Tesvikiye: By order of the Sultan

In the mid-19th century the sultans moved from Islamic inspired Topkapı to European designed Dolmabahçe Palace. It was the start of a new era in Turkish history and Sultan Abdülmecid I led the way. The formerly tree covered parklands of the palace elite were named Teşvikiye, meaning ‘encouragement’ in Ottoman Turkish. Two obelisks adorned in calligraphic…

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Turkish Homewares: (Re)presenting the Past in the Present*

Turkey has long produced exquisite and practical objet d’art made from paper, stone and glass. Careful attention to detail and a focus on maintaining tradition, means many items are still being made using production methods dating back hundreds of years. Beautiful on their own merit, they conjure up images of distant lands where order, method…

Dukkan Kadikoy Council Waste Free Shop
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Dukkan Kadikoy Council Waste Free Shop

In an effort to improve my Turkish and learn what’s going on in my neighbourhood, I regularly check out the Kadikoy Council website. That’s how I discovered their initiative, Dukkan Kadikoy Council Waste Free Shop. It sells products and foods that are long-lasting, ecologically sustainable, produced from indigenous seeds, non-poisonous and seasonal, sourced from local…

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Coronavirus Turkey: What community looks like in Turkish daily life

I’m an Australian living in Istanbul and like many people here in Coronavirus Turkey, I haven’t been out other than to buy food since March 14. Every day I read the contradictory medical reports about the Coronavirus on the news, see the rise in infections and deaths and like everyone, wonder when this will end….

Raimondo D’Aronco – an Italian Architect in Istanbul
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Raimondo D’Aronco – an Italian Architect in Istanbul

Just before the December rains set in I took advantage of Istanbul’s blue sunny skies to go exploring. My aim was to find works by Raimondo D’Aronco, an Italian architect responsible for bringing Art Nouveau architecture to the city. Raimondo D’Aronco was born in Gemona del Friuli (by coincidence part of the district where my…