Category Archives: History & Politics

Salacak, more than the Maiden’s Tower

Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, the neighbourhood of Salacak runs along the edge of the Bosphorus from Üsküdar all the way to Harem. Frequented by courting couples and curious tourists drawn by the myth of Kız Kulesi, Leander or … Continue reading

Posted in Discover Istanbul - Asian Side, History & Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Kuzguncuk – a jewel in the Istanbul metropolis

Living in Istanbul which has a population of around 14 million people, it sometimes feels like everybody is out and about at the same time, making it impossible to get anywhere quickly. The streets throng with too many bodies cramming … Continue reading

Posted in Discover Istanbul - Asian Side, History & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Ottomans and Byzantine Turks in Romania II

In my first post “The Ottomans in Romania” I wrote about the way the Turkish language had entered into the Romanian tongue. However words aren’t the only traces of the Turks left in the country today. In most cities and … Continue reading

Posted in History & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ottomans in Romania I

I recently went to Romania for a holiday and was pleased to find a lot of the words were familiar to me. The Latin I studied at school came in handy because Romanian is a Romance language but more surprisingly, … Continue reading

Posted in History & Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Turkish fez, hats & Atatürk

I’m Australian, so coming from a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, wearing a hat in summer, or in my case any time the sun shines, is imperative. When I first moved to … Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Tradition, History & Politics | 4 Comments

Osman Hamdi Bey – Jack of all trades, master of all

Istanbul has long been known for its historical collections of art and antiques, such as the overwhelming wealth of jewels in Topkapı Sarayı and the priceless Hereke silk carpets in Dolmabahçe Palace whose gigantic crystal chandeliers reflect the waves of … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Architecture, Famous people, History & Politics | 2 Comments

Ataturk – from soldier to champion of the Turkish Republic

Unlike the pictures of Queen Elizabeth hanging on the walls of the halls and schools where I grew up in suburban Australia, showing a poised, distant figure, portraits of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, show an intense, charismatic man, seemingly ready to … Continue reading

Posted in Famous people, History & Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Turkish Kara Mizah – Black Comedy

Turkey has a long tradition of using black comedy or satire, known as Turkish kara mizah, to express opinions not readily sanctioned by those in power. Generally it is concerned with serious topics such as murder, death, illness, politics and … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Architecture, Culture & Tradition, History & Politics | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Discover Istanbul, History & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Discover Istanbul, History & Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment