The first thing any student must do as soon as they arrive in Istanbul should be to acquire a student transportation card. In order to receive mine without too much delay, I went into the Karakoy application center located in an old commercial district of Istanbul.
Karakoy is a central part of Istanbul most tourists may be familiar with due to its cruise terminal and location across the historic peninsula across the Golden Horn. After picking up my Student Card, I took a small walk among the surrounding streets of the area. My starting location was by the Tunel station (funicular line connecting Karakoy to Beyoglu), an address any Istanbulite would know by heart. As I wandered through the streets which were part of the Genoese colony in Constantinople from the 13th century to the Ottoman conquest in 1453, I began to realize the remains of the medieval Italian colony could still be seen in the structure of the narrow streets. At the end of my small adventure I ended up at Arap Mosque (Arap Camii) with origins dating back to 1233. Even though it has gone through several, extensive restorations, it is worth a visit even if to just see the original belfry (turned into a minaret by adding a conical roof) rising above the neighborhood.
Another small part of Istanbul with layer upon layer of history with still visible remains if one bothers to take a look…