Celebrated writer, poet, journalist and stage actor Sunay Akın met with Turkish Language Summer School students in Istanbul Prof. Dr. Mümtaz Turhan Social Sciences High School on 8 August Saturday, at 10:30. In the bull session titled “Istanbul's Mysteries” Akın answered the questions of Yunus Emre Institute Turcology students who came to Istanbul from all over the world to learn Turkish.
Sunay Akın told the students, “Future of the world lies in childrens' dreams. This is why we must talk about Fatih the Conqueror's dreams he registered in his childhood diaries. We must talk about Istanbul with firsts such as the first submarine and steamship, and walk-on-water shoes. Istanbul should be narrated through arts, science and Fatih's childhood dreams, not through wars, cannons and bullets. Learn about and narrate Istanbul and Turkish culture through these stories.”
Founder of Istanbul Toy Museum, Sunay Akın depicted the myth of Bosporus. According to western sources, supreme deity Zeus fell in love with a mortal woman and strait was named Bosporus which means Cow Passage in Latin. Sunay said that the worst spot to watch Istanbul is Maiden's Tower, and explained the reason as follows: “Have you been to Maiden's Tower? Do not visit it because it is the worst spot to watch Istanbul because if you look at Istanbul from there, you cannot see Maiden's Tower and its beauty.” Sunay Akın also relayed the following on Maiden's Tower: “It was used as a lazaret until 1856. It was prohibited to visit the place then because patients with leprosy were isolated here. When the ban was lifted, French poet Théophile Gaultier held the first studies on Maiden's Tower and he brought up historically significant information regarding the place.”
Akın said that first naval warfare in the history took place in Istanbul and first ferryboat was invented by the Turks. “Suhulet” which came into service in 1872 was the first ferry to carry cars and was floated in Istanbul. He also pointed out that Atilla Hülagü with studies on sea realized one of Leonardo da Vinci's dreams, “Walk-on-water shoes” in 1963 as a first.
Akın mentioned poets and writers who visited Istanbul as well. He reminded a quote by American writer Herman Melville. Melville visited Istanbul in 1856 to see Rumeli Fortress, and upon seeing Fatih the Conqueror's sign on walls of Rumeli Fortress he said, “I have seen numerous kings and rulers who signed treaties but have never seen a ruler who put his sign on a city”.
Akın underlining that Fatih the Conqueror's sign in Rumeli Fortress is an example of a major calligraphy style “kufî”, added that objects such as inkstands and pens were placed mosques' minarets in Ottoman era.He remarked that Fatih the Conqueror's drawing book in Topkapı Palace featured his signature at young age and information on his dental health. Writer also shared with students how Jules Verne explained the first toll imposed on Bosporus and month of Ramadan in Istanbul in his novel “Keraban the Inflexible”.
Akın, lastly emphasizing the importance of Yunus Emre Institute activities in promoting Turkey, said that Turkish language and culture will become more widespread as a result.
Yunus Emre Institute Turkish Language Summer School will end on 22 August this year.