Want to get more out of your next trip to Istanbul? Come and explore the Asian side of the city with the help of a long term resident. I’ve just released an audio tour called Stepping Back Through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk so you can do just that. The tour downloads to your phone and it’s like having a private guide, without the hassle of being in a group and having to wait for people to catch up all the time.
My audio tour Stepping Back Through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk takes you on a journey of discovery through Kadikoy’s multicultural past. You’ll see Turkish national architecture, Greek Orthodox churches, former Russian haunts and lots more. To tempt you, I’d like to share a little of what I know about the area here.
“It’s well known that Kurukahveçi Mehmet Efendi is the producer of Turkey’s most famous coffee. He began working in the family shop on Tahmis Sokak in Eminönü where his father Hasan Efendi sold spices and green coffee beans. When Mehmet Efendi took over in 1871 he began roasting the raw coffee beans, a first for the industry.
Less well known are the innovations his children introduced to the business. After Mehmet Efendi’s death in 1931, the business passed to his three sons, Hasan Selahattin Bey, Hulusi Bey and Ahmet Rıza Bey. The eldest son Hasan Selahattin recognized the importance of the international market and began marketing Turkish coffee abroad as well as in the domestic market. Son Hulusi introduced mass production of roasted coffee and commissioned Zühtü Başar, one of the leading architects of the period, to design an Art Deco headquarters for the company on the site of the original family shop. Tucked behind the Egyptian Bazaar and somewhat obscured by the surrounding buildings, this striking structure remains the company’s headquarters to this day.
At the same time the company began to package its roasted-ground coffee in parchment paper and distributed it to groceries and corner stores all over the city using the firm’s own fleet of automobiles, which was an innovation in Turkey. A popular coffee needed a recognisable logo, and this was the achievement of Ahmet Rıza, the youngest son. He had been educated abroad, and understood the power of advertising. In 1933 he commissioned Ihap Hulusi Bey, one of the leading graphic designers of the period, to design a logo for the company. The eye-catchingly simple Art Deco logo is still in use today. In addition their coffee was also promoted through posters and calendars, which was a revolutionary advertising idea for the period.
The Kadikoy outlet, my local, is also housed in a building designed in the Art Deco style. It was opened in 1966 and is the only other branch in whole country. As well as traditional Turkish coffee, they sell a range of coffee types and styles including Columbian filter, which is my favourite.”
If you’d like to know more about Kadikoy than the guidebooks can tell you, purchase a copy of Stepping Back Through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk today. You’ll find all the ins and outs of how to use it on the website.