Jerkin’ it in Istanbul

Posted: March 9, 2012 by jerkmagblog in VAULT -- archives, ZONE -- syracuse

Students lounge between classes on the terrace, each with either a cup of Turkish coffee or Turkish tea and the frequent cigarette. Women dress for a fashion show, carrying their imitation designer bags and a mask of make-up while men support the classy pea coat and the stylish man-scarf. The Northface doesn’t exist. It seems however that despite the label, most of the students at this private Institution in Istanbul can compare to many of those attending Syracuse. The only obvious difference – everyone in Istanbul is addicted to cigarettes.

The terrace sits just on the Bosphorus River with a view of the Golden Horn to the right – where the river meets the Sea of Marmara – and the Bosphorus Bridge to the left. Directly across the river from the University is Asia and a shoreline decorated with vibrantly colored structures. Ferries, crowded with both sightseers and residents skim up and down the Bosphorus and between Europe and Asia Minor. Students sit along the water engaged in conversation as well as a cigarette.

Schine Student Center sits directly across from the Hall of Languages and is adjacent to one of the most ugly buildings in all of the country. There isn’t a faint smell of smoke and most students are engaged in conversation on Facebook chat – everyone with their laptops. But the air is crisp and active students play Frisbee on the green while Turkish school-goers smoke in the park where it is near impossible to find a verdurous patch.

There isn’t the successive passing of ferries or the extraordinary vision of what was once considered to be the “center of the world,” but the Carrier Dome can compare. And at seven hours apart, the sun sets and just the same, the lights of both urban settings flash and the details become faintly noticed.

-Beatrice Schachehmayr

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