how to get permission to walk over the Bosphorus Bridge

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This post is about how I finally get permission to walk over the Bosphorus Bridge. It involves a run to the Governor’s Office and the Police.

I slept for a day, then I sat down with the Kantian to talk about my worries. The Bridge Problem. The goddamned Bridge Problem. Many people were trying to lobby the different ministries on my behalf, but so far no one seemed to have had any success.

a phone call away

“How about I call the Ministry Of Transportation to inquire?” said the Kantian.

I shrugged. I had called them before and they had just flat out said no, so I wasn’t very hopeful. But after the Kantian put down the phone he smiled at me and said: “Guess what.”

The Ministry Of Transportation had been lobbied by a lot of people and by the Ministry Of Tourism, and they were planning to give me the permit today. It was a Christmas Miracle!

There was a problem, though. The permit itself wasn’t enough – the Governor had to sign off, and so did the Police. It was Friday, the permit was valid through Sunday, and many government officials didn’t work on Friday afternoons.

the other side

“We’re going to have to go to them now,” said the Kantian, just as I was putting on my Santa hat. And there was another problem. Both the Governor’s Office and the Police Headquarters were on the other side of the Bosphorus.

But I have not reached that side, yet! I exclaimed. I didn’t want to see the Hagia Sophia in passing while I wasn’t even really on the continent, yet.

“Well, do you want to walk across the bridge?” asked the Kantian.

We took a ferry to the other side. We sat in the middle seats, and I didn’t look out of the window. When we got to the European side, I kept looking at the ground while I was following the Kantian to the Governor’s Office. When we walked past the Hagia Sophia, the fragment of the Million, and the Blue Mosque, the Kantian told me to pay extra attention not to look. I covered my eyes with my hands.

a fax

It took a while to get a hold of someone at the Governor’s Office, but when we did, a lady came out and voiced her surprise at the fact that we wanted to get a signature on the same day. The Kantian smiled and said something that I took to mean that we were idiots, upon which the lady asked us to wait.

When she came back, she said the Governor (or the Vice Governor) had signed the permit on the spot and faxed it to the Police. Maybe we could make it to the Police Headquarters on time?


Again I averted my eyes as we were boarding a tram. The Police Headquarters were huge and serious-looking. We went through a scanner like in an airport. The woman operating the scanner was very beautiful, and she smiled at my Santa hat.

We went through a courtyard and into a building, then somebody pointed us to an office door. The Police had received the Governor’s fax, and they were expecting us.

There was a moment of confusion as to why I needed a permission to cross the bridge from Asia to Europe when I was already on the European side, but the Kantian managed to explain, and they seemed to like my Santa hat.

In the end they complied and gracefully served us tea while we were making small talk. I told them of my love for sütlaç, for Trabzonspor, and for A101. They laughed.

And here was the plan, lobbied for by the Ministry Of Tourism and by countless friends, permitted by the Ministry Of Transport, signed off by the Governor’s Office and by the Police Headquarters: on Sunday, December 26th, the Second Christmas Day of 2021, I was going to cross the First Bridge, the Bosphorus Bridge, officially known as the 15 July Martyrs Bridge, with my Caboose and with a police escort.

This was my permission to walk over the Bosphorus Bridge.

I could not believe it.


The Governor’s Office:

Istanbul Governor's Office

Trying not to see:

trying not to see anything while getting permission to walk over the Bosphorus Bridge

At the Police Headquarters:

Istanbul Police Headquarters, where we had to go to get the permission to walk over the Bosphorus Bridge

After it has been done:

reflections on buildings

  • Mani

    Amazing! Just amazing! I’m so happy for you! I knew from the videos that the permit was granted, but it’s so nice to have the details and the pictures to help capture this all important event.

    Good luck the rest of the way!


  • Ingolf

    Gratulation! – Mit Beharrlichkeit und ein bisschen Aktivismus haut’s doch immer wieder hin. – Bin gespannt wie du weitergehst.


  • Jorgelina

    👏 so happy for you! 🤗


  • John

    Oh my gosh, Chris. At last! Averting your eyes is classic Chris – always thinking ahead. But it’s not like you haven’t been on European soil in the past 14 years. But it’s January 8 here as I’m reading this, so I hope you have marveled at the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, and well on your way on European soil, with the entire continent of Asia behind you. That, to me, is amazing. THE ENTIRE CONTINENT OF ASIA BEHIND YOU!!! AAAAAAGGGGHHHH! Kudos upon kudos to you!


  • Steffi J.

    Hallo, Christoph, ein wunderbarer Text zu einem sehr schönem Erlebnis für dich ! Bin gespannt auf deine “geöffneten Augen” und den Bericht der Überquerung! Wird es ein Tänzchen geben…??? Liebe Grüße aus Dresden von Steffi


  • ismail

    Was ist ein Kantian, amk?


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