From the department of mutated and possibly retarded new Christmas traditions, meet the Ginger Kondu.
The Ginger Kondu may look like an ordinary gingerbread house (or more accurately, a Pepperskak Has, as it is called in that Scandinavian language they use on food products from Ikea) but our unique approach incorporated some distinctly Turkish architectural elements.
Just like manky street cats and Himalayan piles of trash, the "Gecekondu" or squatters' house, is one of Istanbul's defining visual characteristics. "Gece" means night and "Kondu" is from the verb "to suddenly place." There's an old law that if you start building a house on a property that's not yours after dusk and move in by daylight, you can't easily be thrown out.
Istanbul hillsides are covered with concrete and tar paper gecekondular. Some six million people, mostly migrants from the Anatolian hinterlands who were absent that day at construction school when they talked about plumb lines, live in them. Some Gecekondular neighborhoods have taken on a degree of permanence; others collapse into heaps when there's a strong wind.
Istanbul's architectural heritage is too rich to limit our design influences to just gecekondu style. Crane your neck upward in any neighborhood -- rich or poor -- and you'll find top floor additions (identifiable by poorly matched paint and textures), oddly angled wrought iron terraces and even, inexplicably, the foc'sle of a ship. When it comes to building enhancements, Turknology knows no limits.
Our team of Ginger Kondu designers incorporated all key design elements -- asymmetry, high quality adhesives and lifestyle adaptation -- to our Ginger Kondu. To maintain accuracy, all health and safety standards were ignored and construction detritus littered the site.
We blame these increasingly common and misguided bursts of creativity on the weak dollar. Frustrated by the high cost and low value of going out in Istanbul, we started entertaining at home much more often. The result: epic Sunday dinners, 10 hour long Christmas tree decorating sessions, knife fights and lengthy discussions about camera angles on Digiturk's Fish Channel.