Letters from Istanbul: The Anatolian Way

As a yabancı, you probably have your own first impressions of the city. One of my own was made while coming from Ataturk International Airport...

Sketching Istanbul’s Hans Part 1: Büyük Valide Han

Emilie Varlet and Gabrielle Reeves began exploring Istanbul's hans in the summer of 2014, when they first started their sketching adventures in the city. They have...

In Conversation with Samer Al-Kadri of Pages, Istanbul’s First Arabic Bookstore...

Located within quick reach of the historical Chora Museum, Pages, the first Arabic bookstore in Istanbul, marks a historic moment for the city and...

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...

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...

Tipping in Turkey

Certain things that are second nature at home can be a minefield abroad. Etiquette in all of its various forms is especially tricky. Despite...

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...

Turkey’s Pickle Culture

For a long time there has been a culture struggling to make itself known, to have its voice heard. Often relegated to the sidelines,...

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the ‘Bul

During my first few months in Istanbul I wasn’t exactly bowled over by the place. I thought it was pushy, crowded, ugly and disorganised....

Smoke on the Water: Istanbul’s Vapurs

With its long and colourful history, its unique geographical position, its collection of characters, cultures, and creeds, Istanbul has no shortage of laudable attributes....

The Pursuit of Happiness in the ‘Bul

In this megacity, which delivers stress in seemingly increasing dosages year by year, I’m realizing that it is essential to wear a different pair...

Tophane-i Amire Culture & Arts Center

Tophane is a very pleasant area to spend an afternoon smoking nargile and playing tavla. Or, if you are more into art than the...

In Conversation with Ray Cullom, Executive Director of the Zorlu Center...

For the second part of our interview, I asked Ray about his work at Zorlu Center PSM and how the project has developed over the...

Review: Spoken Word Istanbul @ Arsen Lüpen

Three years ago, Merve Pehlivan, an art and writing enthusiast, decided to create a friendly environment where writers, poets, singers and performers of all...

Big News: Turkey to have a permanent venue in the Venice...

Turkey is obtaining a long-term venue in the Venice Biennale, one of world's leading contemporary art and architecture events. The allotment of 20 years (from...

Raquy Danziger: Darbuka Drummer Extraordinaire

A darbuka drum is a Middle Eastern instrument whose structure varies depending on location. They all have a conical shape with a nearly circular...

Bosphorus Walk: Rumelihisarı to Bebek

Istanbul on a warm weekend day can be both a blessing and a hazard: the beauty of the city on a fair day is...

Neighborhood Stroll: Balat

One of my family's favorite weekend activities, particularly now that it's gotten warmer, is to spend the morning wandering around neighborhoods, whether it's our...

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...

Letters from Istanbul: The Sum of Our Travels

The other day I was having lunch at Café Nero with one of the new teachers. She said she came from Austin. Since I grew...

A Multitude of Mosques: The Book Covers of Turkish Novels in...

Some time ago, I was discussing Elif Şafak with a Turkish friend.  I mentioned that I was reading The Bastard of Istanbul, and after...

8000 Years of Istanbul: Review of ‘Again, and New: World City...

Artifacts have been found in Istanbul (previously home to some of the world's largest empires, the city has also been known as Byzantion, Nea...

Weekend Getaway: Edirne

With the Children’s and Youth holiday coming up on 23 April and warmer weather upon us, many of you may be wondering where to...

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...

Yabangee Essentials

Yabangee Classics