of payments used in the city’s transportation system with over six million daily trips. The Istanbulkart is currently being used by 10 different transport operators throughout the city, a feature underlined with the jury statement.

The success of the system, along with its scale and effect over the lives of millions, were among the factors why the system was awarded.

Around a quarter of cards in circulation provide free or discount fares for commuters.

The card system includes 700 automatic top-up machines, 2,200 IETT sale and top-up dealers, 22 regular and two mobile application centers.

Metro Rio, Rio de Janeiro
Metro Rio, Rio de Janeiro
The driverless automated metro line, scheduled to come into service by the end of 2016 in Istanbul, will become a Turkey first of its kind.

The Üsküdar-Ümraniye-Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe line will be the second metro line on the Anatolian side of Istanbul and will mark another first by incorporating ‘automated platform gates’.

The automated platform gates are chest-height sliding doors that prevent passengers from falling off the platform edge onto the railway tracks. These platform gates slide open and close simultaneously with the train’s doors.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality stated that the travel time between the Üsküdar and Sancaktepe districts will be decreased to 24 minutes.

As the metro will have no driver, passengers will be able to sit in driver’s compartment and watch the train’s journey throughout the 2,750 meter-long tunel.

The station and wagons will be under 24-hour surveillance.

The driverless metro line will be able to reach speeds up to 90 kilometers per hour and will be operated from a command center that will see the operation of the 16-station line covering 20 kilometers.

The 126-wagon train’s stops will be: Üsküdar, Fıstıkağacı, Bağlarbaşı, Altunizade, Kısıklı, Libadiye, Çarşı, Ümraniye, İnkılap Mahallesi, Çakmak, Ihlamurkuyu, Altınşehir, Lise, Dudullu, Toplu Konutlar, Çekmeköy and Sancaktepe.

The Üsküdar-Sancaktepe metro line’s construction is continuing 24 hours non-stop, with 2,430 personnel working to complete 11 stations in the first stage.

When the construction is finished passengers will be able to travel from Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe to Üsküdar in 24, to Kartal in 59, Yenikapı in 36, Taksim in 44, Hacıosman in 68, the Atatürk International Airport in 68 and the Olympic Stadium in 78 minutes.

The world’s longest driverless train route is in Dubai at 80 kilometers and many countries have driverless train lines, although a driver is added occasionally in some countries for fear of possible failures in the system.

Bosphorus Bridge

There’s a saying many attribute to German philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin: “The illiterate of the future will not be the man who can’t read the alphabet but the man who can’t take a photograph.” And, in fact, one of the fastest rising trends in recent years must be counted as photography.

Professional cameras can be seen hanging around necks everywhere you go. And everyone seems to be in pursuit of capturing the most arresting photos they can. Within the general panorama of Turkey, there’s little question that İstanbul occupies a special spot in people’s lenses. But the shots taken of İstanbul seem to be changing with time. It’s not just those classic shots taken across from Kız Kulesi, showing off the sunset. In fact, those on Instagram in particular seem to be in hot pursuit now of sharing with us the more unknown, unseen quarters of the city. And some serious time is being spent on this pursuit.

Golden Horn metro stop
The Golden Horn metro bridge, which opened on Feb. 15, 2014, was heavily criticized for “ruining” the silhouette of İstanbul. These criticisms withered with time and have since come to a halt. In fact, this disputed bridge has now become a favorite site for those interested in photographing the city. Some even ride the metro here just to get a good shot.

Tomb of Yahya Efendi
Yahya Efendi of Beşiktaş was nursed by the same woman as Süleyman the Magnificent. After Grand Vizier Mustafa was killed, relations between Yayha Efendi and Süleyman went sour. In reaction to the criticisms he received about the way Mustafa was killed, Sultan Süleyman removed Yayha Efendi from his teaching position at Sahn-ı Seman Medresesi, where he had been working, and forced him into retirement. But Yayha Efendi went on to set up the dervish lodge that now stands on the hills of Beşiktaş, breaking off formal relations with the palace. His tomb is said to be one of the four main protectors of the Bosporus. The small gazebo that lies next to the mosque where his tomb is located is a favorite spot for photographers looking out onto the city.

Pierre Loti hill
Looking out over the entire vista of the Golden Horn, the Pierre Loti hill is a place many wish to visit for the views. This spot is named after 19th-century French author Pierre Loti because he used to love to come here and drink Turkish coffee and smoke nargile. This is another spot at which avid photographers of İstanbul are known to lie in wait, anticipating the next best shot they can get of the city.

Beşiktaş-Kadıköy ferry
Some people love the ferries that crisscross the Bosporus and Sea of Marmara. The Üsküdar-Eminönü, Üsküdar-Haliç, Kadıköy-Karaköy or even Eminönü-Kadıköy lines… the list goes on and on. But the Beşiktaş-Kadıköy ferry takes a little longer to complete its journey than the others, and because it passes so close to the infamous Kız Kulesi, it is the line of choice for those interested in capturing the city. And, of course, there is much to capture when you take one of the long rides that goes up and down the Bosporus, bringing you within arm’s reach of places like Ortaköy, Kuzguncuk, Beylerbeyi, Kandilli, Anadoluhisarı, Kanlıca and Emirgan.

Maçka Park cableway
Another hot photography base is the Maçka Democracy Park cableway. It takes about three-and-a-half minutes to ride from one side to the other, but this route has turned into almost a laboratory work spot for photographers — a perfect spot from which to capture Dolmabahçe Palace!

Beylerbeyi Mosque courtyard
The founder of the famous Beylerbeyi Mosque, also known as the Hamid-i Evvel Mosque, was Sultan Abdülhamid I. Deeply affected by having been orphaned at a young age, this sultan ordered this mosque built in the name of his mother, Rabia Sultan. The mosque, which looks out over the Bosporus, can be heard to the west as well as to the east, and carries the stylistic traces of 18th-century Ottoman times. The outer courtyard, located to its northwest, makes you feel as though you are in the palm of the Bosporus. This being the case, once again, you can find city photographers aplenty here.

Kadıköy’s İstanbul bookseller
You can find İstanbul booksellers in many touristic spots around the city. This particular bookseller, which functions on the terrace floor of one of the buildings at the Kadıköy docks, is very popular these days. You can find not only books concerning İstanbul here but all sorts of great little gift ideas. And as you sip your tea here, don’t forget to photograph old Kadıköy, and in particular the historic Haydarpaşa train station.

istanbulkart

The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality has announced a series of fare hikes that will come into effect on Sunday, Feb. 1.

The standard bus fare of TL 2.15 will be increase to TL 2.30, while the student price will be bumped up from TL 1.10 to TL 1.15.

The increase will also affect transfer prices. A standard transfer fare currently costs TL 1.45 but will be increased to TL 1.65 effective from Sunday, while student transfers will rise from Kr 45 to Kr 50.

The price increases pertain to those holding İstanbul cards, commonly used on all forms of public transit in the city. Single-use tokens, which cost TL 4, will remain the same price.

Despite gas prices being at their lowest level in years, in the $3 per barrel range, İstanbul continues to regularly raise the rates of transportation.

Though transit prices are still low in comparison to major European cities, they constitute a major segment of the salary of minimum wage earners, who rely on taking multiple buses a day to reach their workplaces.

istanbul_01Istanbul took the ninth place, and Antalya was ranked 11th in Euromonitor’s “Top 100 City Destinations” list, a report released on Friday which monitors the number of international tourist arrivals.

Turkey’s Artvin, a Black Sea destination, made the list in last place at number 100.

Wouter Geerts, travel analyst at Euromonitor in London, noted that the top cities like Istanbul and Antalya saw increased tourism in 2014, despite geopolitical tensions. He attributed this positive performance to continuing economic growth at key destinations.

“Arrivals continued to grow in global urban centers in 2014, illustrating the economic importance of tourism to the world’s cities,” Geerts pointed out.

Hong Kong remained at the number one slot on the ranking as it has for the past five years, according to the report.

London came next, and Singapore was third.

Istanbul moved up two places to join the top 10 at ranking number nine, with a 13.2 percent increase in the number of visitors to 11.8 million in 2014. The report noted that increasing numbers of visitors are coming to Istanbul from the Gulf and other Arab states, as they feel at home in the city.

Turkey’s increasing economic growth is also attracting large numbers of businesspeople to the country’s largest city.

Antalya attracted 11.1 million tourists to its luxury resorts and famous beaches.

And Artvin pulled in 1.8 million tourists in 2014, just behind Taichung in Taiwan.

Istanbul is preparing to host the two-day 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit next Thursday and Friday. According to a statement from the president's...

NEWS

Istanbul is preparing to host the two-day 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit next Thursday and Friday. According to a statement from the president's...