Discover the Istanbul Women Created
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Discover the Istanbul Women Created

Famous as Turkey’s cultural capital, Istanbul has long been acknowledged as a great city. It’s packed with exquisite mosques, sumptuous palaces and a rich heritage extensively covered in hundreds of guidebooks, travel websites and blogs, yet few of them mention the fact women played a role in making it great. Like Pierre Loti Cafe, which…

Haskoy on the Golden Horn

I’m very persistent when it comes to exploring neighbourhoods in Istanbul if it means finding the remains of an old mosque or hamam I’ve read about but never seen. I’ll happily walk up and down the same street numerous times and ask for directions in my not-quite-perfect Turkish from anyone who looks like they can…

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…

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Multicultural Turkey: Strength in Diversity

When Atatürk uttered the words “Ne mutlu Türküm diyene!” meaning “How happy is the one who calls themselves a Turk!” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Turkish Republic in 1933, he wanted to promote unity. Although the majority of Turks are and have always been Sunni Muslims, they can also be Alevi, Bektaşi or…

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 to look. Next to traditional Turkish restaurants featuring linen-covered tables and the wailing sounds of…