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Arts, Culture & History

Diwali in Istanbul: The Indian Festival of Lights

In November, Yabangee contributor Devanshu Bawa and I were invited to the Indian Diwali Festival that is organized annually by the Friends of India...

The Season of the Witch: Spooky Istanbul Explorations and the Hunt...

As the weather has instantly morphed into Fall (literally overnight I have gone from sweating due to the obscene muggy temperature, to sweating due...

5 Turkish Words I Can’t Live Without

Learning Turkish while living in Istanbul can be an experience both painstaking and profoundly exciting. There is an undefinable moment in this adventure -...

Kurban Bayramı: A Guide to “Sacrifice Feast” in Istanbul

If you are a fellow yabangee and have been noticing pictures of cattle hanging around in the streets lately, don’t worry. You haven’t stumbled...

Ramadan in Turkey: A Primer

This post was originally published in July 2013.  Ramadan, pronounced in Turkish as Ramazan, is once again upon us. There are the basic tenets of...

Live Music in Istanbul: 12 of the City’s Best Venues

There's nothing like a great concert, especially when life is stressful. The catharsis of listening to a live band and perhaps even dancing has...

A Glimpse at the Magic of Turkish Tea

When you traverse the streets of Turkey you can see it all around. Everyone is sitting around consuming it. It’s red, it’s hot and...

Ancient Love Affair: Carian Project, a Self-Initiated Artist Residency

After moving from Istanbul to the small village of Turunç in southwest Turkey’s Muğla region, I finally had the time and energy to explore...

6 Permanent Istanbul Collections Worth (Re)visiting

What comes to your mind, when you hear the word Istanbul? After living here for almost four years, there are many words and associations which...

Five Essential Turkish Films

Contemporary Turkish cinema often oscillates between bland, commercial movies (that range from broad comedies to over-sugared romances) and magnificent under-performing films that demonstrate the concerns...

BLOK art space: Empowering Istanbul’s Contemporary Art Scene

Gallery spaces can too often reflect a highbrow approach to art which can be off-putting to the more casual art enthusiast. This is where BLOK...

Watch Out: The Cross in the Golden Horn

Minarets and mosque domes, side by side with skyscrapers, dominate today's Istanbul skyline. Roaming the streets of Fatih district, one quickly forgets that for many centuries...

A Beginner’s Guide to Turkish Hip Hop, by Ege Çubukçu

As a follow-up to our interview with rapper and all-round nice guy of Turkish hip hop, Ege Çubukçu, we asked him to put together a playlist...

I’ll take you to the Pudding Shop: A taste of...

My first introduction to Istanbul came via embellished story, when my father regaled me as a pre-teen with tales of his freewheelin' hippie misadventures traveling...
Zululuzu

Zululuzu, Portuguese Theatre’s Turkish Debut

                They spoke to me of people, and of humanity. But I've never seen people, or humanity. I've seen various people, astonishingly dissimilar, Each separated from the next...

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...
Zaza

The Restless Art of Mohammad Zaza

Mohammad Zaza is an accidental convert to the life of a travelling artist. Born in Saudi Arabia to Syrian parents, Zaza moved to Aleppo in 2005...

We’re Jammin: Turkey’s Reggae Scene

The Reggae scene in Turkey has grown exponentially, especially in the last 10 years or so. The last decade has seen an explosion of...

Setting of Records: Istanbul’s New Mosque

  Three years ago building of a new mosque began on one of the highest hills of the city, where roosters still crow and visitors...

Haydarpaşa Cemetery: A Cemetery with Something to Say

As a long-time lover of cemeteries, I’m often telling people about my trip to this or that burial ground. Most have one question: “why?”...
Zeyrek mosque

Top 10 Forgotten Historical sites of Istanbul

When I first lived in Istanbul for 6 months in 2013, some of my most memorable days were spent simply wandering the old city...

Take 5: Cihangir (A Morning on Başkurt Sokak)

Istanbul arguably doesn’t really have one central district, like a downtown or a city center. It is a city of many centers, each with...

Take 5: Karaköy (Shopping Edition)

Karaköy is a unique neighborhood with a mishmash of art, culture and food all packed into a zigzag of tiny streets and alleys. Although...

City Highlights: Sancaklar Cami

A friend of mine from the Czech Republic once told me her feelings while she visited Istanbul one year ago. She said that it...

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