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...

Resources for Learning Kurdish in Istanbul

Maybe you’re thinking of traveling to eastern Turkey. Perhaps you want to get on better terms socially with Kurdish-speaking friends. Or maybe you just...

Discussing the Dönme with Artist and Researcher C.M. Kösemen (Part 2)

Dayla Rogers continues her conversation with artist and researcher C.M. Kösemen about the Dönme and their history.  You are a person of Dönme background. A...

Discussing the Dönme with Artist and Researcher C.M. Kösemen (Part 1)

It is well known that the Ottoman Empire was a place of incredible cosmopolitanism. What is often overlooked is the existence of “syncretic” peoples,...

The Dönme: A Profile of a Hidden People

“A Doenmeh friend of mine told me his father had informed him that his father’s mother used to go to the beach every Friday...

Letters from Istanbul: Avenues & Interludes

One Saturday afternoon in the autumn of 2012, I was walking around Beyoğlu. I don’t spend much time on the European side of Istanbul,...

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...

In Conversation with Swedish Cultural Attaché Suzi Erşahin

As a dweller of Nişantaşı, I am lucky enough to be located in one of the centers of the Istanbul arts and cultural scene....

Winter Days in Istanbul: Exploring the City’s Museums

There are many ways to find solace during these damp days in Istanbul. As winter settles on the city, streets come alive with the...

The Journey of the Istanbul Ferry

Vendors and commuters criss-cross in front of the gates of the dock. My friend and I use the akbil dangles with the circular buttons...

Istanbul International A Cappella Choir: The Voice of Istanbul

Guest Post by Sheldon Heyes. This post first appeared on Sheldon Heyes' website, Istanbul in Ink.  What do you get when a Brazilian diplomat, a Syrian...

Insider Trading: Murat Efe Prop House

Somewhere in the winding alleys of Fener and Balat, the former Greek-Jewish neighborhood of Istanbul, there is a hidden workshop and store that might...

Life under Occupation: A Review of Eleni by Nicholas Gage

When Mosul was invaded in June, one of the first announcements made by ISIS was that the civilians within their territory would be treated...

Kuzguncuk: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Kuzguncuk is a little slip of a neighborhood whose reputation has a surprisingly wide reach. I had not even left dusty Tarsus in Southern...

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...

Yabangee Essentials

Yabangee Classics