Alican Kutlay

Alican Kutlay

Archaeologist and art historian based in Istanbul. Istanbul and Turkish Psychedelic Music geek. #ListenToTurkishPsychedelic

Istanbul Fish and Their Seasons

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Fishing season is -finally- open in Istanbul as of today, September 1st. As a city surrounded by two seas (Black Sea on the north and Marmara Sea on the south) and one strait (Bosphorus) connecting these two seas, Istanbul is rich in terms of fish and seafood. In addition, starting from Ancient Greek period to today Istanbul has a rich and serious history of fishing and fish consumption. For instance, Byzantion -Ancient Greek colony founded in the seventh century BC on the lands that later became Constantinople, and then Istanbul- was a fishermen village and main income of Byzantion was fish and other sea food. Moreoever, we know from primary sources that during the Middle Ages main nutrition of Istanbulites was fish.

Center of Byzantine Istanbul: Hippodrome of Constantinople

Onufrio Panavinio's drawing of the Hippodrome of Constantinople (c. 1600)

Hippodrome of Constantinople was built for chariot racing, which was the most important sports of the Byzantines. Nevertheless, it was more than a place for chariot races and other sports activities. Located in Sultanahmet/Istanbul, the hippodrome was also home to gladiatorial games, official ceremonies, celebrations, protests, torture to the convicts and so on. The word “hippodrome” comes from the Greek hippos (horse) and dromos (way). Hippodrome functioned all in Roman (203-330 CE), Byzantine (330-1453 CE), and Ottoman (1453-1922) periods.

Throwback Turkish Songs #5 | Erkin Koray & Yeraltı Dörtlüsü – Sana Bir Şeyler Olmuş (1969)

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“Sana Bir Şeyler Olmuş” (Something Has Happened to You) is the cover of Chris Kenner’s “Land of a Thousand Dances” released in 1963 and it is the first live performance of Erkin Koray, broadcasted live at the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) national public broadcaster of Turkey founded in 1960s. Enjoy Erkin Koray’s one of the earliest songs “Sana Bir Şeyler Olmuş” released in 1969.

Throwback Turkish Songs #4 | Mavi Işıklar – Aşk Çiçeği (Shocking Blue – Send Me a Postcard)

Last week we brought up a Turkish cover of a Beatles song. Covers and Turkish versions of well-known English songs were very popular in the late 60s and throughout the 70s. Mavi Işıklar (Blue Lights) was one of the leaders of this genre and they covered the songs of Beatles, The Cedars, Paul Revere & the Raiders, and many others.

Throwback Turkish Songs #3 | Zümrüt – Ne Zormuş Unutmak (Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night) | 1971

Zümrüt – Ne Zormuş Unutmak (Cover: Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night) | 1971

Zümrüt was popular in Turkey in late 60s and throughout the 70s mainly due to her covers from famous English songs. Her famous work “Ne Zormuş Unutmak” (How Hard It was to Forget) is a cover from Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” that was released in 1964. Enjoy it!

Zümrüt, 60lı yılların sonunda ve 70ler boyunca Türkçe’ye aranjmanladığı şarkılar sebebiyle oldukça popülerleşmişti. Beatles’ın 1964 senesinde yayınladığı “A Hard Day’s Night” (Zor Bir Günün Gecesi) parçasının aranjmanı olan “Ne Zormuş Unutmak” Zümrüt’ün en önemli parçalarından birisidir. İyi dinlemeler!

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Alican Kutlay
Archaeologist and art historian based in Istanbul. Istanbul and Turkish Psychedelic Music geek. #ListenToTurkishPsychedelic