Aqua Florya -Akmerkez

Old shopping malls definitely are located in more accessible areas of the cities. (Akmerkez for instance). Yet, trends change quickly and people ask for new functions, new spaces within malls. Newer parking spaces are bigger for instance. Some malls have family parking spaces specially reserved for families (Like IKEA). In addition to WC for handicapped people there are now Family rooms and Baby rooms.

If older shopping malls fail to offer such special spaces they can not compete with new ones no matter they are very very accessible-very very central. The adaptation process can be long and yet certainly promising.

Aqua Florya made me feel I am still in the beginning of 2000s. Although it was not very crowded, there was this feeling of being stuck. There was no WC on the ground floor (not acceptable on any terms!) and in the up stairs we had to use WC for handicapped persons as I was with my daughter (it is spacious so I tend to use it when there is no family room).  With a unique view of Marmara Sea and exciting view of landing airplanes, Aqua Park disappointed me.


I find Akmerkez successful in terms of this adaptation process. With brand new stores, and renewed food court, it is much more better. One can not increase the height of the ceilings in an already built up shopping mall (not easily) but you may change the perception.




Kuzguncuk is a historical district located on the Asian side of Bosphorus. It was a place whene non-Muslim communities reside. There are churches and synagogue in the district.

But, I remember Kuzguncuk mostly with TV series like Perihan Abla and Ekmek Teknesi. Recently with openings of coffee shops, book stores, art galleries and gurme cafes the district turned out to a touristic attraction point more than ever.

Here are some photopgraphs, all by me. I liked you very much Kuzguncuk. I will come and visit you again and again.



Reasons to love Anatolian Side of İstanbul more

PS. Happy Moon’s has opened new branches in Bodrum, izmit and İstanbul European side.





Yalıkavak is one of the most beautiful regions of Bodrum-well-known touristic destination located in the Aegean Coast of Turkey. We have been going to Yalıkavak for 10 successive years for our summer holidays. Humidity is low, breeze always cool you down and the sea is Aegean blue with lots of fish swimming with you.

There was also the third marina of Bodrum located in the center of Yalıkavak which we loved deeply! No exaggaration, I adored that Marina. With Mozart cafe, cozy fish restaurants, orangish lightings, palm trees, boutiques and small design shops, it was like somewhere out of this world. Very unique, relaxing, and  peaceful. I wished no one learns and finds out that lovely place.

Recently the owner and the management of the marina changed. I havent seen it since and was wondering a lot. Now comes my first impressions: I was surprised to see a shopping mall like horizontal building almost parallel to the  coast line including stores and restaurants which we already know from luxurious shopping malls of İstanbul. Cook shop, Happy moons, Beymen, Komşu Fırın, Mezzaluna, Nusr-et, Pioppo, Günaydın, Starbucks, Cold Stone, Mudo, Yargıcı, Brandroom, Vakkorama etc.  I could not believe it was a work of one of my favorite architects, Emre Arolat.  The new marina was congested, lacking open and public spaces, and made you feel stuck. I know that Bodrum is popular among Istanbulite tourists*, but there was no need to turn that cozy marina into an ordinary shopping mall.


And yet, the sunset view is still there. Breeze coming from the deep blue sea accompanies you. I still like the marina, although I would definitely prefer the initial one.

*My idea is that people from Ankara go to either Mediterranean (Antalya and surrounings) or Aegean coasts (Bodrum) easily which are both less than 500 km. Istanbulietes however are far away (more than 700 km) from both coastal regions (Bodrum and Antalya, Bodrum being the closer one). In Bodrum sellers tell me that they work for İstanbul market:) which shows the primary target group is Istanbulites.