Take a Clean Break in Istanbul
ISTANBUL AWAKENS the senses like few places on earth, with its centuries-old minarets, fragrant bazaars, clanging trolleys, all the ships and ferries chugging up and down the mighty Bosporus. For a long time, Istanbul has also offered a distinctive type of sanctuary from all that overstimulation: the Turkish bathhouse, or hammam.
How To Discover Your Fortune In Istanbul
Fortune-telling has long played an important role in Turkish culture. Even after the conversion to Islam, which deems fortune telling sinful, Turks continued to practice and value fortune-telling. In fact, a müneccimbaşı (the head of fortune tellers) was kept in the Ottoman palaces to cater to the Sultans’ desires of knowing what the future holds.
A Spot of Romance
THE project has eaten up all his Nobel prize money and he says he could have written half a novel in the time it has taken to finish it. But Turkey’s laureate, Orhan Pamuk, finally has his Museum of Innocence, the wellspring of his bestselling 2008 tale of the same name, about the doomed Istanbul lovers, Füsun and Kemal.
Fish restaurants in Istanbul: Natural Selection(s)
In the evolutionary process of the Istanbul fish restaurant, there was a moment in the late 1990s when the amphibious, shore-hugging boat restaurants crawled out of the Bosphorus and became land dwellers.
September 26, 2011
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Turkey’s Dual Purpose ‘Office Museum’ Opens
September 23, 2011
“We are ready to open the museum,” Galata Mevlevihane Museum Director Yavuz Özdemir said, adding that the museum was expected to open this month. “We are waiting for the order from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.”
Located on Galip Dede Street near İstiklal Avenue, Istanbul’s unique original dervish lodge will open to visitors in the coming days with a new facelift after a four-year restoration process.
“The large garden of the dervish lodge has been restored for use as an area where people can escape the crowds of Beyoğlu,” he said. The Galata Mevlevihane was closed to visitors in 2007 and restored with contributions from the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Özdemir said the Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi mentioned in his travel books that the dervish lodge had included nearly 100 rooms.
The lodge was damaged in an earthquake in 1509. It has undergone restoration work since the early 17th century and additional structures turned the site into a social complex, according to a document from the museum’s archive, Özdemir said.
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Istanbul’s old Galata Lodge Readies for Opening after a Four-Year Restoration
Read more on The Wall Street Journal: Istanbul Rising
Read more on Today's Zaman: Istanbul’s Rising Popularity Attracts International Hoteliers
Read more on The Economist: The Istanbul Biennial: Vintage is the new vanguard
September 15, 2011
Istanbul's many attractions include towering minarets, underground Byzantine cisterns and steamy bathhouses. Pat Yale selects the places to visit
10 of the Best Sights in Istanbul
Istanbul boasts a night out for all tastes, from Gypsy haunts to the city's most outrageous gay club, Izzy Finkel & Tom Roueché picks 10 of the best
10 of the Best Clubs in Istanbul
Istanbul isn't all about kebabs and meze. This food lover's city is also crazy about freshly caught seafood, served everywhere from shacks to riverside restaurants, say the Istanbul Eats bloggers
10 of the Best Fish Restaurants in Istanbul
Istanbul's lokantas, or 'tradesmen's restaurants', are where the locals go for fast, fresh home-style cooking and a lively atmosphere. The Istanbul Eats bloggers select 10 of the best...
10 of the Best Lokantas in Istanbul
Istanbul is a frenetic city – but its citizens also know how and where to slow down. Pinar Hilal Vurucu picks 10 places to stop for coffee, watch the city go by, and hang out with locals
10 of the Best Outdoor Cafes and Hangouts in Istanbul
The Istanbul fashion scene is a reflection of the city's vibrant youthfulness. Elle Turkey editor Seda Yilmaz selects the best shops, from cutting-edge designer to vintage haute couture
10 of the Best Fashion Boutiques in Istanbul
From hidden gems in the Grand Bazaar to smoky bookshops in the back streets of Beyoğlu, Tom Roueché hunts down Istanbul's fast-disappearing antique treasures
10 of the Best Antiques Shops in Istanbul
Malcolm Burgess picks 10 literary tributes to Istanbul, from a history of Constantinople to a literary trail through the city by Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk...
10 of the Best Books Set in Istanbul
From Turkish versions of Tarzan and Dracula to wintry weepies, via (whisper it) Midnight Express, Fiachra Gibbons picks out the best films shot in Istanbul
10 of the Best Films Set in Istanbul
See & Read more on The Guardian's Istanbul Guide
September 13, 2011
Read more on Art Info: Bullish on Istanbul: Art Beat Director Arhan Kayar on the Turkish City's New Upstart Fair
Read more on Just Luxe: Istanbul Fashion Week 2011
Read more on Zaman: ‘Bach in Istanbul Opens with Five Bachs
Read more on Just Luxe: Street Art Exhibition 'Stars of Istanbul' Launches to Benefit UNICEF Turkey
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Danish Artist Paints Walls of Istanbul’s Art Gallery
September 11, 2011
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Akbank Jazz Fest to Feature Top Names, Young Talents
The fifth Istanbul Fashion Week, or İFW, started Wednesday and will run until Sunday.
In a departure from previous years, there was no state protocol, no opening ceremony and no presentation of plaques this time around.
In Turkey, Europe’s second and the world’s fourth largest textile supplier, a new generation of designers are emerging, and the fashion week that is taking place at the center of Beyoğlu, one of Istanbul’s most historical centers, is hosting a great number of young Turkish designers.
The goal in the minds of this year’s IFW organizers is to establish the city as the fashion capital of the region. Istanbul-based designers are not only showcasing their work for the global fashion press, they are also trying to connect with foreign markets.
In total, 22 fashion shows are taking place with the contribution of 22 designers and five brands during the week. The budget for the whole event, which is also being supported by the Istanbul and Beyoğlu municipalities, is 2 million Turkish Liras. Turkish Airlines is sponsoring the transport, while M.A.C. is responsible for all the models’ makeup during the shows.
Over 100 foreign members of the press coming from France, Italy, Spain, Russia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East are here as part of their coverage of Spring-Summer 2012 fashion shows. In addition to this, buyers from France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Lebanon are here to place orders.
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: IFW Belongs to Designers This Year
September 07, 2011
Read more on Zaman: Istanbul's Historical Peninsula to Launch Smart Bike Project
Read more on The Telegraph: Istanbul, Turkey: Old City, New Spirit
Çarşamba A sprawling weekly affair in an ultra-conservative area, the enormous Fatih Çarşamba (Wednesday) market – flogging fruit and veg, eggs and cured meats, outrageous stilettos, gadgets, branded clothing and, well, everything at rock-bottom prices – is not a place for the faint-hearted. Disorganised and wholly unruly, relentless sellers on table-tops wade among overflowing wares, bellowing prices and bagging goods at the slightest sign of interest. Favoured by locals, tourists are refreshingly absent, so keep the cameras under wraps, adopt a steely visage and don't hold back from joining swarms of angry mothers raking through mountains of clothing, as these will, no matter how unlikely it seems, produce the occasional gem. Bags and loved ones should be kept close at all times.
• Kirmasti Mahellesi, 34083 Fatih
Inebolu A genuine Istanbul "foodie" can be defined by their affinity with the Inebolu Sunday market, an Anatolian culinary carnival located in the downtown grime of Beyoğlu's Kasimpaşa district. Tobacco-chewing sellers from the Inebolu Black Sea region of Turkey set off in their lorries on Saturday night to arrive in Istanbul at the crack of dawn, laden with the finest organic produce; chunky slabs of corn bread, bushels of fragrant herbs, thick pastes and purees, crates of eggs, bright flowers, splitting sacks of grain, walnuts and hazelnuts and bins of glistening olives. With beady-eyed punters beginning their forage as early as 6am, shalwar-clad damsels and their moustached counterparts police topsy-turvy stalls in a chorus of discordant bellows. A trip to Anatolia and back again – and all before breakfast. Shuts up shop early, at 4pm.
• Toprak Tabya Sokak, 34440 Küçük Piyale
Spice bazaar A short walk from the Grand Bazaar, the 17th-century Eminönü Egyptian Spice Bazaar, open seven days a week, is another favourite of the camera-wielding, souvenir-seeking tourist. A bustling gastronomic paradise since 1664, this is the best place to pick up dried fruits and nuts, spices, olives, Turkish delight, oils and essences of the finest order. Bronze curios glint in the sun, torpedo-sized dates are stacked to the rafters, and the decadent scent of freshly ground Mehmet Efendi coffee merges with the aroma of fresh fish, with surprisingly non-toxic consequences. Marriage proposals should only be entertained if they involve free Turkish delight.
• Sururi Mahellesi, 34120 Fatih
Sahaflar One thing you will not find in abundance at Turkish street markets is books. But the old booksellers' market in Beyazit is a haven of old volumes. A leafy city oasis located between the Grand Bazaar and Beyazit Mosque, under a canopy of chestnut and acacia trees, the 15th-century market and its associated tea garden was a hotspot for prominent poets, academics and authors in the mid-20th century, and now hosts 23 bookstores. Stationery, calligraphy materials, textbooks, novels and foreign and holy literature, Sahaflar has it all. Huddles of elderly, tobacco-chewing gents peddle watches, badges, old coins and trinkets, , although it's never entirely clear who is working and who is just hanging around for a chat.
• Çadircilar Caddesi, Beyazit Mahallesi, 34126
Tarlabaşi A short stroll from the bright lights of Taksim's Istiklal Street, the hard-knock residential area of Tarlabaşi – an area associated with unemployment, crime and prostitution – is not the first destination that comes to mind when directing earnest travellers. Yet surprisingly, the rough-and-readyTarlabaşi Sunday food market – a rabbit warren of dusty, uneven streets – boasts a loyal following from all corners of Istanbul society, from penny-pinching Erasmus students to muttering old villagers craving a taste of home. Stall-holders arrive in laden trucks at the crack of dawn, to unload oozing figs with the texture of honey, dazzling fruits, glowing jams of rosehip, apricot and raspberry, and pickled… everything. Economical street shopping at its most authentic.
• Sakiz Ağaci Sokak, Beyoğlu Mahellesi
Grand Bazaar Constructed in 1461, the Grand Bazaar, boasting 5,000 shops, is one of the largest covered markets in the world. Once a vibrant hub of international and local trade, recent decades have seen this labyrinth of glittering delights win the hearts, minds and wallets of wide-eyed tourists in search of the ultimate oriental shopping experience. With beckoning sellers peddling exquisite textiles, pottery, spices, jewellery, lanterns and souvenirs, bartering is an absolute must. However, resist the urge to entertain small boys wielding spinning tops on strings, who will address you as "mother", regardless of age – and, occasionally, gender. At the end of the day, if it gets a bit too bizarre, 22 historical gateways offer ample escape routes.
• The Bazaar is closed Sundays; Divanyolu Caddesi 42, Sultanahmet, 34010
Read more on the Guardian: 10 of the Best Markets in Istanbul
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Famed Train Back in Istanbul
September 05, 2011
A new book titled “Istanbul in World Literature,” once again reveals how Istanbul has attracted thousands of world-renowned writers through the years.
The book, which is published by the Library and Publishing General Management Foundation, reveals the cultural heritage of Istanbul while also presenting the comments and writings of writers who visited Istanbul and wrote about the city.
The book further serves as a scholarly text as academics write about their own thoughts about the writings of famous writers, such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ernest Hemingway and Gerard De Nerval. Articles in the book feature texts about Istanbul and the city’s cultural heritage, as well as articles outlining how it was damaged and ruined during years of war.
Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Multi-author Book on Istanbul Explores the City
There are numerous cemeteries around Istanbul, not to mention the smaller cemeteries that exist around mosques and other buildings that were involved in religious activities of one sort or another. There are even single graves to be found in odd corners.
Istanbul’s earliest cemetery is in Uskudar: the Karacaahmet Cemetery. Named after a warrior companion of the first Ottoman sultan, it simply grew from its 14th-century founding until now, when it is estimated to contain over a million graves.
Istanbul’s most famous cemetery is in the Golden Horn village of Eyüp. It grew up around the tomb of Eyüp Ansari, a companion of the Prophet Mohammed, who died during a seventh-century siege of Istanbul. The shores and hillsides around the mosque at the site are covered with mausoleums, medreses (religious schools) and graves. Centuries-old cypress trees stand along the streets and amid the graves, giving off the feeling that they are the guardians of peace and rest for the dead bodies buried beneath them.
The goal from the visit is a prayer, This year for me, tomorrow for you.
Taken generally however, the inscriptions provide information on families and ties with cities and villages throughout the Ottoman Empire, the distribution of religious sects, cultures, invasions, wars and even natural calamities.