Ekrem Buğra Ekinci, 1987’de Ankara Hukuk Fakültesi’ni bitirdi. Avukatlık stajı yaptı.

Ankara’da başladığı kariyerini İstanbul’da sürdürdü.
Doktorasını 1996’da İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi’nde tamamladı.

Türkiye ve Daily Sabah gazetelerinde yazmaktadır.
Devam
 
THE GOOD OLD DAYS, WHEN DUMPING SNOW IN THE BOSPORUS WAS AMUSEMENT

09 Ocak 2016 Cumartesi

Snow was much more fun in the past. People used to forget everything when glittering snowflakes were falling on the ground. For some it was a pain. There were times when harsh weather and snow brought the end of a sultan

While people were asking why the weather was not cold enough and when rain and snow would come, cold weather and snow arrived at last. No matter what people say, our generation has seen cold winters, with snow covering the area as deep as a man is tall, icicles hanging from roofs and snow storms that prevented us from seeing beyond our noses. Once upon a time, the waters of the Golden Horn and even the Bosporus froze. Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi stated in one of his accounts that even cats froze while jumping from one roof to another in the 17th century. Starving wolves came down to Istanbul's present-day favorite districts of Mecidiyeköy and Levent looking for food not long time ago. 

It is said that snow brings abundance. The farmer awaits his field to be covered with snow in order to harvest as many crops as possible, city-dwellers hope for snowfall to fill the dams so as not to experience drought in summer, children look forward to snow to have snowball fights and build snowmen. In the past, children used to hope for snowfall, but adults found it selfish and scolded them, saying: "Don't you care about the poor." Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Little Match Girl" had a deep effect on me when I was a child. Whenever it snowed I remembered the story and felt sad. 

It is a very exciting thing to see everywhere covered with thick snow when you wake up in the morning. As it is not possible to go out, one has to take a shovel and remove the snow, and snow that is shoveled and piled on both sides of the road stays for months. Apart from the road in front of the house, the snow piled on roofs also has to be removed so the roof does not collapse. Winters lasted longer in the past, and snow did not melt for days or months. Streets were covered with ice and it was hard to walk. People wore galoshes over their shoes and also tied pieces of cloth to their shoes to walk. People did not go out much if it was not necessary and the "white captivity" began. However, staying at home was fun during winter nights. Men and women were talking in separate rooms and playing games. They ate popcorn and chestnuts and drank coffee.

Sometimes the sun showed its face or it rained, melting the snow. Children were the ones who were the most upset about this. However, sometimes even the sun could not melt the snow due to frost. The frost that came after the rain froze on the snow. Windows iced up and it became harder to walk on the streets. Many people fell down and were laughed at, but then those who laughed felt guilty. Children were also happy about the frost because they could ice-skate. If they did not have skates, they slid on the ice on wood. There are many things that children can entertain themselves with, but today's children, whose every demand is met, do not even look at ice-skates. 

Snow was loved back then. When it fell with all its clean whiteness, redeeming itself just like the smile of a misbehaving child, snow made people forget everything. Late period Ottoman poet Cenab Şahabeddin wrote a poem called "Elhan-ı Şita" (Winter Tunes). It begins: A white tremble, a fumy flight / Snow falls down just like a bird lost its mate. Many people thought about these verses when snowflakes, which do not like each other, fell down slowly to earth under the wings of angels.

People were never frightened by snow in the past. When it was snowing, they did not flock to bakeries in fear that they would not find bread the next day. This is because people used to bake bread at home. Even though they did not go out for days, the cellar at home had sufficient food. The snow began to melt in March and April, and everywhere was covered in mud. That time was the worst time as it was more difficult to walk on the streets compared to walking on icy roads. Sometimes snow made people unhappy. The poet who said: "Yağmayın yollarıma, durun kar taneleri" (Do not snow on my road; stop snowflakes) expresses his complaint of snow hindering him from meeting his lover. Another line: "Her yerde kar var, kalbim senin bu gece" (There is snow everywhere, my heart is yours tonight), is a message to a distant lover. Despite a sweet and nice natural occurrence, snow is sometimes harsh and creates trouble. In the past, roads to some villages and cities remained closed for months due to heavy snow. The villages' access to cities was impossible in winter months. If someone was sick, villagers could not take the patient to a physician. In Turkish theater literature there is a play, "Buzlar Çözülmeden" (Before Ice Melts Away), which was later adapted into a film. In the play, a newly assigned governor cannot access the village due to snowy weather and a madman declares himself governor. 

Many commanders lost wars due to snow and many emperors were dethroned for the same reason. In 1812, the army of Napoleon and, in 1943 Hitler was defeated due to snow, not the Soviet army. Two Ottoman sultans lost their throne due to snow. At the time of Sultan Osman II's reign there was harsh cold and the Bosporus froze over. A poet recorded it at the time in a poem: "Bin otuzda derya dondu, ben deniz geçtim" (The sea froze in the year 1621, and I, your humble servant, passed over it). At that time, ships carrying food from Rumelia to Istanbul were unable to access the harbor. The rise of food prices accompanied famine and brought an end to the sultan's rule along with his life. Similar harsh cold was seen during the reign of Sultan İbrahim, the brother of Osman II. In the past, people held someone responsible for natural disasters. Europeans used to accuse Jews for the plague, while sultans were responsible of natural disasters in the Ottoman society.

In winter, transportation was available by use of sleighs. In northern countries, dogs were used to move sleds, but in Anatolia horses used to do it. It was very hard to travel when there was a blizzard or frost. Passengers could endure cold to some extent if they had fur or blankets on their knees. Nevertheless, it was a chance to go somewhere under such difficult conditions.


 Önceki Yazılar
24.03.2017 - MODERN INSURANCE SYSTEM HAS ITS ROOTS IN MEDIEVAL ANATOLIA

17.03.2017 - PRINTING PRESS AS A TURKISH INVENTION

10.03.2017 - THE PALESTINE ISSUE THAT COST SULTAN ABDULHAMID II THE OTTOMAN THRONE

03.03.2017 - THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE IN HISTORY

24.02.2017 - THE MEMORIES OF ARMENIAN OLYMPIANS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

17.02.2017 - RUMELIAN TURKS: OTTOMAN MIGRANTS FROM BALKANS TO ANATOLIA

10.02.2017 - IN THE PURSUIT OF ROYAL OTTOMAN FAMILY'S TANGLED INHERITANCE

03.02.2017 - MUHAMMED ALI PASHA'S CAIRO AND EGYPT UNDER OTTOMAN RULE

27.01.2017 - JOURNEY OF TOBACCO FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO OTTOMAN EMPIRE

20.01.2017 - CYPRUS DISPUTE: AN ISLAND AT A CROSSROADS

18.01.2017 - Graves of Ottoman princes, sons of Sultan Abdulhamid II in ruins in France’s Bobigny cemetery

13.01.2017 - A FAREWELL TO LAST HEIR OF OTTOMAN EMPIRE PRINCE OSMAN BAYEZID

10.01.2017 - New heir to the former Ottoman throne witnesses horrors of Syrian civil war in Damascus

06.01.2017 - OTTOMAN-ERA CLOCK TOWERS TELLING TIME FROM BALKANS TO MIDDLE EAST

23.12.2016 - ALEPPO: AN ANCIENT CITY RUINED IN MODERN-ERA DESTRUCTION

16.12.2016 - THE HISTORY OF ROWING ALONG THE BOSPORUS IN OTTOMAN ISTANBUL

10.12.2016 - TEA: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A TURKISH OBSESSION

02.12.2016 - THE EVOLUTION OF OTTOMAN-ERA SECRET SERVICES

25.11.2016 - HISTORIC FOUNTAINS AND WATER CULTURE IN OTTOMAN ISTANBUL

11.11.2016 - MUMMIES OF ANATOLIA STILL A MATTER OF INTEREST

04.11.2016 - AGE OF FIRE: THE DISASTER THAT MENACE OTTOMAN CITIES

28.10.2016 - HEJAZ RAILWAY: A HISTORIC LINE TO ISLAM'S HOLIEST CITIES

21.10.2016 - BIRDHOUSES: MINIATURE MANSIONS OF ISTANBUL

14.10.2016 - SPORTS CULTURE IN OTTOMAN SOCIETY

07.10.2016 - TURQUERIE: EVOLUTION OF TURKISH THEME IN EUROPEAN ART, STYLE

30.09.2016 - THE BALYAN FAMILY: ARMENIAN MASTERS BEHIND OTTOMAN ARCHITECTURE

23.09.2016 - WORLD'S FIRST HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

16.09.2016 - THE KULELI INCIDENT: AN OTTOMAN COUP ATTEMPT

09.09.2016 - THE SOCIAL DIVIDE BEHIND THE SYRIAN WAR

02.09.2016 - SYRİA: FROM THE DAWN OF CİVİLİZATİON TO CHAOS OF WAR

26.08.2016 - FEB 28: A 'POST-MODERN' COUP OF RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL OPRESSION

19.08.2016 - 1971 MILITARY MEMORANDUM: A POLITICAL DOWNTURN

12.08.2016 - THE 1980 COUP: FEARFUL PERIOD AMID POLITICAL CRACKDOWN

08.08.2016 - THE 1960 COUP: FIRST ATTACK ON TURKISH DEMOCRACY

29.07.2016 - TREATY OF LAUSANNE: TRIUMPH OR LOSS?

22.07.2016 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF COUPS IN TURKEYTORY OF COUPS IN TURKEY

15.07.2016 - UNWRAPPING THE HISTORY OF PAPER AND ITS INFLUENCE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD

08.07.2016 - A TRAVEL DIARY FROM MAGHRIB TO THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

04.07.2016 - RAMADAN BAYRAM: SHARE, REJOICE, WORSHIP

24.06.2016 - PRINCESS EMINE NECIBE: A LOST TALE FROM CAIRO TO ISTANBUL

17.06.2016 - THE KARAMANLIDES: A TURKISH-SPEAKING GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITY IN ANATOLIA

10.06.2016 - DATES: THE SACRED FRUIT DURING RAMADAN

08.06.2016 - Καραμανλήδες

03.06.2016 - THE SOCIAL ROLE OF WAQFS DURING THE OTTOMAN ERA

27.05.2016 - SHAMANISM: A PRACTICE OF EARLY TURKIC BELIEFS

20.05.2016 - A MONETARY HISTORY OF ISLAMIC SOCIETIES

16.05.2016 - FEZ: A TIME-HONORED OTTOMAN HAT FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN

06.05.2016 - THE ABDULLAH BROTHERS: PIONEERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE LATE OTTOMAN PERIOD

29.04.2016 - THE SIEGE OF KUT: AN UNFORGOTTEN OTTOMAN VICTORY

23.04.2016 - HEALING IN ISLAMIC SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

18.04.2016 - BEDESTEN: THE OTTOMAN PRECURSOR TO THE SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX

08.04.2016 - THE ART of THE MEDDAH: TRADITIONAL TURKISH STORYTELLING

01.04.2016 - RETHINKING THE IMPERIAL HAREM: WHAT DID LIFE LOOK LIKE FOR OTTOMAN PALACE WOMEN?

25.03.2016 - THE ROMA: A LIFE OF CONSTANT TRAVEL

18.03.2016 - TWO SIDES OF THE GALLIPOLI WAR

11.03.2016 - EUROPE MUST KEEP THE TRADITION OF LIVING TOGETHER

04.03.2016 - THE HOLODOMOR: A MANUFACTURED HUMAN TRAGEDY

26.02.2016 - JAMRAH: THE HERALD of SPRİNG

19.02.2016 - HANDKERCHIEFS: THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF LOVE

12.02.2016 - KARAITE JEWS: THE READERS of HEBREW SCRIPTURES

05.02.2016 - 150 PERSONAE NON GRATAE: THE BLACK LIST OF THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED REPUBLIC

29.01.2016 - WHY THE ISLAMIC WORLD FELL BEHIND IN SCIENCE

22.01.2016 - ADA KALEH: A TURKISH ISLAND IN THE DANUBE RIVER

15.01.2016 - THE MOSUL QUESTION: A CLASH FOR OIL

01.01.2016 - NEWSPAPERS: AN INTELLECTUAL LEGACY of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE

18.12.2015 - THE GALATA BANKERS: FINANCING OTTOMAN STATE

11.12.2015 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF TURKISH-RUSSIAN RELATIONS

04.12.2015 - FRAMING WOMEN'S STATUS THROUGH THE AGES

27.11.2015 - SICILY: AN ETERNAL MEETING POINT BETWEEN AFRICA AND EUROPE

20.11.2015 - TURKISH-ARAB RELATIONS FROM PAST TO TODAY

13.11.2015 - SLAVERY AND ISLAM: A TRANSFORMATIVE MEETING

30.10.2015 - THE BRIEF HISTORY of ELECTIONS in TURKEY

23.10.2015 - ASHURA: THE TRADITIONAL DESSERT EMBRACING PEOPLE FROM EVERY RELIGION

22.10.2015 - Ashura: una festa e un dolce che uniscono diverse comunità religiose

16.10.2015 - TURKISH CHEESES OFFER A VARIETY OF TASTES

09.10.2015 - TRANSFORMATION OF OTTOMAN COFFEEHOUSES TO THE PRESENT

02.10.2015 - THE STORY OF THE STAR AND CRESCENT ON THE ARMS OF TWO EUROPEAN CITIES

25.09.2015 - QURBAN BAYRAM: HOW DO MUSLIMS CELEBRATE A HOLY FEAST?

18.09.2015 - MAHPEYKER KOSEM SULTAN: THE WOMAN WHO OVERSAW 3 GENERATIONS of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE

11.09.2015 - LITERACY IN OTTOMAN SOCIETY WAS HIGHER THAN BELIEVED

04.09.2015 - HOSTILITY BETWEEN SELIM I AND ISMAIL I UNDERLIES SECTARIAN DIFFERENCES

28.08.2015 - IMAM SHAMIL: A PIONEER OF THE CAUCUSES'S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM

22.08.2015 - THE DEVŞIRME SYSTEM: A LADDER TO THE TOP OF THE STATE FOR NON-MUSLIMS

14.08.2015 - THE SPANISH TREASURE LYING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ATLANTIC

06.08.2015 - THE HISTORY of FRATRICIDE in the OTTOMAN EMPIRE

31.07.2015 - THE HISTORICAL CITY GATES OF ISTANBUL

24.07.2015 - THE STORY OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE'S CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY

17.07.2015 - CELEBRATING THE JOYOUS HOLIDAY OF EID AL-FITR

10.07.2015 - SYKES-PICOT: THE WESTERN AGREEMENT THAT SEALED THE MIDDLE EAST'S DOOM

04.07.2015 - A TRAITOR OR A HERO? THE EXECUTION OF SHEIKH SAID

26.06.2015 - HATS: A POLITICAL SYMBOL OF TURKISH HISTORY

19.06.2015 - RAMADAN FESTIVITIES BRING LIVELY ATMOSPHERE

12.06.2015 - LEGENDS ABOUT TAQI AL-DIN AND THE DEMOLISHED OTTOMAN OBSERVATORY

08.06.2015 - MYTHS AND REALITY ABOUT THE PRINTING PRESS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

29.05.2015 - THE CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE: THE HERALDING IN A NEW ERA

23.05.2015 - A CHURCH, A MOSQUE AND FINALLY A MUSEUM: THE NEARLY 1,500-YEAR-OLD STORY OF THE HAGIA SOPHIA

16.05.2015 - THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: A SHELTER FOR ALL KINDS OF REFUGEES

09.05.2015 - THE MOSQUE THAT STANDS ON THE SEA: KILIÇ ALI PASHA MOSQUE

02.05.2015 - THE ROLES OF MAJOR POWERS DURING THE 1915 ARMENIAN INCIDENTS

24.04.2015 - HOW WERE THE 1915 INCIDENTS CONFRONTED BY THE OTTOMANS?

17.04.2015 - MYSTERIOUS SCHOLAR BETWEEN EAST AND WEST: LEGEND OF JAMAL AL-DIN AL-AFGHANI

10.04.2015 - A UNIQUE PERIOD IN TURKISH HISTORY: THE TULIP ERA

03.04.2015 - YEMEN: SEARCHING FOR A SIGN OF PEACE

27.03.2015 - FROM KAFFA TO ISTANBUL: COFFEE'S JOURNEY TO TURKEY

20.03.2015 - JIHAD: A MISUNDERSTOOD ISLAMIC TERM

13.03.2015 - THE BITTER STORY OF THE OTTOMAN DYNASTY’S EXILE

06.03.2015 - THE HISTORIC JOURNEY OF YOGURT: FROM TURKIC PEOPLES TO THE WORLD

27.02.2015 - THE HISTORICAL ADVENTURE OF THE TOMB OF SULEYMAN SHAH

20.02.2015 - SHOULD TURKEY SWITCH TO A PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM?

13.02.2015 - WAHHABISM: PURE ISLAM OR EXTREMISM?

06.02.2015 - WORLD WAR I: THE HEAVY TOLL OF A DEADLY CONFLİCT

27.01.2015 - LOOKING BACK ON THE LIFE OF A KING

19.01.2015 - THE OTTOMANS’ EXEMPLARY TREATMENT OF STREET ANİMALS

09.01.2015 - HURREM SULTAN: A BELOVED WIFE OR MASTER MANIPULATOR?

03.01.2015 - AN ANCESTRAL LANGUAGE WITH A DIFFERENT ALPHABET

26.12.2014 - DISCOVER THE SEALS OF OTTOMAN SULTANS

02.12.2014 - MEMORIES OF ISTANBUL SHELTERED IN FIREPROOF LIBRARIES

10.09.2014 - SEA BATHING, THE GOOD OLD FASHION WAY

07.06.2014 - SMILE AND SAY 'CHEESE'

13.05.2014 - THE OTTOMAN AQUADUCT LEGACY

25.04.2014 - WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ARMENIANS (MILLET-I SADIKA)?

20.04.2014 - OTTOMAN MILITARY MARCHING BAND

12.04.2014 - MUSLIMS COME FIRST IN THE HISTORY OF CONSTITUTIONS

05.04.2014 - ISTANBUL COMES TO BLOOM WITH TULIPS

28.03.2014 - AN EXOTIC COMMUNITY IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: THE LEVANTINES

21.03.2014 - CELEBRATE WITH SWEETS ALL YEAR ROUND

21.03.2014 - MURDERS FOR A FALSE PARADISE: THE HASHSHASHINS

10.03.2014 - NOTABLE LIFE OF MIHRIMAH SULTAN

10.03.2014 - SULTAN SULEIMAN'S INACCURATE PORTRAYAL ON TV SHOW

07.03.2014 - CRIMEA BETWEEN TWO FIRES