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...

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...

Letters from Istanbul: Yeldeğirmeni’s Quiet Renaissance

Author’s note: Last week, I wrote about the stories behind some of Istanbul’s street names, and the week before that I traced some of...

Fig Season

My favorite season in Istanbul is fig season. Never having seen or eaten a fresh fig in my life, I was fascinated by this...

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...

Confused Letters from Istanbul: Rude Sheiks and Mad Rams — A...

It is almost a cliché to say that behind every name in Istanbul there is a story; nevertheless, the saying is true. For instance, I...

Letters from Istanbul: City of the Blind (Or, Why You Shouldn’t...

I live in Kadıköy, the “city of the blind.” Have you heard this one? Well, in ancient times, the first Greeks who arrived from Megara set...

Republic Day: A Last-Minute Guide

Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı) is this Wednesday, 29 October, and the holiday officially begins Tuesday afternoon. Republic Day commemorates the declaration of the Republic of...

Insider Trading: Fahrenheit 451 Recycling Store

You can walk into any chain bookstore in Istanbul and find stacks of neatly ordered books. Normally, they have the recently published stuff, and...

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...

Barbarossa: A Monument in Passing, But a Legend on the White...

If you have ever strolled through the ferry port of Beşiktaş on the European side of Istanbul, chances are you have walked past a...

Foodie Frolics: Gourmet Adventures in Istanbul with Sally McDonald

The first time I met Sally McDonald of Foodie Frolics I asked her what had brought her to Istanbul. I'm always curious about what...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Rakı Dos and Don’ts

On warm nights in Istanbul everyone is out. Restaurants open their doors onto the sidewalks of back streets, creating a maze of tables and...

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...

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

I am a concert nerd. And the Zorlu Center Performing Arts Center has been a new paradise found. It has only had one season...

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...

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....

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:...

Book Review: Mark Wyers’ “Wicked Istanbul”

Fun Fact: There are around 60 state-run brothels in Turkey. This may be surprising given Turkey’s reputation as a conservative, rather religious country. So,...

Ani: A Timeless Beauty on the Edge of Turkey

I remember walking down the large avenues and neatly perpendicular streets of Washington, D.C. not too long ago, longing for old buildings and crooked...

Yabangee Essentials

Yabangee Classics