In Memory of Barış Mumyakmaz

It's with great sadness today that we've learned of the passing of long-time friend and contributor Barış Mumyakmaz. A graduate of Galatasaray University and the...

166 Reasons Not to Leave Istanbul

These last months have not been easy. Our hearts ache for the country that has been a welcoming home away from home for so many of us....

A Moment for Istanbul

This weekend has seen the country suffer yet another senseless terror attack, leaving 5 dead and 39 injured in the heart of our beautiful,...

Beating the Istanblues: A Night at the Spa

My wife Özge and I can’t afford many luxuries. We’re a working couple, with different schedules. We don’t even share the same days off. We...

Broke and Lost in Istanbul

“Habitash! Habitash!” The unfamiliar deckhand appeared as a silhouette, repeatedly emphasizing this made-up word as though I would finally understand what it meant the sixth...

That Pink Elephant Mystique: A Celebration of International Women’s Day, in...

“Silence is the worst. Whenever a thick cloud of silence descends, the yapping voices inside me become all the more audible, rising to the...

Construction Fever: Will It Save Us from the Next Big One?

Bağdat Caddesi is a long, wide shopping avenue on the Asian side of the city, Istanbul’s equivalent of 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive. Nearby are...

Songs for an Unfinished City (An Istanbullu’s Listening Guide)

Every great city has its own soundtrack, or at least, deserves one. If it doesn’t, you should think about moving somewhere else. I think of...

On the Road to Gebze: Surviving in the Industrial Heartland

On the road to Gebze, where I teach twice a week, I have a lot of time to contemplate the passing landscape. Out on the...

Romancing the Old City: A Somewhat Cynical Love Note to Istanbul

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine. Then up he...

Top 10 Yabangees – The Creme de la Kaymak of Eccentric...

Someone recently described Istanbul to me as a city where you can "have the best day of your life, followed by the worst day”,...

The Allure of Elsewhere

Wherever you go, there you are.  And wherever you are, there is someone who wants to be somewhere else.  After living in the United...

Remembering Bowie: An Occidental Ode to the Original ‘Space Oddity’

My first memory involving David Bowie is from when my Aunt took me, at age 4, to a screening of “Labyrinth”. The details are...

We Are With Istanbul

This week has been one of sadness and deep reflection for all of us in Turkey. These heinous, tragic attacks are all too frequent and...

My Dinner With Gökhan

A friend of mine, whom I’ll call Gökhan, loves eating. It is one of his great passions in life. As the son of an...

Turkey at the Expo Milano 2015: Food, Hospitality, Design

The World Expo, held this year in Milan, is one of the foremost opportunities for states to dazzle the rest of the world. This...

The Rise and Fall of a Telecommuting Empire in Istanbul

Traffic is a daily grind for some 14 million Istanbullus. That’s not even counting the outskirts, which include several million more. You get used to...

Ten Things I Have (and Have Not) Gotten Used to about...

I have been living in Istanbul for four years. Just writing that sentence makes me dizzy. As a Spanish expat living in this amazing city,...

A Moment for the Victims in Ankara

This weekend has seen the country suffer its worst terror attack to date, with two bomb blasts in Ankara leaving over 95 dead and 240 injured. The tragic...

City Scherzos: Bukowski in Sultanahmet (and Other Ghosts of Teachers Past)

I’ve been a teacher for the past ten years, first in Prague and now in Istanbul. Over the years, you get used to seeing...

City Scherzos: Chopin in Koşuyolu

Some time back, I decided to try a new approach to my Istanbul stories. Up until that point, the stories, though carefully written, were missing...

City Scherzos: This Matter of Medusa

You may have read in the Turkish news recently that archaeologists in Antalya found the head of Medusa … in stone. The archaeologists told reporters...

City Scherzos: Istanbul’s Absurdist Heart

The other evening, my wife and I were out in our neighborhood of Koşuyolu feeding the cats as is our evening ritual. While we were...

Istanbul: What I Remembered, What I Forgot

Memory is a funny thing. As much as it keeps record of reality, it also creates a reality of its own. As expats, we...

Yabangee Essentials

Yabangee Classics