I’m a member of a Facebook group for travel writers and I recently asked for suggestions of blogs and websites about Turkey and neighbouring countries. Surprisingly, at least to me, there were few suggestions. Naturally, I decided to compile my own. Listed below, in no particular order, are some but by no means all, my favourites.
Janey in Mersin
The fact that Jane is from Sydney, Australia, like me, doesn’t affect my judgement of her blog at all. Not a bit. It’s simply brilliant, because unlike most starry-eyed “I came to Turkey as a village bride/novice English teacher, everything’s always wonderful” blogs, she writes as she sees it, warts and all. Jane moved to Mersin in 2012, and she writes about the everyday battles of the typical (not) Turkish housewife – getting on with the neighbours while plotting to kill their cockerel, learning to make salça even a Turkish mother-in-law will approve of and my favourite, how to drink too much wine and walk through fields safely, a skill Jane sadly and hilariously lacks. If you’re sitting at home after yet another argument with the family and thinking life must be better elsewhere, this is the blog for you.
Katrinka lives in Istanbul and uses it as a base to travel deep into Turkey and the Middle East, as well as making regular incursions into Eastern Europe. Her main focus in photography but as with most people who want to capture the spirit of a place, she always shares the story behind the image. Useful for those who want to hone their photography skills and explore interesting corners of the city.
The Turkish Life
Expat and journalist Jennifer Hattam hails from San Francisco and moved to Istanbul in early 2008. Her blog is a mix of random observations of everyday life, cultural differences and politics, and her articles cover arts, culture, politics and much more. She offers readers a much more realistic picture of contemporary life in Istanbul as she ventures out to the far flung suburbs to investigate the boom in housing construction, or writes about the effect of terrorism on everyday life in the city. Recommended for those living in Istanbul wanting to learn about more than the usual tourist spots.
Turkish Travel Blog
Founded by the inexhaustible Natalie Sayin, the Turkish travel blog is the perfect go to guide for planning your travels in Turkey. From practical advice on how to get around to brutally honest reviews of must-see or better left off the itinerary places, Natalie has left no stone unturned in her quest to entice visitors to Turkey. Unlike many similar websites Natalie always goes to the places she writes about and tells you exactly what she thinks, making it easy to make up your own mind on whether to visit a particular place. Highly recommended.
Ozlem’s Turkish Table
Although I’m not a bad cook, the kitchen isn’t my favourite room in the house. I rarely cook from a recipe because I usually get bored before I’ve even finished reading it. However, I do like food and Turkish food in particular. For this reason I love Ozlem’s page, because she writes so carefully about the history of the food she makes, and her recipes are so delicious even I can use them. Her site is great for people who want to expand their Turkish cooking repertoire, no matter where they live in the world.
For a complete list of the blogs I follow, look at the list called “Blogs I love” on the right hand side of this page. If you know a good blog about Turkey or a country to the east I’ve missed, put the link in the comments section at the end of this post. I’d love to see more!