There’s No Such Thing as a Simple Turkish Wedding

The marriage bureaucrats at the Şişli marriage bureau seem like the unhappiest people in the world. Just a few meters from the miniature theater, where everyday...

City Scherzos: Mother-of-Pearl

We were getting married. We couldn’t believe it. It was unbelievable. We didn’t consider ourselves the marrying type. We were too lazy to get...

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...

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...

Permaculture: A Growing Trend in Istanbul

By Abdelrahman Mahmoud Permaculture. Does the word ring any bells? If yes, and you are already well acquainted with the concept, then hold on a minute...

Müslüm Gürses and The Rise of Arabesk

“Çilesiz bir günüm olmadı gitti Bilmedim ömrümün suçu ne usta Allah'ın gücüne gider mi bilmem Verdiği bu candan ben bıktım usta My carefree days never came I don’t know,...

Book of Travels: The Evliya Çelebi TV Show

These days quasi-historical shows like Game of Thrones are the most watched (and pirated) shows on TV. Also, Muhteşem Yüzyıl, “The Magnificent Century”, a prime-time...

Turtle Conservation Volunteering in Dalyan: DEKAMER – My Experience

In my previous article, I discussed the on-going conservation work taking place at Iztuzu Beach, a place of magnificent natural beauty, and an integral...

When the Night Comes Falling

All day long, in fits and waves, there had been blackouts. And not just in one part of Istanbul, but across the whole vast...

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...

What I’ll Miss about Istanbul

After five years in this fascinating city, the need to finish a master’s is calling me back stateside. I have known about the move...

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...

Living with Terror

Let’s first and foremost acknowledge the great privilege of being able to choose your place of residence. Most people are not granted the luxury...

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...

Letters from Istanbul: The Journey of a Tissue Pack

In the city of Istanbul many poor old women sell packets of tissue in the streets, mostly to passing motorists and the people sitting...

5 Tips for Learning Turkish as a Native English Speaker

I've found myself having the same conversation with various people over the past few months. It generally goes like this: "It's just different for native...

We Are All Refugees, One Year Later

Editor's Note: We asked Smilja Brown, the driving force behind last year's "We Are ALL Refugees" benefit concert, to reflect on last year's event. Below, she...

An Ode to Yabangee

Well this isn’t technically an ode seeing as poetry intimidates me. What it is though, is a giant shout-out to all you Yabangee-ers out...

Istanbul Street Names: The Stories They Tell

Having only laid claim to most of their monikers since the declaration of the Republic, Istanbul’s street names often go unnoticed (highly due to...

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...

Remembering Prince: A Purple Paisley Park in My Heart

'The girl on the seesaw is laughing For love is the color this place imparts... Admission is easy, just say you believe And come to this place...

Levantine Lessons: Discovering Syria in Istanbul

“Light is more important than the lantern, The poem more important than the notebook” ― Syrian poet, Nizar Qabbani To the general public, Syria has become...

Organization Profile: Jasmine Baladi

Editor's Note: Jasmine Baladi is one of the organizations at this year's We Are All Refugees event. Jasmine Baladi is a Syrian run, non-profit organization...

29 Quirky Things about My New Home, Turkey

Editor's Note: For those of us who have been in Istanbul for some time and have grown accustomed to the Turkish way of life, it's easy...

Yabangee Essentials

Yabangee Classics