Istanbul has been at the crossroads of cultures since the beginning of civilization. A city that finds itself on two continents and has influences from all over the world. Nowhere can those influences be seen better than in the city’s food. Most people think of Turkish food and think of kebabs and shawarma. It is, but it’s so much more too. On the Istanbul by night food tour we got a chance to discover some local Istanbul specialties.
The Turks are the first people to tell you that belly dancing is not really a Turkish thing. The torso-twisting dance of the Orient is considered a relic of the pan-national Ottoman Empire, imported from Arab cultures in the south. Indeed, most of the belly dancing in Istanbul is not actually performed by Turks, but dancers with Romani, Armenian, and Russian backgrounds, including today’s biggest star, Didem Kınalı
Our Istanbul coffee tour and coffee-making class was a caffeine-filled, three-and-a-half hours amidst three coffee shops, two bazaars, and one coffee lesson. Our cab ride sent us into the Old City as we learned that the fate of our friendship (that of myself and my close friend Vivian, who took these photographs) would be sealed for another 120 years by the end of the tour.
Of Turkey’s top aristocratic families, the name Sabancı stands among the uppermost of the hierarchy, with it famous blue and white double bubble logo embossed on a seemingly endless line of businesses, foundations, universities, banks—you name it. Happily for art lovers in Turkey, a slice was dedicated to establishing the Sakip Sabanci Museum in his former home in Emirgan, a well-to-do neighborhood on the west bank of the Bosphorus.
What do the Hagia Sophia, Tokapi Palace, Galata Tower, Taksim Square and the Grand Bazaar have in common? They are on the European side of Istanbul, indeed, as virtually all of the city’s popular sights. But that’s certainly no reason to dismiss the Asian side. Although primarily a residential area, with few preserved historical structures, […]
The fall of the Ottoman Empire was not a pretty one. Weakened for centuries, it spend the last few decades of its life as “the sick man of Europe.” Nevertheless, it still found beauty in art, especially in architecture,
The artifacts of lost love crowd many a back drawer or trunks in closets—old letters, photos, half-burnt candles, empty perfume bottles, cinema tickets. For some, like Kemal Basmacı, it’s a life consuming obsession.