Monday, 6 December 2010



"Towards the end of the World War 2, a Jewish couple Madam Bluma and Mr. Shalom, who had fled from the tyrannt of Hitler, decided to live in Istanbul by renting the second flat of an apartment under which there were a variety of shops like florists, barbers, tailors. There was another apartment in front of their apartment, and the street between them was like a market place which was crowded with sellers and clients. The couple sometimes watched them by sitting on their balcony while drinking their coffee. And sometimes Madam Bluma pleasantly teased their neighbors all of whom were tradesmen and women from various kinds of nations such as Yeorgi Effendi, Matmazel Milliner, Arab Halid... Madam Bluma and Mr. shalom had also a flower shop under their apartment. Both of them were pleased with their small shop and its small income. In a year, both of them learnt Turkish and gained many customers by working hard. They were so pleased with their life in Istanbul that they did not yearn for their life in Germany. At the same time, their neighbors were so pleased with these new-comers who were very eager to help all of the people around them. Briefly there was a lively atmosphere and warm relations between all of the dwellers in this street. However, one day, a devastating fire broke out in the old couple’s floor while they were sleeping. When the people saw the scene of the apartment in flames, it was too late to save the couple. The other dwellers had managed to flee from the great flames which were incessantly growing with the help of the southwest wind. Towards the end of the hot night the second floor of the apartment, in which the couple struggled to live in peace, collapsed. However the burned bodies of them were never found; as if they had not been at home. After a year, the apartments were restored by a wealthy tradesman who thought to use them as a wine shop. Then he bought the other apartments and houses around the street and turned them into modern shops and pubs which were full of wealthy customers and families. However, the new owner of the street didn’t change only the old couple’s florist shop for fear of waking the old couple’s souls."

Cite de Pera ( Hristaki or Flower Passage ) is a historical and famous passage established in 1876. What image does it bring to our mind? At first, everybody thinks of a place full of flower stores and a variety of flowers. Then, when you go inside, you are surprised at its architecture. From outside it draws attention with its white outer covering as a huge and bewildering building. It has three flower and its walls are made from marble. It has also on into resting and attractive entrance. At the top, there is a clock designed extraordinarily. Under it, there are two female figures with their long dresses in two sides and in the middle of them the first name of the flower passage “CITE DE PERA” is written. Besides, the gate looks different compared to the other parts of building. It is also an interesting design. There is a flower composition made of stained glass above the gate. The gate made of iron is black and Turkish translation “Çiçek Pasajı” is written on the red plate. All of these designs show that Flower Passage has the style of Western architecture. Everybody thinks that it has an artistic quality because it is a historical place. However, entering into the passage it is realized that everything is completely different.

When looked from inside, the passage has a meaning that is commercial. There is nothing about flowers. The word “flower” is just a memory and nostalgic name. It does not reflect the passage. It has no connection with the reality and the atmosphere inside the passage. In contrast to its outer appearance, the inside of passage has a commercial atmosphere. When you enter into, you come across a place in dark and flattened. The two sides of street which is in the passage fill with tables. These tables are covered with tents above. This causes the passage to appear darker. Also, these tables are very nested. Even if there are a few people, it seems crowded. It reflects crowded of Istiklal Avenue where the passage is in.

In addition to these, the only thing that can be considered artistic in the passage is boards in the windows of second floor. However, when you enter into the passage, you can not see them because of the tents. If you want to see, you have to go the middle of passage and look up because this place is the only free space. As well as there is alienation between outside of passage and inside of passage. When looking from outside, it seems as a place of fresh, artistic and cultural. However, the interior is designed for a commercial purpose. Also this is an alienation between its past and present. In the past, the passage was used for artistic activities such as opera and drama, but in the present, it is a place where people come in order to drink and delight. While the time passes, the passage alienates from its past and its real purpose.

While watching over the Cite de Pera, we come across one of the historical places, Ceneviz Pub. From the first moment we see this place, our interest becomes bigger and bigger as its decoration and also atmosphere are totally different from the other pubs in Cite de Pera. Ceneviz Pub is in the middle of recreation site, where two streets intersect.

It is the oldest place in Cite de Pera and it preserves its historical atmosphere. Indoors is dim and authentic. There are irons, frying pans, scales and spoons, which are made of copper, hanging by chains from the ceiling. The instruments used for decoration are chosen deliberately to make the place seem more historically. When ascending wood stairs, we confront with old radios, gigantic cubes and a portrait of a Madam. In the second floor more goods are used in addition to entry floor. The second floor is designed to welcome customers. There are more props than in the first floor as little and big door locks and also a phaeton is on the corner of the saloon. The walls are painted with windows and doors as if they are real. The atmosphere resembles with the street atmosphere of the outside. This authentic atmosphere could be created not longing for past but for commercial reasons to attract tourists. As for their customers profile, it can be said that they are elitists such as journalists, actors, singers, writers. Also, Cite de Pera takes the interest of tourists very much. The customers choose this place for having a nice time with their friends while having their drinks and they rely on this place as it has served for years in a quality way. Ceneviz Pub is a striking place which removes from the routine of popular culture.

If we compare and contrast the Cite de Pera with Nevizade, Cite de Pera is a historic and authentic building. There are historic elements in the entrance and outside of the building. When we enter to a restaurant in the Cite de Pera, Ceneviz Pub, we see a concept different from the name of the place. This place has two floors. There are tables in front of the place. In the entrance, we come across historical elements. There are old wood stairs and authentic radios hanged on the wall along the stairs. In the second floor, there are also old and authentic goods hanged on the ceiling. On the walls, there are portraits of the people who lived and worked in this place in the past. With these elements which lie everywhere, the people who come here feel themselves in the past. The atmosphere of the place is quiet. The music played in the restaurant is nostalgic. The service of the restaurant is in good quality so it seems a bit expensive. Generally the people who are living in high rank can come this restaurant. The clients of the restaurant are generally high ranked and old people. These are the people who want to feel the nostalgia. The servants of the restaurant are also dignified who have seen the process of this old place.

When we come to Nevizade, the building we enter is a newer building than the previous. It has five floors. In front of the building, there are tables like in the Cite de Pera. Inside of the place we come across new and normal things. These are the things necessary for the service. There is no extra thing different from them. The stairs are simple iron stairs which take us to the other floors. There is no authentic thing rather we see more modern things. You can see only pictures of advertisements on the walls. The atmosphere is noisy. There is noisy music. In this situation, the clients of the place are generally the young and normal people. They are generally normal economically. This place is a common place when compared to the Cite de Pera.

Cite de Pera has been host place for many different people. Today it is in pubs and restaurants’ employ. Although Istiklal Avenue is crowded at daytime, passage is peaceful and silent. So, we asked ourselves “So why is there such a kind of discrimination between customers?” It is so because there are prejudices in their minds. Cite de Pera is mature people’s territory and the next street is young men’s. Generally customers are middle-aged or old people or tourists who are curious about building’s architecture. Waiters like those kind of customers because according to them “they know how to have some fun, they know how to act due to time and place and they do not exaggerate while taking alcohol.” There are almost no young people. They like going to the pubs in the next street. It was noisy; crowded. A person can only pass through the street. In spite of these negative sides, they insist on going there. They can freely speak loud, laugh, sing song. However; in passage you should be very respectful for the others. Although prices are almost the same in both places, people think that it is very expensive place. It may be because of the appearance of passage. As it seems artistic, the customers are expected to be sophisticated and rich. So, young people, students who do not have much money can not dare to go in. They are afraid of paying too much money for the bill. They think that if they sit in open-places, it will cost cheap. For example; fizzy lemonade is two liras in the passage, it is also the same in other place.

You should visit Flower Passage in order to see the traces of the past. While having your drinks, you will also take pleasure in this relaxing atmosphere.



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