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AŞİYAN

Tevfik Fikret's Nest

asiy1If ever there was a delightful place to live it must surely be Aşiyan (The Nest; admission free. Closed Sundays and Mondays). Set on the hillside at Rumeli Hisarı as you approach the castle from Bebek, it was the home of the poet and anti-government rebel Tevfik Fikret (1867-1915) who had been a professor of Turkish literature at nearby Robert College and who retired here to compose in peace and quiet. Later he was reburied in the garden after initial interment at Eyüp.

The museum’s finest possession is a superb painting called Sis (Mist) which was painted by Abdülmecid Efendi, the last caliph, but took its inspiration from a Fikret poem.

The views across the Bosphorus to Küçüksu Kasrı and the twin streams that used to form the Sweet Waters of Asia are nothing short of breath-taking.

On your way back down the hill from visitig Aşiyan itself you might want to drop in on the lovely peaceful hillside cemetery whose most interesting memorial is one to Roma Altınay, an air hostess who died in a plane crash in 1974. Her grave is marked with a stone aircraft nosediving into it. To find it, come through the gate and turn due right.asiy2

When trying to decide where to get out of the bus look out for a statue on the inland side of the road showing a man sitting at a rakish angle in a chair, with a seagull poised somewhat to the left of his head. This depicts the poet Orhan Veli (1914-50) whose poem about Rumeli Hisarı contained the somewhat enigmatic line: "And the seagulls are landing on my head."

Transport info

Most buses heading up the Bosphorus from Kabataş or Beşiktaş pass through Aşiyan.

Alternatively you can take one of the rare ferries to Bebek and stroll here along the waterfront.

Nearby areas

Bebek

Rumeli Hisarı

asiy3Sketch of Charles Darwin on wall of The Nest

 

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