Category Archives: Discover Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul – a gateway to enchantment

As a long-time resident of Istanbul, readers often ask me to recommend ‘must sees’ when they’re planning their first trip to this wonderful city. While I love to seek out lesser known sights I always tell people to see the … Continue reading

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Orhan Pamuk and the Museum of Innocence

The idea for this museum in Beyoğlu, Istanbul, based on Orhan Pamuk’s novel The Museum of Innocence, was conceived at the same time as the idea for the book. They simultaneously came into thought in the 1990s, and the novel … Continue reading

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Kuruçeşme – beauty on the Bosphorus

Another small suburb tucked away on the edges of the Bosphorus is Kurucesme (Kuruçeşme). The name translates as dry fountain, and it is believed to have been named for a 17th century fountain attached to the Tezkireci Osman Efendi Mosque. … Continue reading

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Taksim backstreets – Dreaming in Russian, talking in Turkish

Behind the bright lights of shops selling well-known fashion labels on the one mile long Istiklal Street linking Taksim Square to Tünel, lies a warren of Taksim backstreets containing a surprising wealth of cultures. But you have to know where … Continue reading

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Arnavutkoy – a village on the Bosphorus

Named after the Albanian (Arnavut) builders brought to Istanbul by Sultan Abdülmescid in the 19th century to lay sidewalks in the city, Arnavutköy is home to beautiful wooden houses, many of them lining the Bosphorus waterside. The original population was … Continue reading

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Boyacikoy on the Bosphorus: Village of the Dyers

Tucked away on the shores of the Bosphorus, next to the far more fashionable and better known suburb of Emirgan, is Boyacikoy, which means ‘Village of the Dyers’. The suburb is so named because in the eighteenth century a large … Continue reading

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Karakoy – the other side

Karakoy, once home to itinerant sailors, has been attracting a lot of attention in recent years. The section east of Galata Bridge already boasts an eclectic collection of cafes, bars and galleries. However I prefer the largely as yet undiscovered … Continue reading

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Ara Guler and My Istanbul

In a recent interview with world famous Turkish photographer Ara Güler in Today’s Zaman (Nov 14, 2014) he said, “The Istanbul that I lived in wasn’t Istanbul. Actually, I didn’t see Istanbul either. Istanbul was already over. And Pera is … Continue reading

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Istanbul Churches – the Armenian history of Istanbul

At least once a month I set off to explore Istanbul’s lesser known streets and sights. Armed with a vague plan to see at least one specific place, I often come across unexpected delights. The day I headed to Nısancı … Continue reading

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Istanbul Churches, Monasteries & Schools – the other city

Istanbul is well-known for its many beautiful mosques as well as architectural marvels from the Ottoman Empire. Under their reign, peoples from many different ethnicities and religions flourished in Istanbul. Pockets of this diverse past remain in richly decorated Istanbul … Continue reading

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