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...

Ibrahim Tatlıses for Beginners

It started as good a time as any – on a dolmuş to Hasankeyif with a crate of live chickens on my lap. I had...

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...

Book Review: The Time Regulation Institute

There’s a moment in The Time Regulation Institute, the novel by acclaimed Turkish author Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, where the protagonist Hayri Irdal explains the...

Turkey Day in Turkey

Yes, I just did that. Referred to the joke-question we all hear from home: Do they eat turkey in Turkey? Well, yes, yes they...

Volunteering in Istanbul: Tarlabaşı Community Center

Many of us find doing volunteer work to be a fulfilling way to connect with our community. For yabangees, volunteering can be a great...

Learning Turkish: What You’re Up Against

The task of learning a new language while living in a foreign country can be a fun challenge. But it can also be stressful, and...

Turkish Coffee from Beans to Telve – A Global and Local...

Like many of history’s greatest culinary discoveries, that of coffee stemmed from a noisy, restless goat and his attendant farmer’s desire for an undisturbed...

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...

The Şakirin Mosque

There are more than 3000 active mosques in Istanbul and, in terms of architectural style, they can generally be categorized as either Byzantine (ancient...

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...

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Turkish Fortune-Telling Culture

After observing several overturned coffee cups with increasing curiosity during my first few months here, it became apparent that one does not simply sip...

Aziz Nesin: Author, Humorist, Activist

At a gathering of the elite doctors of the world, speaker after speaker demonstrates a miracle of medical science. An operation able to change...

Review: Dismantling the Archive @ SALT Galata

The years between 1900 and 1940 were more than a little eventful for the Turks. The period saw numerous wars fought on many fronts,...

Letters from Istanbul: In Search of the ‘Real’ English

On the way to work the other morning, the taxi driver, noticing I was a yabancı, asked the usual, inevitable question. “America,” I answered. “Amerika?” the driver...

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...

Insider Trading: Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam

I am fascinated by hamams. Their architecture (those gorgeous holed domes), their history (the ancient ritual of public bathing) and the leisure (they provide...

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...

St. Mary of the Mongols: The Last Byzantine Church

Nowadays Istanbul is known for its mosques, but prior to 1453, Constantinople was a completely Christian city replete with churches. Many of them exist to this day:...

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...

In Conversation with Justin and Busra of Turkish Tea Time

Let’s be honest, us Yabangees know all too well that the online resources available for learning Turkish are far from enjoyable and rarely interactive....

Top 5 Turkish Design Gems

Home of the Design Biennial and a (gradually) increasing number of design and architectural gems, Turkey is finally becoming a name on the design...

23 Turkish Phrases I Wish Someone Had Taught Me

There are a number of phrases that Turks use in daily life that you may not find properly explained in your Intro to Turkish...

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,...

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