Guide to SKOPJE

„AIR OF ISTANBUL“– Pay and breathe

One of the famous verses of the renown Turkish poet Orhan Veli says: „We live for free, free is the air, the clouds, the river, the rain, the mud is free.“

But this does not apply to the modern times since the air is no longer free, at least when it comes to Istanbul. Namely the air in Istanbul costs a lot of money and moreover there is a high demand for it.

The Bilkent Cultural Initiative, which has an obligation to commercially manage the 55 museums and picnic places in Turkey, began selling canned „Istanbul air“ which was met with strong interest from the domestic and foreign tourists. The price of a tin costs 16 Turkish liras or  7 euros. So far, around 100 cans are sold per month.

The bin has pictures of Istanbul and an inscription “Air of Istanbul”. The pleasantly surprised tourists and domestic visitors smile at first they see the tin and then they briefly comment that it’s either interesting, enjoyable, suprising, super, original, very funny idea. Part of the visitors say it’s very stupid and expensive …

“The first reaction of those who see the bin is the smile on thir faces. From the feedback we get, the bin is usually purchased as a gift for the relatives abroad or from the tourists who want to bring with them something that will stay as a  memory of Istanbul, “- says Yildiray Dyrmaz, the director of the shop „Istanbul Collection“ which is located across the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

According to Durmaz, the nostalgia for their homeland also has a major role in the good sale.

“One woman bought the tin to send it to her son, who could not return to Turkey for a long time due to his work commitments. It was one of the saddest emotional moments for all of the employees at the store, “said Yilmaz.

Husamedin Gina