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It’s Erguvan (Judas Tree) Time in Istanbul…

The Bosphorus is one of the most exclusive areas of not only Istanbul or Turkey but of the entire world. However, there is such a period every year that bright hues of pink and fuchsia merge in the blue of the Bosphorus, and deliver a feast for the eyes.

5/6/2017 12:00:00 AM
As part of the Istanbul Judas blossom festival, which was organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) and was held from May 8th until May 26th of 2017, Istanbulites will be able to participate in the Bosphorus cruises to view the Judas trees of the Bosphorus, photographic outings to take pictures of the blossoms.

Literary discourses, poem performances and live music performances & concerts will be held during the ferry tours. Participation in tours is free and the number of participants are limited to seat availability.

A total of 69,827 Judas Tree have been planted in Istanbul by the Department of Directorate of City Parks and Gardens since the year of 2006.

Haluk Dursun remarks in his book "İstanbul'da Yaşama Sanatı" (The Art of Living in Istanbul) that the Byzantine Empire was founded on May 11 when the Erguvan trees blossomed in Istanbul. The Ottomans conquered Istanbul on May 29, 1453, the same time the Erguvan trees bloom. Since the Ottomans had a strong aesthetic affection, they internalized the Erguvan trees too. However, the trees have recently been overshadowed by tulips. Despite the fact that the tulip is known as the symbol of the Ottoman Empire, it was only the symbol of a specific period, Lale Devri (Tulip Era).

Reading from Evliya Çelebi's itinerary, in the 15th century people from Anatolia visited Emir Sultan, the son-in-law of Sultan Bayezid II, when it was the flowering season of the Erguvan tree. Emir Sultan was well respected and loved; furthermore, he is a descendant of Prophet Muhammed. People would gather around him and the sound of prayers would rise up from the dervish lodge.

Erguvan trees had much importance in Ottoman literature, particularly in Divan poetry which was a highly ritualized and symbolic art form. "Erguvan was the source of inspiration of Divan poetry and mainly mentions lovers' lips, cheeks and faces and also many other various and colorful connotations. It takes its mystical value from the colorful world of Divan poetry because of those characteristics," says Professor Şener Demirel in his academic study "Divan Şiirinde Erguvan" (Erguvan in Diwan Poetry).

Ferry Tour Schedule:

First Tour:
Departure and Arrival 
The Name of Ferry Port -- Departure and Arrival 
Eminönü Ferry Port: 11.00 a.m. – 14:00 p.m.
Beşiktaş Barboros Ferry Port: 11.20 a.m. – 13:25 p.m.
Üsküdar Ferry Port: 11.35 a.m. – 13:40 p.m.

Second Tour: Departure and Arrival 
The Name of Ferry Port -- Departure and Arrival
Eminönü Ferry Port: 15.00 p.m. – 18:00 p.m.
Beşiktaş Barboros Ferry Port: 15.20 a.m. – 17:25 p.m.
Üsküdar Ferry Port: 15.35 a.m. – 17:40 p.m. 

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