Where are the street illuminations on the İstiklal Avenue?
İstiklal Avenue, the heart of Istanbul, is bleeding. Shops are being closed down. We are all telling each other about how major brands are moving out of the street but we are not actually doing anything about it.
I won’t mention the state of affairs in Taksim Square and the crooked and collapsing groundwork on the square and the street. But at the very least the authorities could put some New Year decorations there, giving people a reason to visit.
Indeed, sadly terrorism and economic problems have slowly wiped out all the former attractiveness of İstiklal.
New Year is coming, so why can İstiklal Avenue not be illuminated and festooned with decorations as it used to be? Why can’t parties and events be organized there?
Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan has every year, for the past five or six years, decorated İstiklal Avenue and the Taksim area.
But now, there are debates over claims that it’s a sin to celebrate New Year and fights over Santa Claus.
These debates have discouraged the municipality, like other municipalities, from illuminating the district.
Does this darkness befit Istanbul, a window that opens to the world?
Light it, decorate it and make it beautiful again… Let İstiklal Avenue become a center of attraction as we approach New Year. Let people want to come. When they are there, let them sit in a café drinking coffee. Let them shop and go to a movies. Let them eat out at the restaurants. Let the economy be livened up.
People are worried about going out and spending money amid fears of an impending economic crisis and because of the situation of the dollar.
But just before New Year’s Eve is the time when people go out and shop. It is a time when turnovers increase.
Don’t you want people to come?
Mr. Demircan, don’t you want İstiklal to prosper? Don’t you want the economy to be boosted?
Why are you waiting? Leave behind these negative New Year debates. Decorate İstiklal.
Why share Hajj photos?
It is the most recent popularizing trend among celebrities to go to Mecca for pilgrimage, do their religious rituals, and then share it on social media.
Is that right or wrong? Is it for publicity? Are they trying to send a particular message? Is it an advertisement? Or are they actually devout?
I asked this question to Murat Yıldırım, a famous Turkish actor who is a strong believer and has been to Mecca for the Hajj many times.
“Since childhood I’ve believe in submission to and trust in God. I was raised that way by my family. What matters is what I feel, what my intentions are. It is also essential that others regard this without prejudice. The rest is unimportant,” Yıldırım said.
“We can say the same for any other religion, or any other thing. We can say the same about the Maldives. A person goes to the Maldives and takes many photos. I cannot say that this person is doing it for publicity.
They do it because they are having fun. They take pictures and post them. Some of them may be doing it for publicity but this should not interest us,” he added.
I think these are the right words that could be said about all people’s lives, lifestyles and beliefs.