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To look at Istanbul from the air is always equally astounding. The view from above at its unique position can bring nothing but a marvel.

Yet, to know that you can experience that feeling to the fullest by seeing all that wonder with your own eyes, is even more exciting.

In Istanbul, the sky feels closer with Ali. Photographer by profession, and a flying aficionado who catches every chance to soar as high as possible, Ali Kabas seems like a perfect companion to go up in the air with.

Ali Kabas, from “High Angle” exhibition

Over the last 14 years, he has had more than 2000 flights with his paramotor, documenting with his camera Istanbul’s most beautiful corners that would remain unseen otherwise.

For those who may find themselves confused, paramotor is a paraglider with an engine on the pilot’s back. They can go up to 1 km, although the closer you fly, the more fun you have. With the full tank, you can stay up to 5 hours in the air.

Ali Kabas, photo from Dalyan

Like this, you can experience, according to Ali, the best way to enjoy the world from above. Unlike other aircrafts, paramotor gives flexibility and a full, unobstructed view for the person to enjoy and capture that perfect shot from above.

Luckily for us living here, Istanbul is one of the best places for those who like flying. With two coastlines – the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, there are almost always good chances of having favorable conditions for flying in Istanbul. Seasons don’t matter either, as long as the wind blows from the sea, it is easy to fly.

Ali Kabas, from “High Angle” exhibition

Even for those who don’t like the idea of being up in the air, paramotoring might be a good opportunity to fight their fear of heights. Paramotor keeps moving forward all the time, and unlike the helicopter, it cannot stop, so it doesn’t give that fear of falling.

All this, and much more, can Ali tell about paramotors to a novice like myself, using all the time words colored with extensive experience and love for flying. Much of his photographic work could be seen in numerous exhibitions in Turkey and beyond. It is aerial for the most part, but you can stumble upon some of his underwater photography too. They seem to compliment each other perfectly in Ali’s world.

Ali Kabas, Aerial Adana

For a more scenic introduction to his work and passion, you can watch a short documentary about him here. It will give you a taste of that feeling that feeds him regularly. Today, when aerial photography is more accessible than ever thanks to all the latest technology, it is challenging to find that special angle that Ali so skillfully brings to light. You can see some of his videos from below and above here.

Ali and his friends fly all the time. Most of them have a pilot license and can take a passenger with them when they fly a paramotor.

You can also fly with Ali and his friends.

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Ali Kabas, from “High Angle” exhibition

It is enough to write to us at and we will tell you all the details about this great activity that you can do almost any weekend in Istanbul. Once you are in touch with Ali and his flying crew, the rest is easy.

To see Istanbul from a new angle and remind ourselves of its beauty is something we all need from time to time. Now with more clear skies coming our way, flying will be on my agenda too.

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A still from Ali Kabas’ video

For more stunning imagery from the air, have a look at Ali’s video from one of his recent flights over the Black Sea here.

Enjoy the ride!


All photos courtesy of Ali Kabas.


When Billur moved from her hometown of Izmir to Istanbul at an early age, she immediately fell in love with its charm and uniqueness. Over the years, she became part and parcel of Cihangir – a zone heavily inhabited with expats and intriguing locals, where today she is known as the real expert of the neighbourhood. Also known as an animal rescuer, Billur currently owns two cats and one dog, all three of them saved from tough conditions on the streets.

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