City Tours Istanbul – Istanbul dream of children from Soma became true
They saw the Maiden’s Tower, went on a Bosphorus boat trip. All of them were captivated by the grandness of the Topkapi Palace, prayed in Blue Mosque in their City Tours Istanbul.
They watched the Bosphorus from Cemil Sultan Woods, got introduced to modern art in Perili Kosk (meaning ‘Haunted Mansion’ in Turkish), explored the fish kingdom and watched the world from the Moon. And also they examined old cars, boats, submarines, locomotives, airplanes, doll houses, toys.
They talked a lot to Sevket Coruh (Mesud Guneri) – the commissar from the Turkish series ‘Back Streets’, and the author of ‘The Story of Cherry Season’, Ozge Gurel. They took lots of pictures with the actors – Salih Bademci, Onur Buyuktopcu, Levent Ulgen ve Nergis Kumbasar, from another TV series, ‘Kiralik Ask’ (‘Love for Rent’).
Although a little startled with the traffic in Istanbul, they started dreaming of living in Istanbul.
Hurriyet newspaper started the initiative ’Soma Has Dreams’ for the Soma children of miners who we lost. The dream of 30 children ’To see Istanbul’ became true.
The municipality of Maltepe brought them to Istanbul – City Tours Istanbul
With the help of the municipality of Maltepe the children; together with their mothers, came from Soma and were welcomed in Pinhan Restaurant and Cafe. On their first evening there they had a big surprise for dinner. Commissar Mesud (Sevket Coruh) from ’Back Streets’; all of a sudden, from the dark, turned up with presents in his hands.
’Our names are different but we share the same surname, Turkey’
The surprise of the second day was the sea as some of them had never before seen it. The children saw the well-known from the films Bosphorus, palaces, mosques, castles, towers. The Municipality of Maltepe had organized boat tour for the children and together with the mayor of the municipality, Ali Kilic. The chidren threw simit (ring-shaped bread covered with sesame seeds) to the seagulls and sang songs.
’You have 500 000 brothers and sisters in Maltepe. Whenever you feel bored, restless we will be there to help. Istanbul is the city of love and friendship. Our names and cities can be different but we have the same surname, Turkey. Come, and let us be citizens of our country with our hearts’, Kilic said.
The guide Ensar Islamoglu voluntarily dedicated a whole day to the children of Somalia to show them the beauties of Istanbul. They were on a boat trip from Haydarpasa to the Maiden Tower, from Suleymaniye to Mihrimah Sultan Mosques; from Dolmabahce Palace to Ciragan Palace and he told them so many interesting stories.
Children were surprised the most with the price of one-night accommodation in the king suite in Ciragan Palace. It is over 90 000 lira. ’For one night they pay the price of a house’, the children expressed their astonishment.