Istanbul, the Beauty of Old City

(speech number 2: organize your speech)

My dear Toastmaster of the day, fellow toastmaster members and our honored guest, what a warm evening!.

Today I will start my speech number two, organize your speech, with the story of one of the most popular city in the world, Istanbul. Many movies have taken place in the city such as Argo, Taken 2, Skyfall and many others. Lots of websites, people, magazines, even strangers that I met nominated the city as one of the most beautiful city in the world. Then I wonder is Istanbul really that gorgeous? And why?.

So, I went there with my friends two weeks ago to prove that opinion, and surprisingly, can say the same words as they do. Yes, it is absolutely, undeniably, beautiful.


(kiri – kanan : Nia, yudha, efrin, febri)

Ok, honestly my first thought before entering this city was bad. Really bad, I got my flight delayed for two hours for no reason why the plane was late. Heard the sad news about suicide bomb in Sultanahmet square, where was near with my rent apartment at the very exact day when I finally arrived, and also the super crowded airport resulted from that event. Those made me thought ‘Ok, I’m enough; all I want is going back to UK, just forget about this city’. But my friends calmed me down, ‘Nia, everything we’ll be alright, just enjoy every part, we already here’. So that’s where my trip officially began.

Hold on, what is the first question? Haha, just kidding. Why Istanbul is so extremely beautiful?. Ok, the first one I got when the taxi drove me passed the Bosporus strait at night, the strait that connects Asia and Europe. I just, wow, speechless with the things that I saw. This city is surrounded by lots of lovely landscapes. For example, in the strait, I saw the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Dolmmabahce Palace, the oldest tower, Galata tower, the most expensive hotel in Istanbul, Kempinski Ciragan, Ortakoy mosque, the cruises, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Rumeli Fortress etc, etc. And my amazement was increased when the next days I explored those sites one by one.


The second one, it’s rich history. Everyone knows that a long time ago, the city had been influenced by three empires. Greek, Roman, and Ottoman. At 7th century Greek colonists led by King Byzas named the city as Byzantium, which been colonized after consulted with an oracle to settle across Bosphorus strait. Then at 100’s BC it fell to Roman Empire. Emperor Constantine the Great made the city as a capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and named as Constantinople. For many years, many kingdoms tried to attack and take the city, then finally at 1453, the Ottoman Turks succeed to conquer the city and renamed as Istanbul. Those three empires had built many important buildings and mosque. For example, Hagia Sophia, was built by the Byzantine Empire, it later convert to the mosque by the ottoman but they didn’t delete its wall. For 1000 years it was the largest church in the world which describes the glory of Byzantine emperor. Then, Blue Mosque and Topkapi which created by Ottoman Empire, as well as this beautiful cistern, called Basilica Cistern, created by Byzantine which had a capacity of 100.000 tons water, which had medusa face in one of their pillars.


The last one was, of course the people. Even though they always called me Malaysian not Indonesian haha. They were very friendly. I’ve met many people who help me and my friends through the tour, and they’ve never forced us to buy anything. They have a great talent to serve the tourist and very care. The food was always delicious, not only the popular kebab or baklava or Turkish delight where you can find every corner but also lots of different foods which I forgot the name. Haha 😀


I love Istanbul. Every part of the city is worth to be seen. Now I know the reason why everyone said that before. Alphonse de Lamartine ever said ‘if one had but a single glance to give the world, one should be gaze on Istanbul’. It is the city where the old story begins, the city where two continents meet beautifully, the city with everyone will never forget. Thank you!”

Aghnia Amalia Septiany



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