These magnificent stairs are one of my favourite impromptu snaps of the last year or so. Taken in the back of a battered yellow cab crawling at an absolute snail’s pace en route from the Ciragan Palace in Beşiktaş to Ataturk airport. We were moving so slowly in fact, we were genuinely starting to fear for our flight. Believe me, getting caught in Istanbul traffic at rush hour is no joke.
So I couldn’t believe my eyes when the beautiful rainbow of colour suddenly popped out of the slightly disheveled area we were driving through. So unnatural looking in fact, the photo looks like it has been edited post production – but not so, this is just “as snapped” from the car.
So what is the story of the rainbow stairs? Apparently, circa 2013, a retired forestry engineer – Huseyin Cetinel – decided to spruce up certain neighbourhoods in Istanbul. And the reason?:
“I didn’t do it for a group or as a form of activism. I did it to make people smile.”
How amazing! We salute this man.
Now, this one is not my pic, but I love it so much, I wanted to share it:
The slightly distressing part? I have just read that the stairs were DEMOLISHED this summer. How could this happen? Some answers here in case you are interested:
Apparently the stairs are going to be rebuild and repainted a lovely rainbow colour again. But I must say, I wait with baited breath…….If anyone reading is located in Istanbul, you could perhaps let me know if they have been rebuilt yet. I can’t find anything on the internet which confirms they have been.
Part of the stair’s original charm was the juxtaposition of the modern colour with the old steps. Let’s hope that this can be recaptured again.
Sometimes, even if it is broke, it is just not worth fixing.