27-Oct-2001 -- Before coming to Turkey at the end of October 2001 to visit friends, I checked if there was a degree confluence near to my destination, Istanbul. I picked out the point at 41° North and 30° East. It seemed to be the nearest one.
After having seen the very most important touristic spots of the fascinating metropole Istanbul, I thought to myself that it was time to search for the selected confluence point. I tried to encourage Ayçil to accompany me looking for it and I was glad that convincing her was easier than I expected it to be. She really was interested in this Project! So we arranged to meet on October 27th at 10 am in the Lobby of my Hotel near Taksim Square. Having argued a bit about to take a rental car or to go by taxi, our decision was to take a taxi.
The Mapquest-map showed us that Akcağıl is the name of the village next to the selected confluence point. The driver who brought Ayçil to my hotel offered to bring us there, although he still had no idea why we wanted to get there or what we wanted to do at this point. - And we did not want to tell him before we were on the way, because we did not want him to change his mind. So, together with three colleagues, our driver Mustafa sorted out how we might get there.
At about 10:30 am we left Taksim Square in the center of Istanbul. After crossing the Bosporus we first took the D100 heading east and continued to Izmit on the E80. When we arrived there, we had to ask several times how to go on, as nobody seemed to know the village Akcağıl. At least some knew Deliveli, the next village, and they told us to head for Kandıra and turn left after having passed a prison at the right side. This was an important tip, because from this point we could always guess which way to take by following the direction showed by our GPS. From the crossing at the prison, we went about 20 kilometers on small roads and somehow we managed always to choose the right ones. The Mapquest-map was the best map we could get, but now it was not a big help anymore. Anyway, it was quite easy to get to our destination as near as 60 meters by car. Then we asked Mustafa to stop the taxi and the three of us walked in the direction showed by the GPS. After a few minutes we easliy found the confluence point 41°N 30°E at about 1:30 pm. It is situated in a small forest, which is the reason for not getting the absolutely exact result on the GPS.
Now we wanted to get back to Istanbul as soon as possible. We did not go to Izmit anymore, but went directly to the highway D100. Unfortunately we not only took the fastest way, but we also went as fast as our car could go, and therefore we were stopped by the police. Mustafa had to get out of the car and was negotiating for quite a long time with the police. Ayçil and I already started to worry about him, when he came back. Mustafa told us, that he told the officers about our Degree Confluence search, but they could not believe it. They thought we might be looking for treasures and asked Mustafa if we have had special detectors for our search. When he said that we were using something that looked like a cellular phone, the police-officers said that Mustafa should not believe our story. But after having paid the speeding ticket, the police allowed us to continue our journey back to istanbul, where we arrived at about 4 pm.
I expect, that Ayçil and Mustafa are now spreading the idea of the Degree Confluence Project in Istanbul ;-)
Bernhard'in Istanbul'a gelmeden önce anlattiklarindan dolayi bu projeden az çok haberdardim ve çok ilginç, siradisi bir sey oldugu için dikkatimi çekmisti ama onun sinirli Istanbul ziyareti sirasinda böyle bir sey için vakit ayirmak isteyecegini beklemiyordum dogrusu.
Aslinda Istanbul'un bu kadar yakininda bir noktanin bulunmasi sansti. Biz de bu sansimizi denemeye karar verip yola çiktik. Araba kiralamak veya taksiyle gitmek arasinda küçük bir tereddütden sonra, yolu bilen biriyle daha rahat edecegimizi düsünüp, taksi ile gitmeye karar verdik. Iyiki de öyle yapmisiz çünkü taksi söförümüz Mustafa Bey, olaya ayrica renk katti. Birincisi yaptigimiz seyi gayet normal karsiladi, yani çok olumlu davrandi ayrica GPS yardimiyla yönümüzü bulmaya çalisirkenki heyecani, Bernhard'a gösterdigi ilgi ve misafirperverlik çok hostu.
Yolculugumuza gelince, açikçasi çok kolay oldu. Nerdeyse elimizle koymus gibi bulduk. Çok fazla yürümek yada tirmanmak zorunda kalmadan istedigimiz yere ulasmistik. Benim açimdan çok iyiydi ama tabii bunun Bernhard'i ne kadar tatmin ettigi tartisilir, çünkü onun ilk ziyareti olan Italyadaki noktayi tam olarak yakalamasi bes saatini almis, ve o bunun çok daha eglenceli oldugunu düsünüyor.
Bu arada geri dönüs yolunda radar'a yakalanip, polis tarafindan durdurulmamiz da baska bir hikaye olusturdu. Çünkü Mustafa Bey, polis'e ne yaptigimizi anlatinca, Polis de bizim define aradigimizi düsündü ama neyseki cezamizi ödedikten sonra yolumuza devam edebildik.
Bernhard'in olaydan ve tabiiki olumlu sonuçlanmasindan duydugu heyecan bizlere de yansidi. Mustafa Bey ne düsünüyor bilmiyorum ama benim açimdan çok hos, ögretici ve de tabiiki degisik bir deneyim oldu.
Herkese tavsiye ederim.