Saturday, December 27, 2008

So Much To Live

a time to love~~

Christmas is a prime time shopping season in Turkey, and the people joyfully celebrate New Year's Eve with special dinners, exchanging gifts with their loved ones, mostly Santa theme gifts. A gift shop.

a time to rejoice~~

A woman walks past a Christmas tree in front of a shopping mall (Canyon). My most favorite tree in the City.

a time for caroling~~

St Esprit Church during Christmas mass at midnight, downtown.

a time to believe~~

'' I'm leaving half of my heart in Istanbul.'' Pope Benedict XVI said after releasing white doves into the air in the garden of this St Esprit Church on his visit Nov 2006.

a time of blessings~~

The spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew blesses at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the St George in the City.

a time for warmest wishes~~

Many pilgrims were coming from neighboring Greece to celebrate the feast of Nativity at a crowded Christmas service.
A Greek boy lights candle.

a time when every ornament we hang on the tree becomes a memory~~

Christmas trees inside many shopping malls in the City, in the country.

Canyon, only this photo taken by me:)

A celebration the traditions of Christmas in Istanbul was so peaceful, so merry.

So much to live.

So much to love.

The more I live the more I love you.

Nowhere is like you.

Noone is like you.

You are my Istanbul,

The city of tolerance.

You are my Turkey,

The home of tolerance.

A side note: All of the photos above are taken by Reuters and AP on Dec 24 '08, published in our daily newspaper, Hurriyet, and distributed in the world press as well.


  1. Being reminded in one of your previous posts, that Tutkey is a Muslim country, I am nor surprised by all the beautiful Christmas cheer!

    Excellent shots all of them and I can see wha they tree is your favourite, it is brilliantly made :-)

  2. Oh, it's great to see all those Christmas things, I like the tree very much but eeehhhh.... I have never seen a tree like that. lol.

  3. Thanks for the visit to a Istanbul Christmas. It is truly a beautiful city. The lighted Christmas tree is fabulous!

  4. Dear Nihal,
    Thank you for this beautiful post.
    I wish you lots of love & peace
    in 2009! So happy we have me because of blog land!
    God Bless you and keep you!

  5. Lovely photos! I especially liked the churches. I wish they were built like they used to be with so much art, detail, and beauty. Thanks you so much for sharing some of the traditions of your country. Many blessings to you and your family.

  6. This is my first time knowing some Turks are celebrating Christmas.

    Happy New Year. Cheers

  7. @ Ya Abal Fasht: A new reader from Malaysia? Great:) Welcome to my site.
    Only a little percentage of Turks may celebrate Christmas but mostly the Christians living in the country celebrate Christmas.
    Thanks, Happy New Year wishes to you too.