The Magnificent Ottoman Princess 👑

This is Mihrimah Sultan.

Mihrimah Sultan – Mar 1522- Jan 1578 (Daughter of Suleyman the Magnificent and Hurrem Sultan) was an ottoman princess. In the Ottoman Era, there was a strict hierarchical system with many rules. Princesses remained in the palaces with their fathers until they were married off and moved with their husbands in their own place. Mihrimah Sultan was a very notable princess for her charitable projects such as building the Uskudar Mosque (designed and built by the famous Mimar Sinan). Mihrimah was Suleyman’s only daughter and she married the grand vizier Rustem Pasha (one of the wealthiest in the Ottoman Empire) at the young age of seventeen. Furthermore, Mihrimah was involved in political affairs and the running of the Harem. Letters by Mihrimah proved that she was well educated and disciplined. She is buried next to her father in Suleymaniye Mosque. They say the legendary Mimar Sinan had a crush on her. To impress her, Sinan built a bridge spanning the Prut River in just thirteen days. He asked for her hand in marriage only to have his proposal rejected by her father. He in turn poured his heart into his architecture. He built the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Üsküdar to resemble the silhouette of a woman with her skirt sweeping the ground.

Mihrimah Sultan – Mar 1522- Ocak 1578 (Kanuni Sultan Süleyman ve Hürrem Sultan’ın kızı) bir Osmanlı prensesi oldu. Osmanlı Döneminde, birçok kurallarına sıkı bir hiyerarşik sistem vardı. Mihrimah Sultan Süleyman’ın tek kızı oldu ve o on yedi genç yaşta sadrazamı Rüstem Paşa ile evlendi. Ayrıca, Mihrimah siyasi işler ve Harem yürütülmesinde görev almıştır. O Süleymaniye Camii’nde babasının yanına gömüldü


Eyup Sultan Camii

Eyup is a district in Istanbul where the Eyup Sultan Camii (Mosque) is situated. Eyup is located near the Golden Horn. It is said to be the complex where there is a mausoleum marking the spot where Eyup (Job) Al Ansari is said to be buried.

Who is Eyup Al Ansari?

Eyup Al Ansari was a bearer and the friend of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Eyup supported the prophet during migration to Madina in 622. During the arrival of our prophet in Medina, everyone wanted to host the prophet and for this reason our prophet pbuh decided that wherever his camel will stop, he will stay there. The camel stopped outside the home of Eyup Al Ansari who hosted Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh)

It was said that Eyup Al Ansari prepared meals for only the prophet and Abu Bakr but Muhammed (Pbuh) directed that everyone take part in this meal. 180 people were said to eat this meal satisfactorily!


Howard’s End … A Beautiful Story

I recently watched a BBC adaptation of the Book Howard’s End written by E.M Forster in 1910. The story line is original and unique and is like no other novel that you can read.

The story introduces two sisters, Margaret and Helen and their little brother Tibby living comfortably in their home. Margaret has always looked after her younger two siblings. Their life changes once they meet the Wilcoxes.

The book shows how poor people are seen as having greed but in fact are happy to be content. It is infact the rich who are the greedy and shows the struggle of both the rich and poor. It proves what’s destined will happen and what is rightfully yours is always returned.

The adaptation is wonderful by BBC. Good acting, costume and picture. Loved this series and also “The Paradise” – I am looking forward to more interesting adaptations by the BBC


How to get into Study Focus Mode!

Sometimes we think that our exams or tasks are far away and that we have lots of time. The reality is, when we come nearer to the time we actually produce a lower quality of work that we intended to. This is because we mis-interpret the amount of work required to achieve our goal!

We can find ourselves staring into space or procrastinating which has negative impacts – not working towards what we want. Every small step is important. So, how do we get into this concentration mode? Some tips:

  1. PUT ALL SOCIAL MEDIA ASIDE- Bye bye phone! see you after this chapter! Yes – No Instagram, no talking to friends, no Facebook, Snapchat or whatever you use. Just you with a book or your laptop (without SM and full focus)
  2. NEVER WORK ALONGSIDE A FRIEND – Sometimes you think “Hey- I need a study buddy”- NO you do not… You will find your self constantly going off topic and starting to talk. You’d also become distracted. Individual study promoted full concentration and helps you study
  3. Take regular breaks! and have some water in between – need some oxygen from all that studying!
  4. PLAN AHEAD! Yes look at what you want to achieve and how much time you have left from TODAY! Try and get an idea of how much work you will do say daily until you achieve that goal! STRUCTURE – ORGANISE- DIARY?
  5. THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE! Once that goal is achieved- think how many positive impacts it will have an how it contributes to your career and ambitions.
  6. SPEAK OUT LOUD WHILST WORKING- For some people it helps them concentrate
  7. Turn your LONG Term goal into some SHORT TERM ones- Break it down!
  8. Turn it into a ROUTINE
  9. Make sure your work ENVOIRONMENT is comfortable
  10. PRIORITIZE!!!!

Good Luck to all fellow students who have upcoming exams. Best wishes!




A day in Besiktas…

Besiktas is one of my favourite areas of Istanbul. It’s not just the BJK ground (although I love the eagles), it’s the atmosphere, location and how it’s next to the sea!

I must recommend the restaurant by the sea which is located between the Dolmahbahce Sarayi (Palace) and the Dolmahbahce Camii (Mosque) which has the most beautiful view all year round and is an excellent place to relax and drink some tea!

Photography · travel · Wedding

Asian Wedding Photographer Experiences!!!

I have done more than a fair share of photography at Asian Weddings. The style of photography is now getting too typical and people are coming up with new poses. Editing is not what it used to be and now people demand more!

In my case, I think simple is better. However I don’t like the shots of family’s and groups. I prefer to take singular shots of people and this can be hard in Asian weddings when no one is listening and your are struggling to raise your voice. 

You may also have a brideZilla who can be impossible and also very reluctant on posing which can be both annoying and stressful! The more clients cooperate, the better the pictures! 

I’ve also noticed as a female photographer, families can be very caring and nice and you can get attached to them. You may even make a few friends with some of the aunties! Overall, the seperation feeling at the end of a booking is strange. You kind of learn about the family in the time that you have spent with them. 

It is also important that you as a photographer should make your clients feel as relaxed as possible! After all, they will look much better smiling rather than anxious! 


Antalya – Beach 🌊 Vibes 💕

Don’t you just like have an amazing view of the sea and sitting back with a nice book, observing the waves and taking some amazing shots with your DSLR!

This is what I call a Summer Vacation! On the stoney Konyaalti Beach. This is not the most popular beach in Antalya but it was once upon a time. Beaches like Belek and Lara have taken its spot but the views are marvellous! It’s a truly awesome place and more realistic – unlike Dubai with the fake sand and Palm islands, everything is natural. Some have told me of a secret beach in the Old City (Kaleici) but Antalya is definitely the spot for a nice relaxing beach holiday! 

historical · Holidays · Photography · travel · turkey

Düden şelalesi – Duden Waterfalls Antalya (Truly Magnificent!)

This year was my first visit to the Duden waterfalls in Antalya, Turkey. It was truly unexpected as if i had entered a fairy tale such as Alice in Wonderland. The sights are magnificent and the waterfalls are just amazing!

There are many caves surrounding the waterfalls which you can enter. They are much cooler inside. However, they are very low and you are bound to hit your head if you are not careful. The entry is 4 lira per person which is very less to see a paradise! Words cannot describe its beauty- one must see for their self. Pictures definitely do not justify its true magnificence.


Food · travel

Pistachios from Gaziantep (Yummy!)

If you have been to Turkey before, you would know pistachios are very popular. They are eaten on their own and even used in many desserts such as Lokum (Turkish Delight). But, if you have not tried Pistachios from Gaziantep, you have not tried pistachios at all!.

One of my close Turkish friends recommended Antep pistachios to me on numerous occasions. I thought- Lets check what the hype is about. So… I decided to get one kg based on his recommendation. It turned into an addiction… eating one after the other and not being able to stop. So why are pistachios from Gaziantep so good?

In south eastern Turkey, Gaziantep is the pistachio and baklava capital of Turkey! Baklava is a sweet dish which frequently uses pistachios too! Outside the city, there are many pistachio trees. Interestingly after researching, I found that pistachios for Baklava are picked in August when they are higher in protein and lower in fat. They are better in September for plain old eating.

In Gaziantep, pistachios are found in kebabs, drinks and cookies. 60000 metric tons are produced in a typical year.

I like mine roasted and salted. How about you?


Friends you can trust! 

I’ve had many experiences with different types of friends and from these, I have come up with 9 types of characteristics a true friend has…

1) A true friend will NEVER leave your side in times of difficulty! If they are not there for you during your bad times, they certainly do not deserve to be there during your happy periods and celebrations. A true friend will give their 100 percent effort regardless of your situation 

2) A true friend will be in contact FREQUENTLY. By frequent I mean atleast once a week or so to check how you are doing. This excludes social trips! They will be thinking of you or thinking it has been a while since they have contacted! The more they contact, the more they love you. Keep it two way though!

3) A true friend will always give their HONEST opion and be honest! For example if something doesn’t look right, they will say so that their friend doesn’t embarrass them self or get into the wrong situation!

4) A true friend is one that is THRUSTWORTHY! You should be able to share all your secrets and they will keep it to themselves. 

5) A true friend is UNDERSTANDING and they LISTEN. They will listen carefully to all your problems and take an understanding and then they will come up with solutions and make you feel lighter 

6. They will be the person who makes you see the brighter side of life and positive aspects! They may do this by joking or making you laugh

7. They will be there for all key moments of your life. Weddings, birthdays etc and wish you especially.

8. You know that your friend is true when after an argument you both want to get back together and forget what has happened.