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Rap Mahal Concert Series

12 December
8:00pm - 11:00pm

“Birlikte Güzel” has organized an exciting lineup of rap concerts in 5 different cities around the country from December 12-24. Rap fans and music lovers will flock to various venues in Istanbul, Izmir, Eskişehir, Bursa, and Ankara to see Turkey’s best rappers, accompanied by up-and-coming headliners, bring their powerful rhymes and beats to the stage.

December 12: Ayben comes to Dorock XL in Kadıköy, Istanbul. She will be headlined by rappers Allame, Kamufle, Tahribad-ı Rebellion and DJ Hıros. 
December 14: Ceza, accompanied by Khontkar and DJ Sivo, comes to the Izmir Arena in Izmir.
December 19: Joker comes to the Public Tune Arena in Eskişehir.
December 21: No. 1 & Xir come to Hayalperest in Bursa. 
December 24: Aga B comes to IF Performance Hall in Ankara.

Join us for five exciting events with powerful musicians and unforgettable beats as Turkish rap starts to take front and center stage across the country. 

12 December

End Date: 

Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 14:30

Event Category: 

4th International Istanbul Silent Film Festival

12 December
1:00pm - 9:00pm

Akbank Sanat’s 4th International Istanbul Silent Cinema Festival, taking place from December 14-17 at three different locations around the city, offers viewers a special showcase of silent films in history with accompanying side events centered around the theme of Dance. World-renowned musicians such as John Sweeney, Günter Buchwald, Frank Bockius, and Daniele Furlati will join in on these events with musical performances.

Here is a summary of some of the most anticipated festival films. For a full program itinerary, visit the website. Viewers can buy tickets on Biletix or at the venue, the prices of which are 18TL for adults and 12TL for students. 

Die Weber, directed by Frederick Zelnik, is a faithful adaptation of Gerhart Hauptmann’s theater play about textile workers’ protests in mid-19th century Germany. Intertitles are in German, subtitles are in Turkish. This film will be shown on December 14 at 1pm.

Bestia: Polish Dancer, directed by Alexander Hertz, is a slightly re-edited and restored version of the original film by Filmoteka Narodowa. The story is about a peasant girl, Pola, who abandons her old life to pursue a new one full of extravagance, only to find her past desperately trying to catch up to her present. Intertitles are in English, subtitles are in Turkish. This film will be shown on December 15 at 4pm.

Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre, directed by Clément Maurice, which was first exhibited in the 1900 World Fair in Paris, includes over thirty films with scenes, some with sound via wax cylinder recordings, from some of the most popular theater and opera works of the period. This French film is subtitled in Turkish. This film will be shown on December 15 at 7pm. 

Views from the Ottoman Empire contains short films, images, and a staged documentary of various events during this historical time, such as the occupation of Edirne in 1913 and Serbian King Peter’s visit to Istanbul in 1910. This film will be shown on December 16 at 3pm. 

Letters from Baghdad, directed by Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl, is about the story of Gertrude Bell, a British explorer who spent many years in the Middle Easter after WWI. This film showcases moments from Bell’s life with a voiceover of her personal diary entries, letters, and confidential communications. This film is in Arabic and English and subtitled in Turkish. This film will be shown on December 16 at 7:30pm.

14 December

End Date: 

Sunday, December 17, 2017 - 19:30

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

http://www.akbanksanat.com/en/international-istanbul-silent-film-days

Event Places : 

Promoting culture to build bridges: Interview with Demet Sabancı Çetindoğan

December 04, 2017

With a focus on “Old, new, eternal” or “Ortak nesiller entegrasyonu” (“the integration of joint generations),” Turkey ONE Association aims to protect and promote Turkish culture and heritage and build bridges between Turkey and countries around the world.

The association’s founder and president, Demet Sabancı Çetindoğan, explains how.

How did the idea of Turkey ONE Association come about? What were you hoping to achieve collectively and what are ONE’s most significant achievements to date? 

The Turkey ONE Association is an organization established in 2014 that works to promote Turkey internationally and protect the country’s cultural heritage, historical and natural wealth, and the common values that bring us together. Collectively, we are working to set an example as leaders in promoting Turkey’s cultural, social, and economic strengths. One of our most significant achievements is the Mosaic Road project, raised  awareness of the importance of mosaics found around Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Şanlıurfa, and Gaziantep. We also worked with local communities to protect and promote this valuable heritage. We have presented this project in Gstaad, Switzerland; Venice, Italy; Paris, France; and New York, United States. We also had a Göbeklitepe project, where in 2014 we brought members of the Turkish media to the archeological site in Şanlıurfa dating back to the Neolithic era and held meetings with UNESCO officials about the site. 

As far as lobbying for cultural heritage preservation is concerned, how did the process change over the years in Turkey? What are the biggest challenges to Turkey ONE’s work today? 

Over the years, people in Turkey have come to understand how lobbying can make real results when it comes to cultural heritage preservation. By making strong and sustainable relationships and creating powerful and persuasive arguments, we are Turkey’s best advocate. The biggest challenge to our work today may be financing. While lobbying is not about financing alone, a certain level of funding is needed to be effective and get results. 

How does the Mosaic Road project fit in global practices of heritage preservation awareness? Is there international interest in the subject? What feedback did you receive after your presentation in New York? 

The Mosaic Road project fits into global practices of heritage preservation awareness because it’s based in a region of the world in which people are very interested, a region at the center of the Abrahamic religions and countless civilizations. Through the Mosaic Road project, people from around the world can see their past and understand their future. These mosaics are of great value and contain invaluable information about our political and social past. We received very positive feedback from our presentation. Participants recognized the value and importance of these cultural artifacts and we are looking to continue promoting their importance in other venues.

What examples of good practices in cultural preservation have captured your attention? Which ones of those could be successfully implemented in Turkey as well? 

We have been studying how non-governmental organizations abroad promote cultural preservation and have close relationships with many of them, adopting their good practices. Imperative to good practices is raising awareness among the locals of the importance and potential of relics and pieces of heritage; this we strive to do. 

What will be the follow-up of the New York Global Hope Coalition Summit? Are there long-term collaboration goals for Turkey ONE and Global Hope Coalition? If so, in what way?

We introduced our Mosaic Road project at the Global Hope Coalition Summit, an event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly held in New York in September. We introduced the unique mosaics found in Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, and Şanlıurfa to participants in the summit. The summit’s keynote speakers included presidents and heads of state of seven countries, former US First Lady Laura Bush, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and renowned actor and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Forest Whitaker. We were the only participating Turkish association and were able to raise awareness amongst these people and others about our mosaics. To follow up with this, we will work with the Global Hope Coalition to reach out to the right people to increase awareness worldwide. Individual friendships and relationships created during these days will have positive effects moving forward. 

In your opinion, what is the most important role of a modern-day culture/heritage patron? Why is it relevant for influential people to get involved in raising awareness? 

In my opinion, the most important role of a modern-day culture/heritage patron is a spokeswoman (or man), is an advocate who will dedicate a lifetime of hard work and commitment. Throughout my life, I have worked—and will continue to work—to get results. Influential people should use their fame to create awareness around these issues. 

Where do you see Turkey ONE in 10 years? What are the association’s long-term goals? 

Turkey ONE will continue working to make a positive impact and protect and promote our cultural heritage. Turkey ONE’s activities will undoubtedly touch everyone’s lives at one point and we will continue to raise awareness and interest.

 

Editor's note: The original version of this article was published in the November/December 2017 issue of the magazine and has been reformatted in its online version. 

How to get 'cultured' in Istanbul

Minji Lee
December 04, 2017

As a metropolis of more than 15 million, Istanbul is a hub where cultures from around the world intersect. There are groups in the city that promote the sharing of culture, and like the city itself, show participants how people are more similar than different and interconnected. With a bit of curiosity and open-mindedness, it is easy to join. Brazilian dance, Georgian art, and Korean language are three of many culture groups in Istanbul that share an interest in an aspect of a country’s culture and build a community around it. The energy and passion each of these groups deliver through their workshops, concerts, and weekly meetings contributes to intercultural learning and exchange.

Dance like a Brazilian

Forró (pronounced faw-haw) is a Brazilian dance that originated in the northeastern heartland of Brazil. It has since spread to cosmopolitan districts around the world and has now found a home in Istanbul. Bengü Gün, the coordinator of Forró Istanbul, fell in love with the spirit of the dance when she visited the Bahía region of Brazil and sought to bring it back home. “Forró makes you feel good, physically and psychologically,” she told The Guide Istanbul.  “Even if you don’t understand Portuguese, the lyrics make are light and happy. At Forró Istanbul, we want to share this joy with other people.” 

This group started out as a small group of friends who wanted to practice forró on a regular basis. Now, it is in its third year with about 60 regular members. Every two weeks, Forró Istanbul holds classes in Cihangir and interested participants get the first lesson free. The community also organizes workshops and festivals, oftentimes inviting forró masters from Brazil to teach new movements. “Cultural exchange can happen anywhere and anytime,”  Nejat Çingi, a member of the group, told The Guide Istanbul. “Thanks to Forró Istanbul, we don’t need to go to all the way to Brazil to learn about a magnificent dance.” For more information on Forró Istanbul’s classes and events, visit forroistanbul.org. 

 

Beyond the borders

A cozy space in Kadıköy where Georgian art, music, and food can be found, Gürcü Sanat Evi, or Georgian Art House, brings together people with a shared interest in Georgian culture. Visitors can browse through a collection of music albums, folk instruments, and traditional costumes. The Georgian Art House has a small stage where a polyphonic choir of around 25 people sing Georgian music. Even if you do not know the language, the music creates a powerful ambiance that typifies the humble and powerful spirit of Georgia. 

İberya Özkan, the founder and director of the Georgian Art House, organizes lessons in the Georgian language, arts, and instruments. The musically inclined can learn to play the salamuri, a reeded wind instrument, the panduri, a three-stringed lute, and the doli, a percussion instrument. The venue also provides dance workshops in which the vibrant sounds from Georgia and the wider Caucasus region come to life with sweeping, spinning body movements. This dance may feel familiar for those who know the Black Sea horon dance. 

Turkey’s proximity to Georgia has led to a blending of cultures, especially for people like Onur Sarıkaya, one of the choir members, who grew up in Artvin, a province in northeastern Turkey that borders the Black Sea. Sarıkaya told The Guide Istanbul that growing up in that region exposed him to a special blend of Georgian and Turkish culture, each with their distinct styles and both with a meaningful place in the community. To find out more information about upcoming classes and concerts, you can visit the location’s Facebook page, GürcüSanat Evi.

 

For the love of Korean language

Established by students and Korean language instructors at Boğaziçi University, the Korean Translation Club is a multicultural family that shares its love for Korean language, food, and pop culture. Every Tuesday, members of this informal group meet to improve their Korean language skills by translating different documents, from traditional poems to contemporary K-pop lyrics. The leader of the group, Hwa-Cheon Lee, a Korean language instructor in the Foreign Languages Department, also organizes a variety of activities that foster a family-like environment for members. Together, they cook traditional foods like japchae (Korean glass noodles with stir-fried vegetables) and popular Korean street foods like gimbab (a rice roll similar to sushi) and ddukbokki (spicy rice cakes).

The club also holds a variety of activities and events. Last May, in collaboration with another culture club on campus, they organized the Second Annual Korean Culture Fest. This year, the club is planning to organize cooking events, film screenings, and a sports day, all of which are open to the public. As learning a language is the key to learning a culture, the Korean Translation Club is helping foster global perspectives in students and the wider Turkish community. To get involved with this group, send an email to hwacheon.lee@boun.edu.tr.

Mardin: An off-the-beaten-path spot for history

Rosa Wild
November 23, 2017

Southeastern Turkey, a stone’s throw from the Syrian border, hardly seems like the most tempting destination for a city break. But Mardin is as safe as the rest of the country, and you will be rewarded for your journey with golden stone alleyways, astonishing views, a rich multicultural heritage, and surprisingly excellent wine.

Mardin’s old city, balanced on the hillside between an ancient castle and the sweeping Mesopotamian plains, offers a stew of influences from Assyrian, Arab, Turkish, and Kurdish cultures, expressed in unique architecture, food, and handicrafts. At the end of the day, watching the sun sink into the distant horizon over a copper cup of Syriac wine or a toxically strong murra coffee, it is hard not to feel transported to another world.

Stroll with a history

Mardin’s sightseeing gem is the Deyr-ul Zafaran Monastery. This Syrian Orthodox monastery was established over 1,500 years ago and you will see evidence of its sacredness and importance that predates Christianity. Historical relics on display, saffron colored stone, rose gardens, and peaceful courtyards fill the enormous space; the monks are happy to give tours. The monastery sits five kilometers outside of the city, a nice walk in pleasant weather or or a quick trip by taxi.

Also just outside the city center, the Artuquid-era Kasimiye medrese (Islamic school) is worth a stop not only for its gorgeously simple design but for more views over the plains. It is a great spot for watching the sunset and can be reached by taxi or a short walk through the old town. If you have not had your fill of religious monuments, the old city itself is stuffed with them. Check out the Great Mosque with its enormous, elaborate minaret; the Latfiye Mosque for its intricate carvings; and the Kirklar Church where, if you are lucky, the friendly priest will let you in for a quick tour. Another pretty honey sandstone building is the city museum, which is worth a visit for informative displays and artifacts dating back millennia. Half the fun of finding these sights is exploring the narrow streets, getting lost among the old houses, and seeing local life play out.

Mardin has some excellent shopping options – locally made copperware, filigree silver, soaps, and wine are the best buys, and there is a good chance of turning up something interesting in the antique shops. Look out for the Shahmeran, the queen of snakes, a local legend and symbol of female wisdom, who appears on everything from earrings to mirrors to bags. Make your way along Cumhuriyet Caddesi, the old city’s main drag, drop in and out of anywhere that looks interesting, and be prepared for many cups of tea.

With a bit more time and a sense of adventure, there are a few worthwhile day trips from the city. Midyat, another multicultural sandstone town, is just an hour away with regular dolmuş and bus services running throughout the day. It has a fascinating selection of churches, old mansions, and monasteries to visit and it is a nice drive through golden hills patched with olive trees. With an early start – and ideally a taxi or your own wheels as public transport can be patchy – you can make it in the same day to Hasankeyf, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements, now a lovely little village tucked under high cliffs by the Tigris river. Make sure to visit if you get the chance as it is expected to be flooded by nearby dam construction within the next few years. Check with your hotel for up-to-date transport and security information, but it is usually a safe and easy day trip.

If you prefer your history truly ancient, try taking a dolmuş or taxi to the village of Oğuz, 34 kilometers away, to visit the well-preserved ruins of the Roman city of Dara. The site is free to visit, but you may get offered a cheap informal tour by local youths.

Hospitality and local tastes 

Mardin’s old city has an excellent collection of hotels; many fine old houses have been converted into boutique hotels at reasonable prices. Thick sandstone walls keep out the heat or cold, and there are usually terraces or courtyards where you can relax under medieval arches. One good option is Dara Konaği, which offers lovely old sandstone rooms with soft beds and silky drapes, a few minutes’ walk from Cumhuriyet Caddesi in the heart of the old town.

Cumhuriyet Caddesi is also the place to start the search for a good meal. Seyr-i Mardin is impossible to miss as you pass up the main street and we recommend that you don’t; it offers sumptuous décor, a summer terrace with some of the city’s best views, and deliciously unique local dishes as well as kebab and köfte standards. Try the tahini chicken with zucchini fries, or go all out and order the enormous two-person stuffed ribs. Alcohol is not available but you can finish up with coffee and nargile as the city lights come on under your feet.

For the full kahvaltı experience head to Beyzade Café, where a friendly family serve up the usual spread with a few twists – bananas and walnuts in honey, or yogurt with homemade jams and kiwi fruit. 

With its conservative southeastern Turkish atmosphere Mardin is not the place to go for a boozy night out, but it is worth trying the local Syriac wine. Assyrian Christian families have been making wine at home for centuries, and in the last few decades commercial organic winemaking has picked up around Mardin and Midyat. Cercis Murat Konaği serves the real thing in traditional copper cups along with inventive mezze platters, or you can pick up a bottle at one of several small wine shops along Cumhuriyet Caddesi.

When to go

Mardin’s weather can vary wildly from season to season, regularly rising above 40°C in summer and dropping well below freezing in winter. The best season to visit is spring, when the plains below are green and flowers are in bloom in the churchyards; if you visit around Orthodox Easter you may be able to witness some of the celebrations. Autumn can also be pleasantly cool, with long crisp evenings. If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to visit during the occasional winter snows, navigating the frozen cobblestones can be a slippery challenge, but the reward is a view of sugar-coated, flat-roofed houses dropping off dramatically into pearly mists.

Getting there

Pegasus offers direct morning flights from Sabiha Gökçen, starting from 60 TL one way for the two-hour journey. If you are up for a more epic – and slightly rougher – journey, the Güney Express departs Ankara at 11am every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, scheduled to arrive in Diyarbakır at 8.30am the next day (actual arrival time may vary), where you can link up with a bus, taxi, or dolmuş for the one or two hour drive on to Mardin. Check the latest security advice before trying this route, bring some food and drink, and definitely shell out for a sleeping berth if you want a good night’s rest!

 

Beyond the walls at adas

November 23, 2017

Since its opening in September 2017, adas, short for “Architecture Design Art Space,” has reconstructed an old building in Seyrantepe with a contemporary approach. In contrast to the surrounding neighborhood, the art space is clean-cut, with white and charcoal walls that hold layers of art—literally and figuratively—unveiled to the viewer. 

According to adas founder Ömer Özyürek, his center is a direct reflection of his journey, or as he describes it, love affair, collecting and appreciating art. After a decade of interest in contemporary art, he started to collect pieces from around the world and recently turned his focus from private collecting to public viewing. The adas space functions as a storage area for the many works in Özyürek’s collection, as well as a multifunctional space where he can share select art pieces with the public.

Özyürek states that adas, as with any newly-opened space, will take some time to reach its final form. Looking to the future, adas seeks to provide a place for both solo artists and curatorial exhibitions with a focus on art, design, and architecture, organized with intention and patience. “What we do at adas should have a certain standard,” Özyürek told The Guide Istanbul. “We want guests to say that they waited two months to see a new show, and it was indeed worth the wait.” Just a five-minute walk from the Seyrantepe M2 metro, adas is awaiting viewers to show them a taste of its unexpected but worthwhile space.

adas is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm, as well as Sunday and Monday by appointment.
Çalışkan Sok No.33, Seyrantepe; T: (0212) 280 34 42

Tünel: A 90-second ride on the world's shortest metro line

Minji Lee
November 23, 2017

While many think of buildings when they think of architecture, architecture goes beyond — and at times underground. Tünel, an underground funicular that connects Karaköy to İstiklal Caddesi in a 90-second ride, boasts a unique architectural history that links neighborhoods and cultures, from past to present. Today, the cars have a capacity of 170 and the system transports about 12,000 passengers per day. 

Inspiration for Tünel

The 19th century was a bustling time for then-Constantinople. Businessmen and diplomats frequented Beyoğlu, oftentimes working in the financial center of Galata and socializing in the lively areas around modern-day Taksim Square. Though the commute between these two neighborhoods was a short distance, Yüksekkaldırım Caddesi, which translates to High Sidewalk Road, and its sloped, narrow streets made it difficult for pedestrians to walk from one area to another.

In 1867, French engineer Eugène-Henri Gavand was inspired to make the area easier to access for pedestrians. He proposed the construction of Tünel funicular, a daring architectural feat for the times. His idea focused on practicality and the design would change the way locals, foreigners, and tourists visited the areas for decades to come. Sultan Abdulaziz approved Gavand’s funicular and the project that would propel the neighborhood upward began. 

Tünel was modelled after the ficelle, French for funicular, of Lyon, France, a structure that overcame the same incline challenges as those of Yüksekkaldırım Caddesi. The funicular reflected the multicultural spirit of Constantinople. Karaköy and Galata, the two neighborhoods that Tünel connects, historically was home to Jews, Greeks, and Italians. The area’s multiculturalism is reflected in the names of the neighborhoods themselves — Karaköy means “Karay Village,” referring to the Karaite branch of Judaism; Galata is believed to originate from galaktos, “milk” in Greek, or calata, “stairway” in Italian. 

Today, the influence of the different cultures is apparent in present-day Beyoğlu, from Taksim to Galata to the Golden Horn, where Ottoman and international styles converge. An example of this is today’s SALT Galata, which is in the former Ottoman Imperial Bank building, and the Camondo steps. The curved staircase, built around 1870-1880, was built by Abraham Camondo, a Jewish man, supposedly as a shortcut to Bankalar Caddesi. Tünel’s two stations, located close to the Karaköy ferry docks on one end and the southern side of İstiklal Caddesi on the other, open up to impressive buildings reflecting architecture inspired by different countries and time periods.

Tünel, past and present

Tünel has been updated and restored multiple times over the years. When it was first constructed, Tünel was powered by steam and lit by gas; today, it is powered by electricity. The wooden carriages were replaced with steel in the 1970s, giving more functionality to the cable car system. The funicular car’s red-beige exterior, however, remains similar to the original 19th century wooden railway. Despite these differences, the amount of time it takes to go from one destination to the other is the same: 90 seconds. 

Tünel played an important role in modernizing Constantinople and continues to influence daily life in present-day Istanbul. It is both a feat of engineering and an impressive piece of functionalist architecture whose appeal involves the constant movement of people between its cars.

Making cultural connections

More than 140 years after Tünel was inaugurated, the areas around Karaköy and Galata continue to be a favorite amongst locals and foreigners alike. Just like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when its construction served to increase interaction between individuals from many backgrounds, Tünel today serves this same purpose: to attract people from all over the world to explore the liveliest hubs of the city in a convenient manner. Though the name itself implies a darkness, which would contradict most architectural intentions, the history of this work sparks a bright, nostalgic image of 19th century Constantinople and holds its own set of aesthetic values. This short ride through the historical underground railway indeed reflects a functional cross between districts, people, and cultures.

 

Editor's note: This article was originally published in the November/December 2017 version of the magazine and has been reformatted in its online format.

Leonardo da Vinci: Even in Istanbul

11 November
4:00pm - 8:00pm

From December 14 until April 7, a full-scale Leonardo da Vinci expo, with original sketches and true-to-size replicas of this Renaissance genius’ work, will be open for viewers at the UNIQ Istanbul Museum.

10 years of intensive study on Leonardo da Vinci’s collections by a team of historians, engineers, graphic designers, and craftsmen have led to the fruition of this exciting exhibition, not to be missed and sure to be visited again and again.

The exhibition will feature 100 replicas of Da Vinci’s inventions that have been created from his detailed sketches. The replicas range from small to large, from sixty centimeters to 5 meters in size, and some of them are in their original dimensions as noted in the sketches. The largest piece of the exhibition is Leonardo da Vinci’s never-created bridge on the Golden Horn. In 1502, da Vinci wrote a letter to Sultan II and proposed building a bridge across the Golden Horn. The replica shown in this exhibition has been scaled down to 7 meters; yet, it represents a significant piece of history and architecture that brings viewers closer to an imaginary bridge that could have been built in Istanbul.

Along with these replicas, there are nearly 200 original manuscripts, paintings, and drawings by da Vinci himself. In addition, there are 30 original pieces by other Renaissance artists, such as Giorgio Vasari, Donatello, Verrocchio, Giambologna, Raphael, Francesco Guardi and Canaletto, who were inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s works. 

This exhibition can be visited by people of all ages, and it can serve as a useful teaching tool for children, students, and schools in teaching them about the incredible artist, inventor, and architect, amongst many other innovative roles, that Leonardo da Vinci held. As the expo debuts in Istanbul on December 14, being able to see hundreds of his designs in their 3D form is sure to be inspiring and educational for all.

UNIQ Istanbul
14 December

End Date: 

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 17:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B007'41.4%22N+29%C2%B001'34.9%22E/@41.1281711,29.0241673,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.1281711!4d29.026356

Event Address: 

Ayazağa Caddesi No. 4 Maslak

Event Places : 

Novus String Quartet Performance

11 November
8:00pm - 10:00pm

Novus String Quartet is one of Korea’s lead chamber music ensembles. After having won multiple awards in countries such as Japan, France, Austria, and Germany almost immediately after their formation in 2007, the Novus String Quartet has been gaining worldwide recognition. On December 18, the ensemble will come to the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall to deliver an unforgettable concert for their audience. Tickets are available on Biletix. 

Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall
18 December

End Date: 

Monday, December 18, 2017 - 20:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B002'53.3%22N+28%C2%B059'24.5%22E/@41.048141,28.9879593,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.048141!4d28.990148

Event Website: 

http://www.crrkonsersalonu.org/

Event Address: 

Darülbedayi Caddesi Harbiye

Event Places : 

21st Istanbul Theater Festival: Butterflies

11 November
8:00pm - 9:00pm

Compagnia TPO, a dynamic Italian theater group, brings “Butterflies” to the Zorlu stage from November 21-26 as a part of the 21st Istanbul Theater Festival. A shimmery world of colors, sounds, and lights will dance with the artists on stage to tell the story of the miraculous world of butterflies. During the performance, young audience members will be invited to explore the stage during different parts of the show in smal groups. The emphasis on interactive exploration through digital technologies is sure to feed the imagination of all spectators, no matter the age. The show lasts 50 minutes, and the audience is asked to remove their shoes before the show so as not to disturb the performance. Tickets are available on Biletix.

Zorlu PSM
21 November

End Date: 

Sunday, November 26, 2017 - 21:45

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B004'03.9%22N+29%C2%B000'59.2%22E/@41.06774,29.0142623,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.06774!4d29.016451

Event Places : 

Sound Meditation Session: "An"

11 November
8:00pm - 9:30pm

On November 29, Soundala Therapy will host a sound meditation session that focuses on being in the moment despite the chaos of everyday life. The attendees will sit in a spiral with their eyes closed and tune into the sounds of many instruments, such as gongs, himalayan bowls, crystal bowls, chimes, other sound healing instruments from all over the world. Various sound healing instruments help facilitate the frequency of brain waves into a meditative state, also known as an altered state of consciousness (ASC). Being in this ASC for a prolonged time may encourage more unified thinking, self-awareness, energy shifts, and even a lowering of blood pressure and cortisol. 

In this session, sound therapist and meditation guide Rida Kıraşı, musician and composer Can Dedeoğlu, and meditation guide and holistic health coach Pınar Taşkınlar will be guiding attendees through the potential ASCs that people can achieve. 

Event participation is limited to 90 people, and no previous meditation experience is required to partake in this session. Tickets are available on Biletix.

Zorlu PSM
29 November

End Date: 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 21:45

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B004'03.9%22N+29%C2%B000'59.2%22E/@41.06774,29.0142623,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.06774!4d29.016451

Event Website: 

http://www.zorlupsm.com/en/event/other/soundala-therapy-2

Event Places : 

Miniature: The modern face of centuries-old art

Zeynep Ardağ
November 16, 2017

From the Uyghur Kingdom to the rule of Süleyman the Magnificent to today, Turkish artists have been using miniature to detail their world. The art form has changed with the times, and today’s artists are blending past and present to tell a story truly their own. 

Miniature has a long history in Turkey, travelling to Anatolia from the Uyghur Kingdom and later used by the Seljuks and the Ottomans to document everyday life. After the conquest of Tabriz, due to the Persian influence, heroic deed, animal fables, literary works and folk stories also began to be decorated with miniature. The golden age of Turkish miniature was during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent in the second half of the 16th century.

During the 18th century, Western influences began to shape all areas of culture, including art. Abdulcelil Levni, a miniature artist of the time, is considered a reformer who broke the rules of the traditional miniature by adding Western features and creating a unique style. As technology rapidly progressed during the 19th and 20th centuries with the introduction of the printing press and photography, miniature lost its prevalence as modern forms of record-keeping gained in popularity. 

Miniature all but disappeared until professor Süheyl Ünver revived it in the 1960s with his research on Turkish traditional arts. As education in Turkey followed Western curriculum, no universities had programs on traditional Turkish arts. To fill the gap, Ünver began to give informal seminars at the Cerrahpaşa Institute of Medical History and later workshops at Topkapı Palace. One of his students was Günseli Kato, who would later become one of the pioneers of modernizing miniature. 

Something in her soul urged her to search for the new, Kato told The Guide Istanbul. “Art should be radical, reformist,” she explained. “At one point making copies of the old Ottoman miniatures did not satisfy me anymore so I started working on a more modern style of miniature.” She began to draw miniatures of the Bosphorus waterfront mansions and her own home and gardens. 

In 1981, Kato went to Tokyo University on a scholarship and studied traditional Japanese painting, which was a period that would be highly influential in her art. While learning traditional Japanese art she also taught Turkish miniature; years later, a blend of the two cultures would become her signature style. Kato would bring the traditional and contemporary together by using elements of miniature art in large-scale sculptures, paintings, and other art forms, bridging time, cultures, and norms. 

According to Kato, to become a reformist in traditional discipline one has to look outside the books. “Miniature is a book art but you have to take it out from the book and apply it on the walls, gardens, large areas,” she said. “You have to use technology as well as new and different materials. You can do miniature as a video for instance. All you have to do is to follow its spirit and bring the soul of miniature to your artwork. The real creativity and the ingenuity is to be able to blend miniature with the techniques and art forms of the 21st century.”

 

Miniaturizing today's social context

Canan Şenol, better known under her artistic pseudonym CANAN, is one of the artists who create as Kato described. CANAN gained her reputation by blending miniatures of the Persian and Ottoman traditions with photography, video, needlework, and sculpture. 

As a student at Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts, CANAN was influenced by Bauhaus school’s way of conceptual thinking, where use of different materials and objects aims to bring art into contact with everyday life. She became interested in miniature as a tool to criticize traditional viewpoints and in 2006 she decided to study miniature painting from Taner Alakuş at Mimar Sinan University’s Turkish Traditional Art Department. She wanted to do more, however, than make reproductions of old Ottoman miniatures. “Copying what already exists was not entirely what I wanted,” CANAN told The Guide Istanbul. “I believe that when producing artwork, regardless of whatever art form you are using, the artists should add their soul and emotions to the piece.”

As a socially-conscious artist interested in political issues, CANAN uses her miniatures to provide commentary on current events just as the Ottoman miniaturists documenting their era did. “While creating my works, I think about the subjects that are emotionally affecting my life at that period, and the best type of art form that matches with those emotions appears itself,” she told The Guide Istanbul. Over the years her visual language and choice of subjects changed from realistic to more symbolic, making myths and mythological figures main elements in her works.

In her latest exhibition, Behind Mount Qaf, on display at Arter until December 24, 2017, CANAN applied miniature figures on tulle with the techniques of cutting, stitching, sewing, and embroidering. In her spatial installation work Animal Kingdom, covered in brightly colored and sequined fabrics, animals, all of which are in traditional miniatures, fill the gallery space as modern connectors of the past and present, transferred from the pages of old books to today. 

 

The big screen, small-sized

Murat Palta made his career depicting scenes from Hollywood films in the form of traditional Ottoman miniature art. Star Wars, Kill Bill, Godfather, Inception, A Clockwork Orange, Pulp Fiction, Terminator 2, and Scarface are among the cult movies depicted in his miniatures. 

Although he studied graphic design and illustration at university, he was drawn to Turkish traditional miniatures. He got the idea of drawing Hollywood scenes in miniature form while watching Star Wars with his brother and joking, “What if Darth Vader were a Turkish commander?”

“I love cinema, which is a part of popular culture, and at the same time I love history and miniatures,” Palta told The Guide Istanbul. “Intermingling my two favorite art subjects was therefore a natural outcome.”

In 2012 he chose miniatures as the subject of his graduation thesis. His professors were hesitant at first, but Palta excelled. When he uploaded his works to Behance.net, an online platform where artists share their works, it went viral. “I was aware that I had done very creative and good work, but to be honest, I was not expecting things would get to this point, and that I would receive so much attention,” Palta said. 

He continued in the years since with his theme, seeking new ideas and mediums. One of his latest works depicts a scene from the Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark on a light box. “It was an experimental approach to see what I can do with different materials,” he explained. “At first I was not sure what the outcome would be, but it turned out to be great as the light box gave a more cinematographic feeling to my miniatures.”

He also went beyond Hollywood movies. In some of his works, he depicts scenes from popular books such as Metamorphosis, 1984, Don Quixote, Little Prince, and Harry Potter. There is no doubt that telling a contemporary story with a centuries-old art form is not easy. According to Palta, the biggest challenge is to figure out a way to draw the objects like cars, planes, and spaceships in a way that fits into the miniature aesthetic. 

 

A 21st century spin on 18th century art

Onur Hastürk is another next-generation artist whose works were displayed next to Palta’s at the Past Meets Present exhibit at Anna Laudel Contemporary in September and October 2017. In his art works, Hastürk chose scenes from Çelebi’s acclaimed work Surname depicting scenes from the circumcision festivities of the sultan’s sons and applied them to Starbucks coffee cups. In doing so, he brought the 200-year old story to life by putting it in the middle of today’s popular culture. 

Hastürk defines his work as questioning, of being neither traditional nor contemporary. “I have always been ‘the other’ for both sides. But I loved being ‘the other’ and not belonging to any genre because it gives you more freedom,” he said.

Although much of his education focused on traditional Turkish miniatures and illumination, Hastürk also closely follows Western artists. He noticed that even the most acclaimed Western painters were influenced by Eastern art forms. “I came across one Matisse painting in which he broke perspective rules and composed the scales of the figures just like in the miniatures,” Hastürk explained. “What is more, Picasso said Islamic calligraphy was the highest aesthetic level he aspired to reach. It was exciting to see the Western painters take their inspiration from Eastern arts," he continued. 

The influence between Eastern and Western artists has been a two-way street throughout history, and art worldwide will continue to change with the times as artists create new and creative means of expressing themselves. 

“Just like every century has its own art style, we have to create a unique style for the 21th century’s miniature,” Kato said. “The ones who do this are the artists who know and can blend both the traditional and contemporary arts. We cannot follow the past, but instead take what we can from it into the future."

27th Akbank Jazz Festival

November 16, 2017

While jazz may have originated in the African American communities of New Orleans, today it is enjoyed and celebrated in every major city around the world. From November 3-19, Istanbul will get its chance to be in the jazz limelight with the 27th Akbank Jazz Festival, which will host over 200 artists in performance halls, cultural centers, restaurants, hotels, and galleries citywide. 

This year’s program welcomes both the famous and the up-and-coming, both classical jazz and genre-fusion musicians, to cater to the tastes of all music lovers. One of the most anticipated performances is that of the Jazz Epistles, South Africa’s first bebop jazz band formed in the years before apartheid, later forced into exile by the government and regarded as a powerful symbol of resistance. Other musicians will bring a blend of styles to the stage, including the Authentic Anatolian Project with fusion jazz, and Bonobo with his downtempo beats. 

The celebration of the jazz festival will go beyond concert venues to smaller and more intimate settings, such as MSA’s Restaurant, Pera Palace Hotel, Bizim Tepe, and Tamirane. A number of workshops and programs will be offered, including lessons on the Lindy Hop, a dance craze that started during the golden age of jazz and continues to be popular today.

Upholding one of its main pillars of social responsibility in the culture and arts, the festival committee will also go to schools across Turkey to reach out to young people and educate them in the music genre. The “Jazz in High Schools” program will connect notable musicians with students for discussions and jazz style and instruments. “Jazz on Campus” will bring the festival to universities in eight cities in Turkey between November 20 and December 1. 

Jazz is an evolving, charismatic music genre that has the potential to get any music lover swaying to its rhythm. The Akbank Jazz Festival in November is sure to bring this energy home to Istanbul.

To find out more about the program events, visit akbanksanat.com. 

Bao buns: A new favorite on-the-go

November 16, 2017

After decades of following Western trends, Istanbul is finally looking east for its snacks. Originating from China, a soft steamed bun known as bao has quickly become one of Istanbul’s foodie favorites. Suitable for both vegetarians and meat lovers, bao presents endless creative filling possibilities, with its moist texture both light and nourishing. A tasty alternative to common street food, bao easily accommodates your favorite local ingredients and can easily be made at home.

Where to try them: 

-One of the bun trend pioneers in the city, Hudson in Arnavutkoy, ensures the cocktail you enjoy alongside this snack compliment one another.   

-MSA’s Restaurant: Islak hamburger might not be an everyday choice, but the restaurant’s stuffed bun alternative is a must try. Other varieties on the menu include spicy pulled beef rib with muhammara and hot dog. 

-BunCo’s falafel bun does not really fit in the Turkish cuisine category, but regionally-inspired fillings have quickly become this restaurant’s hit. Choose the classic bun instead of whole wheat option for a more authentic taste. 

-For those who prefer to avoid surprises, Bao’n Bun’s offer is the safest, featuring chicken, beef and veggie-based options.

-This season, you can make your own bao at Sunday brunch at Rocca in Raffles Istanbul, topping your bun off with a selection of homemade sauces. 

 

We'd like to see more chef’s creative takes on Istanbul staple foods. Bun balık ekmek, anyone?

Like music to your ears: Sound therapy in Turkey

Minji Lee
November 16, 2017

From the Golden Age of Islam to contemporary times, music and sound have been incorporated into medical healing practices. Today, scientists and doctors are rediscovering the healing power of sound and creating new methods of restoring health. 

Music and sound have been used for centuries to enhance wellbeing and treat ailments, and Turkey and the surrounding region has been central to the development of these treatments. In the Golden Age of Islam, which spanned from the 8th to 13th centuries, scholars such as Al Farabi and Abu Bakr-Razi studied the combined healing effects of music and medicine. They combined knowledge from astrology, chemistry, biology, and natural phenomena which influence people’s emotional and physical health to diagnose and treat patients. Ibn Sina’s infamous The Canon of Medicine, published in 1025, explored how listening to music can increase a patient’s capacity to cope with disease. 

Centuries later, makams, or specific melodies of varying tones and patterns, were used in medical treatment. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, interactions between dervishes, mosque cantors, non-Muslims, and the Ottoman high class created a diversity of instruments, sounds, and makams. The classical Ottoman music from these times were sources of not only entertainment but also healing, featuring instruments such as the ney, or reed flute, and kildum, or kettledrum.

Music Therapy in Ottoman Turkey 

Selçuk and Ottoman doctors applied music healing treatments in institutions known as şifahane, or health houses. Health houses were established in present-day Mardin, Kayseri, Manisa, Bursa, Istanbul, and Edirne, with the most prominent located in Edirne. The Sultan Beyazid II Health Complex was established in 1494 and became well-known through historian and writer Evliya Çelebi’s Book of Travels. Çelebi wrote detailed accounts of the types of musical instruments and makams doctors used to treat patients. For example, according to Çelebi’s writings, the rast makam was played for people with convulsions and paralysis and zirefkend was played for people suffering from back pains. 

Although Çelebi’s writings include in-depth information about music therapy, one important aspect is missing: written music composition. This mystery leads scholars to believe that though specific instruments and makams crucial for the types of treatment administered, music composition was improvised. This improvisation approach is a large part of the music and sound therapy process in present-day Turkey.

Turkish music healing groups 

Today, groups throughout Turkey are working to harness the ancient healing properties of music. TÜMATA is one such group, promoting the fields of Turkish music and movement therapy by holding interactive seminars, concerts, and courses for the community and those suffering illnesses. The late Dr. Rahmi Oruç Güvenç, the founder of TÜMATA, developed specific music and movement therapy treatments to help all types of patients, from those undergoing chemotherapy to those suffering from chronic pain, gain physical and psychological recovery. 

One specific method is an alternative baksı dance movement in which a patient either lays down and listens to or participates in a partly structured, partly improvised dance. While past forms of the baksı dance required a shaman to interpret the needs of a patient, Oruç Güvenç’s version allows one to reach a state of healing by his or her own initiative, with or without the mediation of a therapist.

Located in Sultanahmet, TÜMATA houses a collection of over 300 instruments, each with distinct tonalities and healing properties. Many of these instruments were researched and collected over the years by Oruç Güvenç, while others were carefully handmade according to photos and descriptions from literature. Every Tuesday, this group practices their musical repertoire with the public, utilizing a variety of instruments such as the ney, rebab (a bow-stringed instrument), kopuz (oud), dombra (long-necked lute), and the sound of water. Emre Başaran, a TÜMATA member who lent assistance in providing details for this piece, helps organize these musical events. Through improvisation, they play songs from Central Asia, as well as Sufi and Turkish folk songs, to promote their knowledge and passion for Turkish music healing.

Modern incarnation of music therapy 

Founded and run by meditation guide Rida Kıraşı, Soundala Therapy is a group that holds sound healing workshops at Soho House Istanbul and Kolektif House, as well as meditation retreats around Turkey. In a session, a variety of instruments including Himalayan singing bowls, gongs, and even a chanting voice, expose people to different sounds and their varying frequencies to allow the sound waves to synchronize with brain waves and give way to a deep relaxation. 

“We can utilize sound as a compassionate mirror to reflect our resonance, resistance, and release,” Kıraşı told The Guide Istanbul. During a session, Kıraşı serves as a mediator between her clients and the sounds that provoke certain reactions. Sometimes, she plays the instruments alone; at other times, she plays with musician Can Dedeoğlu. The sound created is always experimental, never composed, and soon transforms the role of the listener into that of the participant.

As the Ottoman music therapists, TÜMATA, and Soundala Therapy would agree, one of the most important aspects of the music healing process is improvisation and intuition. While music and sound therapy in Turkey have scientific basis, the subject is still in many ways a spiritual mystery. Its ability to provide healing in simple, authentic, alternative ways is like music to our ears.  

 

Editor's notes: This article was originally published in the November/December 2017 print issue. To learn more about TÜMATA, go to tumata.com or visit their center at Alemdar Caddesi No.12/3, Sultanahmet. To learn more about Soundala Therapy, send an email to hello@soundalatherapy.com.

Moving Visegrad's "TAK" dance performance at Pera Museum

11 November
4:00pm - 5:00pm

“Moving Visegrad” is a two-week contemporary dance choreographic residency program that aims to promote the culture of the Visegrad region, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, in the context of Turkey. Situated within the larger framework of A Corner in the World X bomontiada ALT and as part of the 3rd Visegrad-Turkish Culture Festival, the program brings together the dancers and audience for a public performance entitled “TAK” at Pera Museum on November 18.  

Choreographer Evrim Akyay and music composer Hasan Erginöz, as well as dancers Hania (Hanna) Szymczak (PL), Melissa Ugolini (ITA), Tereza Hradilkova (CZ), Tomas Danielis (SK), and Viktor Szeri (HUN) will share with us the artistic and cultural exchanges they experienced during their stay in Turkey. 

Auspices for the “Moving Visegrad” program include the Consulates General of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in Istanbul, and support comes from the International Visegrad Fund, Hungarian Cultural Center in Istanbul, and Dans Yazım.

This free performance takes place on the “Intersecting Worlds: Ambassadors and Painters” exhibition floor at Pera Museum on November 18, 2017 at 4pm. 

Pera Museum
18 November

End Date: 

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 17:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B001'57.0%22N+28%C2%B058'24.6%22E/@41.032492,28.9713063,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.032492!4d28.973495

Event Website: 

www.v4tr.org/moving

Event Address: 

Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.65 Tepebaşı

Event Places : 

Moving Visegrad's "TAK" dance performance at bomontiada

11 November
6:00pm - 7:00pm

“Moving Visegrad” is a two-week contemporary dance choreographic residency program that aims to promote the culture of the Visegrad region, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, in the context of Turkey. Situated within the larger framework of A Corner in the World X bomontiada ALT and as part of the 3rd Visegrad-Turkish Culture Festival, the program brings together the dancers and audience for a public performance entitled “TAK” at bomontiada on November 16.  

Choreographer Evrim Akyay and music composer Hasan Erginöz, as well as dancers Hania (Hanna) Szymczak (PL), Melissa Ugolini (ITA), Tereza Hradilkova (CZ), Tomas Danielis (SK), and Viktor Szeri (HUN) will share with us the artistic and cultural exchanges they experienced during their stay in Turkey. 

Auspices for the “Moving Visegrad” program include the Consulates General of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in Istanbul, and support comes from the International Visegrad Fund, Hungarian Cultural Center in Istanbul, and Dans Yazım.

This free performance takes place at bomontiada on November 16, 2017 at 6pm. 

bomontiada
16 November

End Date: 

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 19:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B003'29.9%22N+28%C2%B058'47.9%22E/@41.058313,28.9777713,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.058313!4d28.97996

Event Website: 

www.v4tr.org/moving

Event Address: 

Birahane Sokak No.1/A, Şişli

Event Places : 

007 comes to Pera Palace for Black Week Turkey

11 November

James Bond fans, book-lovers, and thrill-seekers are in for an exhilarating series of events at the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah from November 16-18 with a 007-themed Black Week, an annual literary mystery and crime festival.

The inspiration for Black Week comes from legendary literary and film icons who stayed at the hotel as they wrote their mystery novels and crime thrillers, one of the most prominent of which was James Bond author Ian Fleming. This year’s Agent 007 theme will explore what these walls heard—and kept secret—with talks, panels, and workshops about mystery writing. Some of the headlining local and international speakers include best-selling crime writer Anthony Horowitz, British actor and author of the Young Bond series Charlie Higson, and one of Turkey’s most famous crime and mystery novelists, Ahmet Ümit.

The Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah is offering to those who do not want to miss a beat the Black Week Package. With a minimum two-night stay at the hotel, guests can enjoy an open buffet breakfast at the Agatha Restaurant, an invitation to the event’s opening gala, and entrance to all panel sessions. 

For more information on the full program, a list of speakers, and hotel package, visit blackweekturkey.com.

Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah
16 November

End Date: 

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 20:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps?q=41.03108,28.973479999999995

Event Website: 

www.blackweekturkey.com

Event Address: 

Meşrutiyet Caddesi No. 52 Tepebaşı

Event Places : 

Making merry with aşure

Aylin Öney Tan
November 13, 2017

Aşure is a delightful yet odd Turkish sweet, and perhaps difficult for those unfamiliar with the dessert to understand. It fully represents the bounty of nature, made of boiled wheat grains plus a variety of pulses like chickpeas and beans, dried fruits like raisins, sultanas, currants, apricots, figs and finally nuts like walnuts, pine nuts and almonds. Though it sounds more health soup than treat, aşure is a legendary pudding that is surely worth exploring.

A history as legendary as Noah's Ark

Aşure also has a deep-rooted history, probably dating back to times when wheat was first cultivated in Upper Mesopotamia, near Göbeklitepe, Urfa. In Turkey, the legend of Noah’s Ark remains the most popular story surrounding the dish’s invention. As the legend goes, Noah and his followers, facing starvation, prepare one last meal with whatever sundry grains, pulses, dried fruits and nuts that are left on board. Upon sharing this last dish, a miracle happens; skies clear and the ark reaches ground. Clearing the ship’s pantry supposedly explains the unusual combination of staples. It also gives a clue to why, in rural Anatolia, the dish is also referred to as şükran çorbası or thanksgiving soup. The dish is a celebration of the miraculous salvation of the ark’s crew and represents a sign of community, peace and a bright new future. 

The celebratory significance of aşure is hidden in its indispensable main ingredient: wheat. The significance of wheat in Anatolian rituals is diverse. Since it was first cultivated, wheat has been a symbol of fertility, prosperity, birth, rebirth and growth in Anatolian civilizations. The Greek goddess Demeter is always depicted with a wheat stalk in hand, as are many other fertility goddesses of Anatolia, like her Hittite predecessor Kubaba and Roman successor Ceres, the mother of agriculture and grain crops. Celebratory wheat dishes, either sweet or savory, mark the seasonal changes and the rites of passage including birth, death and marriage. 

Aşure itself marks the first month of lunar Islamic calendar, the Muharrem. The name derives from the word ʿāshūrāʾ, which means tenth in Arabic, indicating the date on which it is traditionally prepared, the 10th day of Muharrem (celebrated on October 11 this year). This date also marks the tragedy of Kerbela, when the Prophet’s grandsons were killed, making it a day of mourning for Turkey’s Alevi Muslims. The first ten days of the Muslim New Year is reserved for fasting, and the tenth day is for feasting on aşure. 

Sharing with others is an important aşure ritual. It is always prepared in vast amounts and distributed to neighbors, friends and even strangers; thus there is always a bizarre pudding-traffic during the aşure period, the sweet concoction swapped continuously between neighbors. Armenians name the almost exact equivalent as anuş abur, which literally translates as sweet soup. No New Year table or Christmas is complete without a pretty bowl of anuş abur decorated with pomegranate. Pomegranates, another symbol of fertility and prosperity in Anatolia, is inseparable with both sweets, not as an ingredient but as a symbolic decoration to adorn the festive pudding with its jewel-like presence. 

Be merry around a wheat berry

Wheat appears in various other ways, always marking a certain day of the year, or a rite of passage. The Greek dead are waved farewell with koliva, a dry version of aşure, in hope for the rebirth of the dead. The joy of a first baby tooth in Turkey shared by diş buğdayı (tooth wheat), boiled and sweetened wheat berries that symbolize growth. In Turkic tradition, springtime is celebrated with a sweet paste made of sprouting wheat called sümenek, a potent potion acting like an aphrodisiac. The awakening of nature and flowering of fruit trees is celebrated with kofyas ( also called trigo koço by the Sephardic Jews in Tu b’shevat) which simply means cooked grain in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language. Unmarried Orthodox Christian girls seek fortune in sweet boiled wheat berry, berbara, on St. Barbara Day on December 4. And, no wedding is complete without the fertile dish of keşkek, a wheat and meat stew. 

Balkan, Eastern European, Russian and Caucasian practices are astonishingly similar. Kutya, kutia, vareno zitho, and gorgot are only a few to name among the wheat dishes or sweets that have either a significance with death, birth, or renewal. The variations on all these wheat dishes and related rituals are endless. One thing remains constant of the communities and cultures that take their roots from Anatolia. Regardless of religion or ethnicity, wheat stands for hope for the future and a profound belief in the renewal of the life cycles. 

Aşure is definitely about sharing. In that respect, the usual bowl of aşure in the pudding shop is worth another look. It might just be the time to take the toil of making a good batch of aşure, and share its prosperity. Its significance is fit for any time, from All Soul’s Day at the start of November, through to Christmas and New Year. With a good splash of rose water, topped with a handful of pomegranate seeds, it is the most festive pudding one can put on the table. 

Editor's note: The original article was published in the November/December 2016 issue of the magazine and has been reformatted in its online version.

What's in season: Pistachios

Minji Lee
November 13, 2017

As a fertile land with abundant agriculture, Turkey is the third-largest country for pistachio production. These green gems are gathered in the late summer months right before they reach their full blossom, when they are higher in iron and lower in fat. Fortunately for pistachio lovers, there is no specific season for eating them; you can enjoy pistachios as often as you wish on its own or incorporated into your favorite Turkish dish. In the future, you may even be able to heat your home with their shells — a nutty new form of renewable energy. 

What's a pistachio?

While most people call pistachios a nut, it is technically a drupe, or a type of fruit in which the edible seed is covered by a hard exterior coating. Like many other drupes, pistachios are packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals; when combined with legumes and dairy, it can give you all the essential amino acids for overall health maintenance.

Though pricey in other parts of the world, pistachios are plentiful and comparatively inexpensive  in Turkey. In 2015, the total number of fruit-bearing trees in Turkey stood at 40 million, or one pistachio tree for about every two people in this country. They are grown in more than 44 provinces around Turkey, mostly from southeastern Anatolia, particularly the cities of Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, and Siirt. 

Pistachio production is cyclical and depending on the climate, yields vary year to year. In 2013 and 2014, due to frost and drought in the main production regions in the winter and spring, the amount of pistachios harvested was lower than the expected average. Luckily, 2015 and 2016 had better harvests, and Turkey is looking to increase production with a project to plant more saplings in Şanlıurfa and Siirt. It is hoped more trees will reduce the impact of the climate and stabilize production.

Pistachios to baklava

Ask anybody who has lived in Turkey where to find the best pistachios and their answer will most likely be Gaziantep. They will also most likely rave about the city’s baklava, which uses Antep pistachios as a main ingredient. While other types of baklava use cinnamon and rosewater to enhance taste, pastry chefs in Gaziantep do not use additional fillings in the traditional treat. They use a simple blend of sugar syrup, filo pastry dough, butter, and crushed pistachio to make Turkey’s most famous dessert. 

If you are outside Gaziantep but have a craving for their sweet, there are many pastry shops in Turkey owned and ran by Gaziantep natives who bake their baklava the Antep way. You can choose many varieties of Antep baklava that come in all shapes and sizes. Havuç dilimi, or baklava in the shape of carrot slices, and bülbül yavusı, a type of baklava with a single pistachio in the middle of its nest-like shape, are two examples of a traditional Antep baklava.

No leftovers

Pistachios are not only used to add taste and depth to Turkey’s favorite treat. The Gaziantep metropolitan municipality partnered with a French environmental engineering firm to use pistachio shells as a source of renewable energy in the province. The calorific value, or the amount of heat produced by a food in its combustion process, of pistachios is extremely high. Given the large amount of leftover pistachio shells in the Gaziantep region, more than 55 hectares of buildings can be sourced with heating and cooling systems from this form of renewable energy. The municipality’s aim to build up Turkey’s first eco-city is taking slow steps toward becoming a reality. As of now, a pilot project in the form of a 320 meter ecohouse is underway. 

If the project gets approved, the entire 3,200 hectare area between Gaziantep and Kilis could be fueled by eco-friendly energy from pistachio shells. The next time you are cracking a pistachio, remember the versatile nature of this drupe.

 

Eat Antep-style in Istanbul

For an authentic taste of southeastern Anatolian cuisine, visit Develi in one of its three locations (Samatya, Kalamış, or Etiler) and try some of their speciality dishes, all made from ingredients sourced from the regions around Gaziantep. Try their house specialty, fıstıklı kebab, which includes crushed pistachios in the meat. Other specialties include ala nazik, Antep-style dried eggplant dolma, and kebab made with keme, the Gaziantep word for truffles. Open daily noon-midnight. Gümüşyüzük Sokak No.5, Samatya; T: (0212) 529 08 33

If you are craving a bite of baklava, visit Gaziantepli Baklavacı Bilgeoğlu and indulge in their classic pistachio kuru baklava, or an alternative, yet equally delicious, variety. Open daily 6am-9pm. Muvakkithane Caddesi No.56, Kadıköy; T: (0216) 336 00 49

 

Pistachio Pesto recipe by Aylin Öney Tan

Pistachios can be used not only in sweet dishes, but savory ones as well. The delicate sweetness of early harvest pistachios balances savory tastes, from juicy kebabs to tangy cheese mezze. Pistachios also make a perfect pesto as a substitute for pine nuts, and one does not need to add basil for the bright green color so iconic of a pesto sauce. The following pesto recipe gives the most intense pistachio taste, but if you prefer a flavor with herbs, add a handful of basil leaves or half a bunch of flat leaf parsley. Likewise, this pistachio pesto does not need cheese and can be made vegan. For cheese fans, add grated Parmesan or an aged sharp Turkish kaşar cheese directly on top of your pasta. You can also use this ingredient as a sauce if you play around with the amount of herbs and cheese varieties added. 

Ingredients
1 ½ cups early harvest raw (unroasted) shelled Antep pistachios
½ cup early harvest extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic 
½ teaspoon salt 

Preparation
Mix together pistachios, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and salt in a blender until smooth. If necessary, dilute the mixture with a spoonful of the cooking water from the pasta. Pour it over pasta and enjoy!

21st Istanbul Theater Festival

11 November

Departing from tradition, the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation, or İKSV, will host its 21st Istanbul Theater Festival November 13-26, six months earlier than the festival’s usual timing. The shifted timing is a reflection of Istanbul’s rapidly expanding and increasingly competitive community of new theater productions, venues, and stages, and İKSV’s strong lineup is sure to make a lasting impact on the theater scene in the city. In addition to plays and dramas in 19 different venues throughout the city, there will be a number of film screenings, workshops, and panels that will accommodate the tastes of theater savants, inquisitive intellectuals, and lovers of arts and culture of all ages.

Groups such as the Swedish Arts Council, the Goethe Institute, and the French Cultural Center will add an international spark. Through the participation of various directors, playwrights, musicians, and other creative professionals from all around the world, participants will learn about the impact of theater in the art scene beyond Istanbul. This year’s festival will host six theater and dance ensembles from around the world and 12 plays from Turkey will make their debut onstage.

This year İKSV will offer selected festival events free of charge in a bid to welcome and attract as wide an audience as possible. As many of the festival’s venues have limited seating, be sure to browse the website often and make your reservations for specific shows in advance. Regular ticket sales for the festival are available for purchase through Biletix and at the İKSV main box office. Students can attend every paid event for the price of 10 TL.

With these changes in this year’s Istanbul Theater Festival, İKSV raises the bar for theater production in the city, inspiring local and international groups to push for more diversity, creativity, and motivation in the Istanbul arts and culture scene.

For more information visit www.tiyatro.iksv.org.

13 November

End Date: 

Sunday, November 26, 2017 - 11:30

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

Www.tiyatro.iksv.org

Ihsan Aknur: "The Best Taxi Driver"

Pelin Esmer
November 09, 2017

Before going viral on social media, speaking at a TEDX talk and squiring around the famous Anthony Bourdain for his show No Reservations, İhsan Aknur was just declaring himself “The Best Taxi Driver.” His charm and sense of humor caught the attention of many, and Pelin Esmer chatted with him about his work experiences, most memorable customers, and a job he considers perfectly suited for his personality.

Who is İhsan Aknur?

When İhsan Aknur was in high school, he envied the now vintage cars his older brother drove as a dolmuş driver, especially the Chevrolets used before the blue or yellow minibuses now seen bustling about the city. His father, however, had different expectations for his son. He wanted him to finish school and “be a man” as all Turkish fathers hope. But Aknur said to himself, “if my brother can do it, why can’t I?” and became a taxi driver of a different kind. He studied English and became bilingual. Every day during that year, he practiced what he learned in class with the tourists in Sultanahmet Square while waiting for his turn in the taxi queue. He would ask them the time, the date, where they come from and so on; now, seventeen years later, he speaks fluent English and can imitate different accents perfectly. 

İhsan Aknur has been working as a taxi driver in the Sultanahmet, and naturally, he’s heard many stories from tourist guides and read several travel books. That’s why he decided Istanbul was in desperate need of “the best taxi driver;” someone who could guide the tourists to a really good time by giving them the opportunity to see and explore parts of Istanbul never mentioned in the guide books.  “The best taxi driver” neither wants to be a professional guide nor own a tourism agency; he does not want to change his title. Aknur prefers to astonish the tourists as “a Turkish taxi driver who speaks several languages and who can talk about many different subjects including politics, economics, and social issues.”

The ride of your life

İhsan Aknur has a fantastic sense of humor. As soon as you’ve jumped into his cab, he finds something to talk about and immediately, you’re drawn to him like a magnet. He’s interesting and he’s got lots of stories to tell. Once you are in, he’ll pull out what looks like a volume of an encyclopaedia from under the seat. There are in fact, a total of ten, fifteen hardcover books resting in his car. He has acquired these throughout the years. The books are categorised according to the countries, regions or languages. One of them has only the writings of the Americans, the other one only the Mediterraneans, another one consists only of the Scandinavians.

Each volume is an incredible archive of photographs, diaries, impressions, greetings and memories of thousands of tourists he has driven around and guided for the past seventeen years. There is a long diary of an American professor, a Christmas picture of a big family, a big thank you from a German truck driver, and a love letter from a Finnish girl. There are also impressions about Turkish men (“they’re incredibly sensitive and kind” as some say), confessions of stereotypes about Turkish people, the usual appreciation of the “Turkish hospitality,” and more. He refers to these books in which everyone writer in their own language as his hobby. In fact, they are a collection of books which trace seventeen years of a man’s life. They also reflect how perception of people from different countries evolved over the years. Finally, if he sees confused tourists looking at maps, this typical conversation starts: 

“Where are you from?” 
“Holland.”
“Oh really? Can I please ask you a favor?”

Naturally, the tourists are a little surprised. They hesitate and nod their head up and down - universally accepted as a “yes.” He runs to his car and grabs a volume on Holland. He opens a page written by Marion, for example. There are many pictures of Marion and Aknur side by side. They look like they’re having a wonderful time. “I once met a person from Amsterdam. Can you please translate this page to me?” he says. 

The tourists read, translate and in the meantime learn about the wonderful experience that Dutchman has with the taxi driver. They get a little bit confused remembering all the warnings about the carpet sellers, free guidance, etc.

An off-the-beaten-path taxi tour

“I am not a carpet or a leather seller. I am ‘the best taxi driver,’ he adds. “If you want, I can give you a tour of Istanbul with my car. I have a specific route. We start from Süleymaniye Mosque, and then visit the Kariye Museum, explore the historical sites in Eyüp, have a cup of coffee in Pierre Loti and then drive to the Asian side of the Bosphorus and visit Beylerbeyi, a small fishing village, and Çamlıca. This is my tour and my price is such and such.” This is his spiel and it usually works. To Aknur, this means that he’s made his money for the day, but more importantly, it means that he’ll probably have new pages, new experiences added to his collections. 

After completing his tour, and if Aknur’s newfound friends are happy, he takes them to some Turkish pub (birahane) in Üsküdar or Yedikule where generally only the locals drink. He sometimes makes little changes in his tour, adopting it to different cultures. 

For example, Aknur states, “the Dutch like to spend money but at the same time they like anything that is free. If I am with Finnish tourists, i stop every hour for a beer break. The Italians like a good lunch, so we dress up and find a nice place to dine,” he explains. 

There’s no limit to his tours. They can be daily, weekly, or for as long as one likes. For this reason, he keeps a couple of scarfs and long skirts for his customers in case they visit mosques or some conservative parts of Turkey. 

Aknur's dream job 

Upon asking if he enjoys what he does for a living, he does not hesitate to state, “I cannot think of a better job for me.” Upon asking what's next for him, he has two answers. The first is sitting in the courtyard of the Eyüp Mosque as an old man. The second answer is to move to his house in Saroz in Çanakkale near Gallipoli. There, he plans to go fishing daily and write his autobiography. He envisions it as a story with different sections including “an exciting life, a conservative family, fun, joke, good husband, bad husband and good father.”

He wants to end the story like “a hero in the Western movies, coming back to his hometown where everything has changed and he is still striving for ‘the next.’”

 

Editor's note: This original story was published in the September 1999 print issue of The Guide Istanbul magazine and has been reformatted in its online version.

An American school on the Bosphorus: 150 years of Robert College

Joshua Bruce Allen
November 09, 2017

It may be surprising to many people today that the first continually running American college outside the US was founded in Istanbul, way back in 1863. Its birth was linked to major trends of the time, such as Western missionary activity in the Ottoman Empire. But there was also an element of coincidence: if philanthropist Christopher Robert had not travelled to Istanbul and seen a boat in the Bosphorus, this school might never have appeared, and perhaps the intellectual face of Istanbul and Turkey would have turned out differently. 

The History of Robert College

The boat had come from the bakery of Cyrus Hamlin, an American missionary based at the Bebek Seminary. One aim of this bakery, as well as feeding the poor, was to raise money for the establishment of churches. Christopher Robert asked about the boat and decided to visit Hamlin. Together they formed the idea of creating an American Christian college in Istanbul. Despite this religious emphasis, the college was open to all. In his memoir “Among the Turks,” Hamlin calls the college “a great success in gathering students from eighteen nationalities, from twelve languages, and from all the religions of the East.”

In its original form, Robert College was an all-boys’ school close to the seminary in Bebek. Meanwhile the American College for Girls was founded in Fatih in 1871, and by 1914 it had moved to Arnavutköy, close to Robert College. Following the spirit of the times, the two schools merged into a co-ed in 1971 on the Arnavutköy campus, keeping the name Robert College. The college’s first building in Bebek became the campus of today’s Boğaziçi University.

One of the reasons for these mergers and migrations was the school’s popularity, which forced it to find larger premises in the city. The refined families of the Ottoman Empire were eager to give their children a Western education with an emphasis on English-language tuition. And Robert College opened many doors in Turkey, creating the country’s first medical school for women and the first student council.

Alumni

A glance at the list of Robert College alumni is enough to understand parents’ enthusiasm: along with two Turkish prime ministers, two Bulgarian prime ministers, and one Nobel Prize winner, the college has fostered countless businesspeople, academics, writers, and scientists.

The most famous of these internationally is Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, whose memoir “Istanbul: Memories and the City” devotes a chapter to his time at the college. Although he paints himself as an outsider, as is the experience of many writers, Pamuk also admits, “I loved getting lost in the low-ceilinged labyrinths of the library built by the American secular Protestants who had founded the college, breathing in the pungency of old paper”.

But Pamuk was not the first Robert College alumnus to dazzle the nation with his literary talent. To take an early example, female student Halide Edib earned the Order of Charity from Sultan Abdülhamit II when she was only 15 years old, graduating from the American College for Girls in 1901. When Edib’s husband decided to take a second wife, she divorced him and wrote a novel about a woman who abandons her husband to live with the man she loves. Her pioneering of feminism among Ottoman woman coexisted with her support for Turkish nationalism. During the Allied occupation of Istanbul after World War I, Edib left to join the nationalist movement in Anatolia. Along the way she reached the rank of sergeant in the nationalist army and cofounded Anadolu Ajansı, which is still the state-owned press agency today. From 1950 to 1954, by which time she was in her 60s, she served as a member of parliament for İzmir, finally passing away in 1964. This remarkable figure left behind her a wealth of novels, stories, journalism, and memoirs, as well as a life story fit for a Hollywood film.

Celebrating the 150th year 

The college marked its 150th year in 2013, celebrating this milestone with an exhibition at the Istanbul Research Institute. Writer, translator, and Robert College alumnus Cem Akaş was the exhibition’s curator, and his book “Tepedeki Okul” (The School on the Hill) is set to be the first on the subject in Turkish. “I was a boarding student at Robert College from 1979 to 1986, and I can confidently say that it was more of a defining experience for me than university,” Akaş told The Guide Istanbul. “The facilities offered by the school were more modest in our day – though they were far above the average in Turkey – but the campus and library still occupy an unforgettable place in my mind. The physics, chemistry and biology labs were also very good, and I can say that I learned about scientific thought thanks to them.”

Akaş also sees a definite link between his school years and his current success in the literary world. “As for the English program, the literature curriculum went beyond language learning, which was satisfying for me. Robert College has been very helpful to me as a publisher, writer, and translator. I learned to be curious about disciplines there, and this made it easier for me to make different conceptual connections. Having such intimate contact with English also made many things easier in life.”

Another Robert College alumnus who made waves in the cultural arena is theater actor and director Haldun Dormen. Being part of an active theater group at Robert College was a source of support in his early ambitions. “I have a very nice memory of the play ‘Campus Follies’ from that time. We had a very harsh disciplinarian, Professor Allen. His discipline was superb, because he scared everyone stiff and when he got angry he would say, ‘You go home.’” But as Dormen explains, the strict professor was not without a sense of humor when on stage. “He was a fantastic hit. The boys were dressed in women’s clothes and singing the famous Andrew Sisters’ song, ‘I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time’. He came on stage and said ‘You go home,’ and of course there was wild applause. For a moment everyone thought it was real. That’s one of my favorite memories.”

Well-known for her cooking column in the Hürriyet newspaper, her television program “Mucize Lezzetler” (Miraculous Tastes), and the book “Refika’nın Mutfağı – Cooking New Istanbul Style”, Robert College alumnus Refika Birgül has made a successful career out of her passion for Turkish cuisine. For her, the college was a place of unparalleled learning both inside and outside the classroom. “When I think about Robert College, the first thing I see on closing my eyes is the wisteria on the main bridge at the entrance,” she told The Guide Istanbul. Birgül has also written about wisteria sherbet in her Hürriyet column. “It’s a drink whose smell captures those days, those feelings of first love, and has preserved them through my whole life.”

A common sentiment among Akaş, Dormen, and Birgül is the freedom and encouragement present in the college’s arts education. “Another memory is the theater. I prepared a 30-minute dance that actually shaped a lot in my life. I convinced 20 other students, and we practiced the whole winter, finally presenting a dance that showed an alternative theory of the earth’s creation,” she says. “The third thing I won’t forget is the art activities. Before I went to a state primary school and the teacher didn’t like anything I made. Then at Robert College I won the prize for development in art, which was given to one student each year. While students from other schools were playing cards or having fun at leaving time, we went to the art studio and made paintings or sculptures and spent hours in the darkroom, forgetting the time and missing the bus home.”

Although she notes that Robert College’s spirit of innovation sometimes runs counter to the mainstream in Turkey, Birgül has no doubts about its positive effects. “If I had another thousand lives in this country, I’d choose to study at Robert College every time. When I have children one day, God willing, I’ll do whatever I can to have them study there,” she says.

Every issue a new Istanbul: The Guide Istanbul cover artist Sedat Girgin

Joshua Bruce Allen
November 09, 2017

Since the March-April issue of 2014, a new and original piece of art has appeared on the cover of The Guide Istanbul, with each city vignette drawn by Sedat Girgin. The young illustrator not only creates whimsical visions of the city but is also an up-and-coming children’s book artist who is taking Turkey by storm. Sedat Girgin's imaginative drawings of Istanbul have a handcrafted look that reflects the old soul and new spirit of the city.

Meet the artist

“My first arts and design education was at fine arts lycée in Istanbul. I passed the practical exam for a place at the school, and that changed my life. Then I studied in the industrial design department at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University,” Girgin recalls. “In the meantime I had started drawing, and I met children’s authors and started doing illustrations for magazines. Then the Internet came along and I realized that ‘illustrator’ was an actual career.” 

The artist works from his home studio in Üsküdar, a district most famous for the iconic Maiden’s Tower. This is also one of the many landmarks that he transforms in his covers for The Guide Istanbul. But like any creative work, inspiration does not always come easily. “Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower… Istanbul has a lot of iconic sights, but after a while you start going round in circles and the creative side becomes more difficult. So I try to make it more interesting by adding wit and humor. Once I’ve thought of the idea behind the cover then the rest is easier,” he says. In fact Galata Tower is one of Girgin’s favorite subjects, appearing on many of the covers: “I like the image of that stone tower on top of a chaotic pile of buildings.”

And at only 31 years old, Girgin has already illustrated more than 80 children’s books. His distinctive illustrations grace the pages of books such as the lauded Sefa the Lazy Fish by Tülin Kozikoğlu, recently included in the International Youth Library’s White Ravens Catalogue. After winning several awards in Turkey and abroad, Gigin is now a nominee for the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Awards – the world’s most prestigious prize for children’s authors and illustrators.

The growing popularity of illustrations

The illustrator is also positive about the growing popularity of this art in Turkey, especially among young people. His success is certainly a light for them to follow. “The interest in illustration now is good because that’s how it will develop. The older generation of illustrators are very few and had a limited market. But it’s opening up now to more people,” he says. As for himself, Girgin identifies his art with a long and precious tradition. “Illustration is an art that appeals to more people [than gallery art], and it’s more comprehensible. But actually, we can think of Biblical paintings from the Renaissance as a kind of illustration. In fact, even cave paintings can go into that category – the cave artists used pictures to tell stories from their lives.”

Whether we’re admiring cave paintings from thousands of years ago or painted works about our beloved Istanbul and Turkey featured on our magazine cover, the power of illustration to transport us to new places of inspiration is certainly an ever-present feature in Girgin’s works.

Girgin's personal favorites 

Upon asking the illustrator about the favorite works he's contributed to The Guide Istanbul magazine, he states that his personal favorite so far is the March-April 2016 issue, which shows Galata Tower overgrown with flowers, like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. What could be more appropriate for the spring issue?

A second favorite is November-December 2014. This shows a street vendor pushing diners up a hill on top of his cart, reflecting the meyhane feature in the magazine.

Girgin told The Guide Istanbul about his cover for the magazine’s 150th issue, September-October 2016: “I made a little joke by drawing 150 stars that had fallen across Istanbul. The stars symbolize the ‘star spots’ that The Guide Istanbul writes about. At the same time it shows that every issue of the magazine is valuable like a star.”

November Events at Sahne Pulchérie

10 October

Sahne Pulchérie presents an exciting lineup of screenings and performances this upcoming month. Here's the lineup:

The award-winning French film "Séraphine,” which is about the touching and unexpected relationship between a German art collector and his servant, will be screened on November 4 with Turkish subtitles. This event is free.

The theater group BeReZe will present its play “Macbeth: Two nightmares,” directed by Doğu Akal, on November 11. Reservations for attending this play can be made by emailing tiyatrobereze[at]gmail.com.

Kirpi Tiyatro presents two performances of “Occident,” written by French author Rémi De Vos, on November 15 and 25. Seyyar Sahne brings Oğuz Atay’s "Dangerous Games" to the Sahne Pulchérie stage on November 17, as well as “Dear Shameless Death,” based on the novel by the same name by Latife Tekin, on November 24. 

All performances will start at 8:30pm. Tickets, which are available at regular and student fares, are sold online through Biletix for Kirpi Tiyatro's “Occident” and on Seyyar Sahne’s website for “Dear Shameless Death” and “Dangerous Games.” They can also be purchased at the door on the night of the showing starting from 6:30pm (cash only). You can also buy them at Lamelif, located right across from the high school (cash only). For more information on these performances and showings, visit the Sahne Pulchérie website here.

Sahne Pulchérie
04 November

End Date: 

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 20:30

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B002'03.3%22N+28%C2%B058'59.5%22E/@41.0342602,28.9810011,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.0342602!4d28.9831898

Event Website: 

http://www.sp.k12.tr/turkce/kultur-ve-sanat/profesyonel-etkinlikler/article/sahne-pulcherie-nin-programi

Event Address: 

Çukurluçeşme Sokak No.7 Beyoğlu

Event Places : 

5th International Bosphorus Film Festival

10 October

The 5th International Bosphorus Film Festival, taking place from November 17-26, will bring award-winning movie directors and their highly-anticipated work to Istanbul this year. Majid Majidi, one of the most regarded directors of Iranian cinema, will reveal his latest film, Beyond the Clouds for viewers, and Egyptian film director Amr Salam will present Sheikh Jackson. Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman and Indian movie producer Vibha Chopra are also a part of the festival event program.

This year’s program includes talks with directors and producers such as Béla Tarr and Boby Roth, as well as competitions in the categories of Best National Feature Film, International Feature Film, and Short Film in which directors, producers, and actors will receive grand prizes of up to 100,000 Turkish lira. Screenings will be held at Atlas, Beyoğlu, and Kadıköy cinemas, and festival tickets will be sold online, starting on November 2, on mobilet.com. For more information on film titles and the program schedule, visit www.bogazicifilmfestivali.com.

17 November

End Date: 

Sunday, November 26, 2017 - 14:45

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

http://www.bogazicifilmfestivali.com

Phone: 

0538 930 00 15

Hayata Sarıl Lokantası: Embracing life one meal at a time

Caner Kocamaz
October 27, 2017

Ayşe Tükrükçü has not had an easy life. She was a victim of sexual violence at the age of nine and her own husband forced her into sexwork at a brothel. Tükrükçü managed to get out, but she had to live on the streets for months and could not even take a shower for 38 days, eating what people left behind at McDonalds to survive. But she did not surrender to hopelessness, and she has now become a hope for others. While she was sleeping in hospital yards, one night at Taksim İlk Yardım, another at the German Hospital, she started being a sitter for patients to earn money. Then she moved on to washing dishes at restaurants, building herself back up from scratch. Tükrükçü managed to stand up on her own two feet, and with her project Hayata Sarıl Lokantası, intends to help others do the same.

Tükrükçü has not forgotten what she has gone through and how hard it was to survive on the streets. You might have heard of the charity project Çorbada Tuzun Olsun (Let You Have Salt in Your Soup). “Through Şefkat-Der, we started giving out soup for the homeless,” Tükrükçü explains. That is when she met Dilara Z. Moran and others who later joined Tükrükçü to realize her dream to give to those society chooses not to see. First came the Hayata Sarıl Derneği (Embrace Life Foundation), then its first project, Hayata Sarıl Lokantası (Embrace Life Restaurant). This project will not only assist people in need, but also give them the skills to help themselves. The homeless, former sexworkers, alcoholics—those who are ignored by the society, as Tükrükçü refers to them—will start working here to build themselves up and prepare for a career, just as she did. It is an opportunity for them to “regain the responsibility of their lives.”

Hayata Sarıl Lokantası is the first step into their second life. Mutfak Sanatları Akademisi (Culinary Arts Academy) is going to teach them kitchen basics. Melis Aran, the restaurant’s permanent chef, will provide guidance. “We are in touch with three or four people right now and we will arrange their initial accommodation,” says Moran, who is actively working on the project. But the support will last only until they are ready to stand on their own. With this restaurant’s name on their CV, they will bill be prepared to go out on their own and leave their space to other people in need. Prominent figures in the restaurant industry are ready to help as well. Istanbul’s leading chefs such as Maksut Aşkar, Şemsa Denizsel, Didem Şenol, and others have promised to contribute to the restaurant. Some of these chefs’ well-known dishes will be featured at the restaurant.

The district of Beyoğlu was specifically selected for the restaurant, as Tükrükçü explains, “It’s where the most homeless are. We are aware of Beyoğlu’s decrease in popularity, and if we can contribute to restoring it, we would also be glad,” Moran says. The restaurant is close to neighborhoods with old residents like Zencefil. “When you come here for us, revisit the classics around here,” Moran adds. Hayata Sarıl Lokantası will open its doors in November 2017. Tükrükçü will be there with her friends ready to help. “We are doing it, where are you?” Tükrükçü invites all of us to be a part of this noble act. Contributions can be as simple as eating at Hayata Sarıl Lokantası.  

This restaurant is Hayata Sarıl Derneği’s first project, and they plan to do more. You can provide direct support for the foundation with a monetary donation.

Hayata Sarıl Derneği
IBAN: TR 41 0004 6001 9888 8000 0862 11
Akbank Cihangir Şubesi 0198 0086211

For more information visit www.hayatasaril.org. 

Aquajog: High-intensity hydro fitness

October 26, 2017

As the end of summer nears in Istanbul, many of us are packing our swimsuits away. However, now is the perfect time to discover a new way to tone, sculpt, and strengthen your body--without leaving the pool. Aquajog®, a hydro fitness activity introduced in Turkey by Aqua Jog Club founder Gizem Çalışkan, will have you seeing the pool in a new perspective: as an all-in-one fitness center where you can train your body in ways other than simply swimming.

The metropolitan mindset that Istanbul locals have is rushing from one place to another, even hurrying through our gym workouts to squeeze in the next event on our agendas. Though this fast-paced movement may help burn a few hundred calories, it would be a stretch to call this a proper workout. As such, sometimes it may seem like we have no time for neither a proper workout nor for relaxation; however, aquajog is a new fitness sport that can give you the benefits of both in a single session. 

Aquajog is a hydro sport in which you can utilize a vertical training technique in water for a high-intensity, low-impact workout. “Everyone knows swimming, but many people don’t know you can do all kinds of sports in the water. You can walk, run, do squats and lunges, and even spin with aquajog,” says Gizem Çalışkan, the first and only licensed aquajog instructor in Turkey. After training with a physiotherapist from Switzerland for a few months, she obtained a license to teach her own aquajog classes in Turkey and to train other swimming instructors to do the same. Two years ago, she founded Aqua Jog Club, a platform through which she can teach others about the sport to promote knowledge of its benefits to others. 

Through her instruction, people can learn how to employ a vertical training technique, instead of a horizontal one through swimming, to challenge their bodies in new ways. Çalışkan teaches how one can use the resistance of the water, his or her own body weight, and a small flotation belt to get a workout that does not require as much machinery as what you may use at the gym. 

The pool as your treadmill 

It’s easy to get bored of the same cardio workout when training on a treadmill. If you replace the treadmill’s belt, buttons, and TV with an Olympic-sized pool, you can start to see the appeal of aquajog. “Meet your new running playground: the pool,” Çalışkan casually states before hopping into the pool to give her walking and running demonstrations. The arm and leg movements she demonstrates focus on sharp form and straight posture, which are components of a workout that are easy to forget about when doing the same treadmill routine. 

Unlike walking or running on a treadmill, which may only focus on cardio strength, aquajog is a sport that utilizes all muscle groups without the physical intensity of pounding your feet into a machine. Cardio, resistance training, and even weightlifting are exercises employed in aquajog. Since there is no body contact with the pool floor, no pressure is placed on the joints or muscles. With this said, aquajog is ideal for people who have joint problems or are undergoing physical rehabilitation. You can have a faster recovery time, as well as build endurance, which encourages more effective workouts both on land and in water. 

Anyone can aquajog

Aquajog is an ideal fitness activity for people of all age ranges and with all body types. Çalışkan trains her members according to their fitness goals. Whether you want to shed weight, build muscle, or rehabilitate your body, aquajog can help you do this in a more effective way than with dry land exercises. Aquajog is a great way for children to adopt increased flexibility and better posture, which is important for growing children. It is an ideal fitness sport for pregnant women, as it strengthens the pelvic and back muscles that are important for giving birth. It is an effective way for professional athletes to engage in recovery training through techniques involved in water rehabilitation. 

Benefits of aquajog

Aquajog teaches you how to control your breathing, which stimulates heart and lung health. It teaches you how to use proper form and how to stimulate your muscles while performing exercises, which improves posture and relieves body pains. It combines physical exertion and mental focus with rehabilitation, which results in an effective body workout with the added benefit of mental relaxation. Çalışkan’s aquajog classes teach its members about all of these benefits and more. As the maximum number of people per class is five, you can enjoy the advantages of aquajob through personalized lessons and customized fitness goals. The duration of each class is just one hour, but you can burn up to 800 calories in just a single class.

Whether you are a pro athlete, fitness enthusiast, or haven’t exercised in years, and whether you are someone undergoing physical therapy or someone just looking for a new activity, consider joining Aqua Jog Club as a new way to fulfill all your fitness goals. The next time you’re in a pool, think about your body’s potential to get healthier and stronger with a simple shift in perspective. Aquajog can help you get there. 

Sublime fragrance: The story behind roses of Anatolia

Jane Akatay
October 26, 2017

Hidden away in the scenic folds of the Taurus Mountains in southwest Anatolia lie the provinces of Isparta and Burdur. This is Turkey’s lake district: the rugged peaks, which form a spectacular divide between the Mediterranean coast and the central Anatolian plain, create an ideal agricultural environment. The warm summers and wet winters, together with the fertile soil, yield abundant harvests of fruit and vegetables. The area also has a well-deserved reputation for being the rose garden of Turkey; for some, it is regarded as the rose garden of the world.

It was back in 1891 that Müftüzade Ismail Efendi first planted damask roses, which he smuggled from the Rose Valley in Bulgaria, in this region of Turkey. His plan was to produce rose water and rose oil, which were delicately perfumed products that the Ottoman elite craved. Ismail Efendi knew this feat would not be easy to accomplish, as roses are as delicate as the scent they release. What he didn’t know was that, many years later, he would be remembered as the person who led the way in making Turkey one of the main rose oil producers in the world. 

126 years later, the descendants of his first batch of roses are still thriving. Ismail Efendi was spot-on in picking the perfect plot of soil with the right conditions for growing roses. In May and early June, gardens and fields are full of roses as they begin to blossom, and their exotic fragrance fills the air.

This abundance of roses means that Turkey is now one of the world’s major producers of precious rose oil. This oil is used by some of the most prestigious perfume houses when making their exquisite and expensive fragrances. Turkish rose oil is also used in beauty products. Rose oil is known to help reduce wrinkles with its high levels of vitamin A, which increases skin-cell turnover. Rose water, which is much more affordable than its oil counterpart, is on sale everywhere in Turkey, along with soap and beauty products made from this mild liquid. In addition to being used for beauty products, rose water has long been used in food and drinks. It is used to make Turkey’s famous lokum (Turkish delight), and rose petals can be used to make delicious jam.

The roses that are grown in the Isparta and Burdur provinces of Turkey are not your common rose that can be picked from any garden; they are rosa damascena, otherwise known as Damask or Anatolian Rose. It is the fragrant pink blooms from these bushes that contain the highest levels of valuable oils and are the most sought-after in the rose oil industry.

The journey of the rose

Perhaps for their beauty, fragrance, or a mixture of both, roses have captivated humankind for thousands of years. In Turkey and surrounding regions, the rose has been used for myriad purposes, such as for the preparation of natural medicines and for religious rituals. 

Archaeological discoveries prove that the rose has been used in the Eastern Mediterranean for thousands of years. There are rose fossils dating back 40 million years, and in the Middle East, the earliest historical records of roses are inscribed in 5,000- year-old Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets. The Hittites of Anatolia (1750-1180 BCE) used roses to make natural medicines. The rose became an important symbol in many countries, some of which include India, Iran, Syria, and Egypt, and it is often used in Islamic religious rituals in the present day. 

Ottoman history also boasts of the cultivation of roses on its lands. Edirne was a region of the Empire that had rose-water production sites. Rose cultivation took place in present-day Syria as well as within the borders of present-day Bulgaria. However, when Bulgaria separated from the Ottoman Empire in 1908, Turkish migrants who settled in Anatolia brought the rose cultivation tradition with them. 

Modern rose oil production

The process of cultivating roses for production in the present day is much more complicated than that of the Ottoman times. The 30 petals of the rosa damascena do not release their precious oil easily. Upon the release of these oils, it takes hard work to gather the petals from the harvest and process them for production. Özgür Özer, the marketing manager at a local rose manufacturing company, breaks down the numbers: in the Isparta, Burdur, and Afyon regions there are 2,000 hectares of roses. The total harvest, which takes place from May to June, is 6,500 tons of petals. These petals produce one ton of rose oil, eight tons of rose concrete, and two and a half tons of rose absolute.

As many as 10,000 families are involved in harvesting the roses, which is best done just after sunrise—between 5:30am and 10am—before the heat of the sun dries the dew. It is mostly women who harvest the blossoms, although some men are involved as well. Rose harvesters wear a sack, which is attached to their waists, and they work with both hands to snap off the flowers and throw them into their large sacks as they go. According to Özer, the amount collected per person per day is around 80-100 kilograms, and the harvest lasts for about 25 to 30 days. That’s up to 3000 kilograms of roses, or about 3.3 tons, that one rose harvester collects in one season!

Approximately four tons of petals produce one kilogram of rose oil. On a more simple scale, it takes 10,000 roses to make 5 milliliters of oil—the bottle would be smaller than your pinkie finger. In the current rose oil market, one kilogram of rose oil will set you back a steep 11,500 Euros! Nevertheless, the benefits of rosa damascena products, whether in oil or water form, are quite priceless. Knowing that they come from Anatolian lands makes the distinct subtly sweet rose aroma all the more special.

Denim: A Forever Fabric

Marzena Romanowska
October 26, 2017

The invention of the most functional fabric in the world, denim, is a result of a mistake. When the weavers from the French city of Nimes tried to reproduce the famous Italian-made cotton corduroy, they made an error in the dying process that resulted in a more durable fabric. The warp threads were dyed with indigo while the weft threads remained white, giving this fabric a unique look and texture that made it appealing for many. This fabric, found practical during the Gold Rush and put to work by Levi Strauss, began its international career that continues to the present day. 

Compared to more than a century-long history of blue jeans in the US, the Turkish leg of that story is relatively new, with its beginning marked by World War II. Negatively affected by the practical quality of denim fabric, Turks began to purchase second-hand outfits from American soldiers, quickly spreading international trends amongst themselves. Having observed the new fashion in France around the same time, Turkish entrepreneur Muhteşem Kot decided to introduce production of the fabric to Turkey. He founded the Kot brand in the 1950s and took his permanent place in local fashion history. Blue jeans are known in Turkish as “kot,” and this word has assumed a place in the official Turkish dictionary since 1973. 

Trying to follow the latest fashion trends, local vendors in Istanbul struggled to source the most current looks involving denim. In the 1970s, local students would buy worn items from foreign tourists for half of what they’d pay for the new items from Turkey. The best deals were offered by travelers from India, and this second-hand market, although thriving, wasn’t resulting in any major business deals, as both selling and buying parties were relatively poor. Rumor has it that one of the local restaurants, Yener Lokantası, used to offer free meals to Indian tourists who ended up making absolutely no money on selling their second-hand jeans  to Turkish students. Students who could afford the new items, would work on their fashionable look for hours, wearing the fabric out with pumice stones and bleach. 

Though chemical dyes are mostly used to dye denim today, in the past, natural indigo dye was more commonly used due to local knowledge of traditional carpet weaving. The threads were colored entirely with dyes obtained from leaves and roots of various local plants. The recipes used for these dyes were personal; therefore, use of the same material by different dyers resulted in variant tones, which were further affected by factors such as soil type or local microclimate. Aytaç Kot, Muhteşem Kot’s son, remembers the dye used in the Kot factory was so intense that the company had no choice but to focus on producing only one type of fabric, with everything within the facility being painted blue. The company’s first advertisements advised their customers to wash their denim trousers in seawater in order to preserve the colors and shapes. 

From past to present 

Today, Turkish production of denim takes approximately 7% of the world market and equals more than 30% of the entire local woven fabric production. When browsing through blue jean designs in international chain stores such as Levi's, H&M, Zara, Benetton, Dolce & Gabbana, Guess, Calvin Klein, G-Star, Lee, Mavi, or Wrangler, despite the varieties on offer, the fabric used to make them most likely comes from Turkey. 

The sudden boom of local denim production is related to the position of the Turkish textile industry in the world. Due to special qualities of its fiber as well as its production volume, Turkish Aegean cotton is considered to be one of the best and most accessible in the world. With its long-staple fiber, designers such as French brand A.P.C. choose to highlight the natural shine and strength of the fabric in certain designs. Large international manufacturers closely work with denim mills to achieve the product they are looking for from the start. This involves choosing the right yarns, dye shades, and type of selvedge. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each mill, designers also tend to focus on specialized production sourcing materials for only certain type of products. For example, Isko is well-regarded for its stretch fabric. 

Today’s denim production is not only about competitive price and ability to deliver using the latest technologies. Independent designer brands look to collaborate with manufacturers who use organic products and implement good practices in their everyday operations, both in the manufacturing process and in work conditions. Following this line of production, ISKO joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition; Bossa, which does manufacturing for brands such as G-Star Raw, Topshop, and 7 For All Mankind, launched a collection with aims  to reduce its use of water; Calik Denim, known for its sustainable practices, has been awarded the European Business Award in 2016.

Seven wonders of Istanbul: Discovering the hills of the old city

Joshua Bruce Allen
October 26, 2017

“Time weaves a tapestry over the seven hills! From seven colors, seven sounds, numberless signs,” so wrote Turkish poet Necip Fazıl Kısakürek. Most Istanbul residents will recognize this reference to seven hills, but few can say where they actually are. The clue is in the date: it was the Byzantines who first built on these hills, emulating the seven hills of Rome. Therefore, they must be on the historical peninsula known today as Fatih. 

Six of the seven hills are along the coast of the Golden Horn, so you can get a good idea of their placement by climbing Galata Tower and looking south. The Byzantines crowned these hills with churches, palaces, and forums. After the conquest of 1453, the Ottomans set about replacing them with mosques. So turn your eyes to the tip of the peninsula, where the most historic of these hills casts an imperial eye across the sea to Asia.

The first hill: Topkapı Palace

This hill became the nucleus of what is now Istanbul when Greek settlers arrived here in around 650 BCE. The defensive advantages of being on a hill surrounded by water on three sides made this spot ideal for their fortified town. Emperor Constantine had his Great Palace built on the same grounds when he declared the city the capital of the Roman Empire in 330 CE. This palace was already in ruins by the time the Ottomans arrived in 1453, but Sultan Mehmed II saw the site’s potential and had Topkapı Palace built there three years later. This remained the seat of the Ottoman dynasty until 1865, when Sultan Abdülmecid moved to Dolmabahçe Palace. From the first Greeks to the last Ottomans, this hill was the city’s political center for around 2,200 years.  

The second hill: Çemberlitaş

Moving farther up the Golden Horn along the modern-day tramway line, you come to the large column called Çemberlitaş, or the Column of Constantine. It originally stood at the center of a large forum and supported a statue of Emperor Constantine. The Ottomans gave this hill its distinctive silhouette with the eighteenth-century Nuruosmaniye Mosque, whose name means “light of the Ottomans”. Drawing on French baroque styles for its architecture, this was the first Ottoman mosque to show strong European influence. The nearby Beyazıt Tower, now on the grounds of Istanbul University, takes advantage of the hill and offers a magnificent view.

The third hill: Süleymaniye Mosque

Designed by master architect Mimar Sinan in the sixteenth century, Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the finest buildings in the classical Ottoman style. Marble elements were recycled from the old hippodrome near Hagia Sophia and from ancient ruins in İzmit to speed up the mosque’s construction, which lasted almost 10 years. From the outside, the mosque is a giant dome ringed by bubble-like, smaller domes of varying heights. Looking up from inside, you feel the dome stretching above into infinity, supported on four triangles that open into two lower domes on the left and right. This harmony of intricate forms trickles downward through stained-glass windows, striped arches, columns with muqarnas capitals, and İznik tiles around the central mihrab (prayer niche).  

The fourth hill: Fatih Mosque

In the Byzantine era, this was the site of the Church of the Holy Apostles, the city’s second most important church after the Hagia Sophia. It is thought that this was also the Byzantine imperial burial ground. Several sarcophagi from the church are preserved on the grounds of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums. Serving as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch for a few years after the Ottoman conquest, it was then demolished to make way for Sultan Mehmed II’s imperial mosque. This was the first Islamic complex of its kind in the city, with schools, medical centers, a library, and a hammam. Mehmed II’s tomb is next to the mosque, along with many impressive graves of Ottoman writers, soldiers, and diplomats. 

The fifth hill: Yavuz Selim Mosque

Standing prominently in the Balat neighborhood, this hill is the closest to the Golden Horn. The nearby Ecumenical Patriarchate building, Fener Greek High School, and the many churches and synagogues dotting the neighborhood show that this was mainly a non-Muslim area until quite recently. On the peak stands Yavuz Selim Mosque, built on the orders of Sultan Selim I, nicknamed “Selim the Grim” for his harsh tactics in warfare. The architect was an Azeri named Acem Ali who was brought back from Tabriz after Selim’s successful campaign against the Persians.

The sixth hill: Mihrimah Sultan Mosque

The highest point of the peninsula, this hill sits beside the Theodosian Walls that contain the old city. Its crown is Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, built by Mimar Sinan for the only daughter of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. The building’s beauty comes from its thin, graceful construction, with no bulky pillars or balconies. Rows of small, stained-glass windows make a play of colored light across the prayer hall. Be careful not to confuse this with Istanbul’s other Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, which is across the Bosphorus in Üsküdar.

The seventh hill: Koca Mustafa Paşa and Cerrahpaşa
 
This hill is the only one located closer to the Sea of Marmara than the Golden Horn. It is home to several historic mosques, including Koca Mustafa Paşa Mosque, whose origins are in the sixth century CE church of Saint Andrew in Krisei. Despite the entirely Turkish exterior, Byzantine columns and walls are still visible inside. A short distance away is Cerrahpaşa Mosque, which palace doctor Cerrah Mehmet Efendi commissioned to a pupil of Mimar Sinan in 1593. Intricate muqarnas top the mosque’s entrance door while more of this stonework outlines the lower domes inside. The marble minbar is particularly notable for its geometric grillwork.

Vakko Patisserie Petit Four: Elegant French pastry

Presenting a lifestyle for over 80 years, Vakko has long been more than only fashion. It has added a new facet to that lifestyle, bringing the elegance of the French pastry experience to Istanbul in the form of Vakko Patisserie Petit Four at the Akmerkez Shopping Center in a chic extension of this centuries-old tradition of urban social life. Vakko Patisserie Petit Four offers a chic and authentic French patisserie experience with pastries prepared by some of the best in the world, leaving lasting memories and reminders of life’s little pleasures. Of course, the draw for any patisserie is its pastries, and award-winning French Pastry Chef Ghislain Gaille’s elegant presentation of his delectable creations are a reminder of why French pastries are famous the world over. Gaille produces these delicacies under the supervision of Philippe Chatelain, who was awarded the prestigious title Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) for pastry making, which is only bestowed on the best proprietors of their respective industries. The unrivalled pastry menu includes such mouthwatering and visually amazing offerings as the Opera—prepared with biscuits, almonds, and coffee-flavored chocolate—mille-feuille, forêt noire, tarte aux fraises, choco-vanille, and éclair au chocolat, café, and other flavors, all of which will leave a lasting impression and create delightful memories not soon to be forgotten.
 
Vakko Patisserie Petit Four does not only serve up dazzling pastries though. It also offers breakfast and lunch options. For breakfast, you can sit and enjoy the morning in continental style with a croissant and steaming freshly brewed cup from Vakko Coffee Atelier. The special, proprietary blend includes beans gathered from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and India, which are then roasted in Italy, and ultimately prepared by the patisserie’s veteran Italian barista, Steve Salomoni’s expert hands, creating a truly international blend, perfectly complementing the artistic morsels on your plate. Lunchtime has more savory options that include soups, salads, and sandwiches on offer—the perfect thing for a satisfying meal. The most exciting time at Vakko Patisserie Petit Four, however, is the daily Teatime, served from 3pm–6pm. Whether you opt for the selection of teas from Vakko Tea Atelier, a coffee or espresso drink, or throw a little more caution to the wind and indulge with a flute of champagne, with petit fours at your fingertips, a little late-afternoon revelry is in store.
 
All of these epicurean delights are found amid the welcoming and chic atmosphere of Vakko Patisserie Petit Four’s luxurious, French-inspired architecture where the best of French pastry is combined with Vakko’s elegance, staying true to the French patisserie tradition of offering only the finest in presentation and flavor. So, whether starting the day with a classic breakfast, enjoying a leisurely lunch break away from the office, a late afternoon tea or some bubbles, or popping in to treat your sweet tooth any time of day, the elegant fare, both sweet and savory, presented with care and to the highest standards amid its authentic atmosphere, Vakko Patisserie Petit Four is a little piece of France in Istanbul that will leave lasting memories of sumptuous delights and life’s many pleasures. 
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Akmerkez Shopping Center, Adnan Saygun Caddesi No.3, Etiler

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Boza and şıra: Not-so-innocent drinkables of the Ottoman kitchen

Aylin Öney Tan
October 26, 2017

Food fermentation is a culinary trend around the world, and for good reason. In certain foods, the process of converting carbohydrates and sugars can not only create bacteria-boosting agents but also release small amounts of alcohol. Boza and şıra, fermented drinks quite common in the Ottoman kitchen, are no exception in this process.

Though present-day Turks may not place boza and şıra on the same level as beer or wine, they might be surprised to learn about the similarities between alcoholic beverages and their innocent-looking substitutes. Boza and şıra are traditional drinks from the Ottoman times with a complex history. As alcoholic drinks were not allowed in the Muslim religion, these two beverages, though containing tiny amounts of alcohol from the fermentation process involved in their production, were not regarded as alcoholic. Even children were allowed to enjoy a glass or two of these drinks without a worry. However, boza and şıra are not as innocent as one may think. As long as there is fermentation involved in starches of cereal used to produce boza, or in sugars of grape juice used to produce şıra, the end product includes a low percentage of alcohol content. This low percentage may not be so innocuous if the fermentation process continues. In learning more about boza and şıra, we begin to see how these innocent drinkables have been enjoyed–sometimes even in excess–from the Ottoman times to the present day.

Boza, the proto-beer

If you have never tried boza before, imagine drinking a soured soupy pudding with a slightly pungent yet addicting taste. Just like some of us crave a glass of cold beer when the summer comes around, you’ll crave the texture and taste of boza once winter is on the way.

Boza is considered to be an ancient type of beer, dating back to the time period of the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hittites. Though the Ottomans insisted that boza was safe to drink, rumor has it that the word “booze” originates from boza. In the Ottoman times, boza with a notoriously high alcohol content, which was called mırmırık boza or Tatar boza, was sold in drinking holes called bozahane, which is roughly translated to booze houses or taverns.

Regular customers at a bozahane were sailors, porters, muleteers, laborers and other working class people. The bozahane was definitely not a place for the elite. A story goes that the great Ottoman travel writer Evliya Çelebi was overwhelmed with shame when he accidentally walked into a bozahane in Ankara and was surprised at its resemblance to a sleazy bar. Needless to say, Tatar boza was subject to prohibition from time to time, though with little effect. Still, drinking boza was tolerated to a certain extent, as it was never categorized as booze. The popular belief was that boza gave enormous strength to the drinker. It may have even given him  a sense of empowerment!

Boza is made by fermenting millet, barley, wheat, bulgur, rice, or a combination of these grains. Unlike beer, boza is opaque and quite thick in consistency; it can often be as thick as pancake batter. In the process of making boza, a considerable amount of sugar is added to the mix. Boza bears a sweet and sour taste, which becomes more sour if left to ferment longer. The fermentation, and the potential for higher alcohol content, becomes uncontrollable in warm climate. This is why its consumption is restricted to the cold months.

Şıra, the fermented grape juice

When warmer weather rolls around in the spring, boza season is officially over, and şıra season begins. Şıra is made by fermenting grape juice, but the fermentation process is stopped before the sugars–most of them, at least–are converted to alcohol. Depending on the degree of fermentation, şıra can be cloyingly sweet if the fermentation is minimal, or it can be a bit sour and less sweet if it ferments for a longer period of time. The ideal sip of şıra leaves a fizzy and refreshing taste on your tongue, just like a summer wine cooler. One can easily say that şıra replaced wine on Muslim dining tables of the Ottoman Empire. Just as with wine, there are elaborate varieties of şıra that can be found in different regions of Turkey. One such example is the Hardaliye of Kırklareli in Thrace, where the fermentation is stopped by adding mustard seeds and cherry leaves to the grape juice. With a complex flavor coming from the sharp bite of the mustard seeds along with the faint bitterness of cherry leaves, this special type of şıra was Atatürk’s favorite.

Safe for consumption?

In present-day Turkey, the type of boza safe for drinking is called tatlı boza (sweet boza). The other type, ekşi boza, is regarded as a lowly drink, and was often sold in grungy shops frequented by drunkards in the past. Needless to say, we recommend the former, not the latter. Interestingly, the benefits of tatlı boza are high. It is traditionally given to lactating mothers to increase milk flow, and some might argue that is can help with postpartum depression due to its sugary, starchy, slightly boozy content. In addition, boza is usually served with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, which may help regulate and lower insulin levels.

Unlike the two different types of boza, şıra is typically safe for drinking, though we recommend drinking it in moderation due to the high fructose concentration. While tatlı boza is typically consumed by itself except for the occasional nibble of leblebi, or roasted chickpeas, şıra is a classic accompaniment to kebabs, just like one would have wine with steak. The original Iskender Kebap restaurant in Bursa makes its own şıra from the dried black grapes of Manisa that have been aged in mulberry casks.

The old wisdom is that leblebi is always good with booze, as in the case of the rakı-leblebi pairing. Since we know that boza is always served with a small portion of leblebi, this gives us the hint that the Ottomans surely knew what they were drinking. What they were drinking was not as innocent as they feigned it to be–they simply preferred to see the sober side of the matter. One Turkish saying goes, “bozacının şahidi şıracı,” which translates to “the witness of  the boza maker is the şıra maker.” Alas, neither is as trustworthy as we may think!

Baba Sahne: Şevket Çoruh continues Istanbul's theater legacy

Zeynep Ardağ
October 26, 2017

The arts and culture scene on the European side of Istanbul has lost some of its luster with the closing of the Atatürk Cultural Center in 2008; this has led to the rise of arts and culture, theater in particular, on the Asian side of the city. The district of Kadıköy became the new theater hub, and it is now the home of a newly opened theater, Şevket Çoruh’s Baba Sahne. The story of Baba Sahne is one of passion, drama, and hope for a bright and successful future.

A priceless passion

Şevket Çoruh always dreamed of having his own theater. He stumbled across a special building two years ago in central Kadıköy. Despite its dilapidated state, he knew right away that he had found the perfect place to start his theater. The history of this building was appealing for him, and it inspired him to continue the theater tradition it once represented. It was originally constructed as a theater by actor Yıldırım Önal in 1967. In later years, it continued to be used by other famous actors such as Abdurrahman Palay, Nezih Tuncay, Ani and Çetin Ipekkaya, and Zafer Diper. However, it was transformed into a cinema in the 80s, and it was used as an arcade in the 90s. Thus, the building slowly deteriorated over the years, having lost its spotlight as a space for actors and audiences to gather and enjoy theater together.

Çoruh was passionate about bringing this theater back to life; however, he was met with financial difficulties. Upon discovering the building in its ruined state, Çoruh did not hesitate to sell his house, his 1966 model Mustang, and his Thunderbird to purchase the building and begin major repairs. As a memorable gesture of celebration, he finalized the deal on March 27, 2015, which is also known as World Theater Day. However even after finalizing the deal, his work had barely begun. Though Çoruh searched for sponsors to fund the construction work to refurbish the building, he could not find many people willing to help, as spending money on arts and culture is not a common practice in Turkey. In the end, he received a bank loan and sought help from his friends. “This theater was built without getting funding from any corporation or organization, instead, only with the support and contributions made by friends, relatives, and colleagues,” Çoruh told The Guide Istanbul. He has this exact statement carved onto a plate that is hanging on the wall of the theater’s foyer, emphasizing his appreciation for receiving support from friends and colleagues who supported his pursuits. Although some news websites claim that the overall amount to build Baba Sahne cost 17 million TL, Çoruh states those numbers are exaggerated and are not true. When asked the actual price of the theater, Çoruh refuses to share this information, instead explaining, “This is an art house, not a trade firm. You cannot put a price on the sweat and effort that we have devoted to building this place in just two years from scratch. The only thing the public should be aware of is how much love and effort has gone into founding this theater.” Knowing that he sold his belongings, cleared out his savings, and took out a bank loan for the purpose of transforming a ruined building into a vibrant center is enough to understand just how much he sacrificed to create his dream theater.

A sneak peak inside Baba Sahne

Upon entering the theater, you walk through a passage where the walls are decorated with photos of legendary Turkish actors and actresses from past and present. Walking through this corridor is like entering into a Turkish cinematic history time tunnel. There is one headshot hanging on the wall that is more eye-catching than the others. It is a photo of Savaş Dinçel, the acclaimed actor who passed away ten years ago, who Çoruh refers to as his mentor. In dedicating this theater to Dinçel, Çoruh set the date of the grand opening as April 1st, which would have been Dinçel’s 75th birthday. The theater was named Baba Sahne, or “Father Stage,” and Çoruh intends for it to be used as a safe space for all actors. “We named our theater Baba Sahne in order not to feel orphaned,” Çoruh stated. He further defined the Turkish word baba (father) as someone who cares, who provokes, who intervenes, who protects, who is missed when he is not around. “A stage is like a father for all the actors. If an actor doesn’t have a stage to perform on, he is like a child without a father,” Çoruh explained. Therefore we named our stage Baba Sahne, so we have a father to protect us at all times.”

Passing down the theater legacy

On the opening night of Baba Sahne, Çoruh’s predecessors showed their appreciation for his work by rewarding him with the fez of Ismail Dümbüllü, who was a renowned actor of traditional Turkish theater. The fez is considered an important and prestigious symbol that is only given to actors that have made great contributions to theater. It can be likened to a heritage that can only be passed down through generations. Upon receiving the gift, Çoruh humbly stated, “It was a big surprise for me to receive the fez on opening night. I am very thankful. But I don’t consider this as a present which is given only to me personally. It is dedicated to Baba Sahne and to all my actor friends here.” When speaking about the completion of the theater, Çoruh humbly says, “I am not the first person to accomplish this.” Yıldız Kenter, the prima donna of Turkish theater, built a theater from scratch in 1968; Ferhan Şensoy renovated a historical stage dating back to 1885; Müjdat Gezen bought an old pavilion in Ziverbey, had it renovated, and turned it into an art school. “I am just following in the footsteps of my predecessors and role models. We must show the same courage and continue the legacy,” Çoruh stated.

Present-day productions

Baba Sahne started its repertoire in April with its first play entitled Aşk Ölsün (Let Love Die), which was written by Murat Ipek and directed by Barış Dinçel. Later, it released Bir Baba Hamlet (A Father Hamlet), a production that Çoruh himself starred in. In addition to these productions, Baba Sahne has hosted other events, such as concerts for famous Turkish singers Nükhet Duru, Leman Sam and Bülent Ortaçgil. A number of Çoruh’s mentors, such as Müjdat Gezen, Ferhan Şensoy, Genco Erkal and Demet Akbağ, have also produced their plays at Baba Sahne to show their support for the new theater. Baba Sahne had a successful start in the first three months following its opening. In recent weeks, Baba Sahne has reopened its doors for the fall and winter season with productions Aşk Ölsün and Bir Baba Hamlet, along with new plays and events added to the calendar. With Çoruh’s passion motivating the continued success of Baba Sahne, theater in Istanbul continues to live on.

Vega in Istanbul

10 October
9:00pm - 11:00pm

One of the most beloved local rock bands since the 1990s, Vega has captured its fans’ hearts with their hits such as “Tamam Sustum”, “Bu Sabahların Bir Anlamı Olmalı”, and “Alışamadım Yokluğuna”. After taking a long hiatus, Vega is promoting its new album with a country-wide tour, stopping by Istanbul on select dates in November.

DasDas
24 November

End Date: 

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 23:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

http://dasdas.com.tr/

Vega in Istanbul

10 October
10:30pm - 12:00am

One of the most beloved local rock bands since the 1990s, Vega has captured its fans’ hearts with their hits such as “Tamam Sustum”, “Bu Sabahların Bir Anlamı Olmalı”, and “Alışamadım Yokluğuna”. After taking a long hiatus, Vega is promoting its new album with a country-wide tour, stopping by Istanbul on select dates in November.

Salon IKSV
04 November

End Date: 

Saturday, November 4, 2017 - 23:30

Event Category: 

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39th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

10 October
9:00am - 3:00pm

The most-anticipated marathon in Turkey and the only one in which runners can cross the Bosphorus Bridge by foot, the 39th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon will take place on November 12. Since its initiation, athletes from all over the world have joined local runners to cross the Bosphorus Bridge together, promoting a spirit of peace and unity throughout the race. Well-known athletes such as Ian Thompson and Terry Mitchell have participated, as have many Turkish athletes who then went on to run at international races. During the race, participants are encouraged to enjoy the experience without earphones and to spend their time talking with fellow runners. 

Partake in this exciting experience with thousands of other people, whether for eight kilometers or for the full marathon. Late registration is available at the Eurasia Performing Arts Center on November 9-11. Registration for the “Fun Run” will start on October 30 in all major Istanbul squares and sports facilities.

To join the countdown until marathon morning, visit istanbulmarathon.org.

12 November

End Date: 

Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 15:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

https://www.maraton.istanbul/

Kurt Bullend's solo exhibition: I Am You

10 October
11:00am - 7:00pm

Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery hosts painter Kurt Bullend’s first solo exhibition, entitled I Am You, from November 4 to December 7. The hyper-realistic female figures in his work bring out topics such as ego-innocence and perceptions and distortions of reality. His characteristic hyper-realism art style seeks to remind viewers about the essence of our existence when society’s rules are imposed and interpreted as real.

Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery
04 November

End Date: 

Monday, December 18, 2017 - 19:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B002'53.1%22N+28%C2%B059'34.8%22E/@41.048082,28.9908173,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.048082!4d28.993006

Event Website: 

http://caglacabaoglu.com/

Phone: 

(0212) 291 37 91

Event Address: 

Abdi Ipekçi Caddesi No. 49/8

Event Places : 

Frenk Karaköy

It might be difficult to keep track of new places at the ever-changing Kılıç Ali Paşa Mescidi Sokak, but Frenk Karaköy, despite its petite size, caught our attention with its elegant decor. This venue has a limited seating area, as only about half a dozen little tables are spread out between the small indoor space and in front of the restaurant. However, for those who want to pick up a light lunch in a compact yet classy space, this restaurant offers just that. Focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients, the menu gives this place an advantage with few competitors in the area. With crisp mücver among several items on offer done just right, this restaurant is up for Karaköy’s test of time.

(0212) 243 78 46
  • Karaköy
11:00am - 11:00pm
Monday
Sunday

Address: 

Kılıç Ali Paşa Mescidi Sokak No.24

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  • Cash and credit card

Halet-i Ruhiye

The new face of Arnavutköy’s nightlife, Halet-i Ruhiye, has become one of the most crowded spots in the neighborhood within just a few days of its opening, just like it was the case with its owner’s previous project, Efendi. Kıvanç Kasar’s new bar boasts a creative cocktail menu, which is the craftsmanship of mixologist Uğur “Dede” Tekebaş. Some of the drinks on offer at Halet-i Ruhiye may seem familiar to frequent visitors of the Nişantaşı location, but most will agree that this is a positive attribute of the place. The name of this bar, which translates from Ottoman Turkish as “state of mind,” suggests a historical reference that is reflected in the venue’s decor details. These details, in addition to the drink offerings, reflect an ambiance of elegance at this fresh cocktail bar.

  • Arnavutköy

Type: 

  • Bar
12:00pm - 2:00am
Monday
Sunday

Address: 

Bebek Arnavutköy Caddesi No.83

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  • Cash and credit card

B.BLOK Restaurant

 

Though a small hole-in-the-wall type of place on Akaretler's main street, B.BLOK is already a minor legend around the neighborhood, with one item on the menu you would not want to miss for the world: their creamy cheesecake. With vanilla notes immersed in the dessert’s smooth texture, and the ever so lightly toasted top layer, this simple treat might soon become Istanbul’s number one favorite. While their cheesecake is by far what sets this restaurant apart from the others, they also have a wider selection of dishes, from Turkish breakfast to bagels, that are scrumptious as well.

 

(0212) 258 31 49
  • Akaretler

Type: 

  • Bakery
11:00am - 9:00pm
Monday
Saturday

Address: 

Şair Nedim Caddesi No.35, Akaretler

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A single portion of B. Blok's creamy, sweet and salty cheesecake

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  • Cash and credit card

Odun Pizza

Od + un, fire and flour, make Odun Pizza, a newly opened restaurant in Reşitpaşa with a concept so simple and dishes so tasty you will undoubtedly leave satisfied and happy. The pizza dough, which is fermented for two days and then baked at 400 degrees in a wood-fired oven, is prepared in a unique way that gives this pizza heightened taste. The natural flavors from the flour are preserved and a slight bitterness of the fermented dough comes through with each savory bite. Part Italian, part Turkish, this restaurant offers a fusion of foods that owners Can Ünsal and Suat Palpas carefully selected to highlight the creativity of their restaurant. Start with a few of their specialty pizzas, such as the artichoke and asparagus with Bergama tulum cheese for veggie lovers and the kokoreçli (grilled lamb intestines) or duck confit pizza for meat lovers. If you would like more of a traditional Italian meal, the pesto ravioli is an ideal dish to share. The chocolate profiterolewarm cream puffs sitting on a bed of dark chocolate syrupis a must. Odun Pizza also offers takeaway service so you can enjoy their dishes anytime with ease and comfort. Open Tuesday-Saturday 1pm-10:30pm, Sunday 2pm-9:30pm, closed on Monday.

(0212) 229 03 92
https://pizzaodun.com/
  • Reşitpaşa
1:00pm - 10:30pm
Tuesday
Sunday

Address: 

Tuncay Artun Caddesi, No.4

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  • Cash and credit card

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Lara's Gourmet Burgers

While today restaurants servicing light and healthy dishes alongside green smoothies and detox juices are in trend, sometimes we still need a hearty, freshly cooked burger. One of the newest spots in Ortaköy, Lara’s Gourmet Burgers, is looking to fill this role. The restaurant was created by celebrity photographer Lâra Sayılgan and is a cozy little eatery offering comfort food’s finest. While VIPs are attracted to the place due to Sayılgan’s reputation and network, Lara’s Gourmet Burgers is not just for people watching. Come to be satisfied and try something new. The menu includes several choices for toppings on the burger. Lara’s signature burger is the one with an extra layer of pastırma, while chef’s specials include grilled vegetables, extra cheese options, and signature sauces.

(0212) 327 27 58
http://laras.com.tr/
  • Ortaköy
12:00pm - 9:00pm
Monday
Sunday

Address: 

Eski Bahçe Sokak No.16

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Recommended

Hanefi Yeter Retrospective: "Ere"

10 October
10:00am - 7:00pm

From October 31-December 16, ​İş Sanat Kibele Art Gallery will host the retrospective exhibition of Hanefi Yeter's 50-year art journey. Hanefi Yeter, who began his art education in 1967 at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts and has been practicing in Germany since 1972, has produced artwork with a focus on the city, which also began to incorporate human figures in later years. Influenced by events such as the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, Chernobyl, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hanefi Yeter's artwork is both light-hearted and grim, personal and political. This exhibition, "Ere", features a collection of paintings, sculptures, and ceramic artifacts of this important artist. 

Kibele Sanat Galerisi
31 October

End Date: 

Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 19:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

issanat.com.tr

Event Address: 

Iş Kuleleri, Büyükdere Caddesi, Levent

Event Places : 

Mixer exhibitions: "Upside Down" and "Sense of Movement"

10 October
6:30pm - 8:30pm

From October 27 to November 9, Mixer will host two new exhibitions. “Upside Down” is artist Ahmet Sarı’s critique on cultural objects used by anthropologists in distorting the realities of societies. “Sense of Movement” is an artist collaboration of photography by Kürşat Bayhan, Çağdaş Erdoğan, Furkan Temir, Murat Şaka​ that emphasizes the blurred lines between photography and journalism.

Mixer
27 October

End Date: 

Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 20:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

http://mixerarts.com/

Event Address: 

Mumhane Cad. No: 50, Giriş & -1. Kat, Karaköy

Event Places : 

"Storyteller" Exhibition at Anna Laudel Contemporary

10 October
12:00pm - 7:00pm

From November 9-December 27, Anna Laudel Contemporary will bring three solo shows together in its "Storyteller" exhibition. Jan Kuck's "History of Now", Ruth Biller's "VisaVis", and Serkan Küçüközcü's "Daydreaming" will share stories about the artists' inner worlds through their varied art mediums and techniques. Pointing to the irony, wit, and tragedy of our time, asking the question of "Why am I here?" from a migrant's view, and playing with feelings of displacement and homelessness in a world of vibrant colors, this three-tiered exhibiton seeks to draw viewers into the artists' personal narratives and to have them reconsider their own. 

Anna Laudel Contemporary
09 November

End Date: 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 19:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B001'26.2%22N+28%C2%B058'25.7%22E/@41.0239412,28.9716128,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.0239412!4d28.9738015

Event Website: 

annalaudel.gallery

Event Address: 

Bankalar Caddesi No.10 Karaköy

Between Waves Performance: Endless Art Taksim Atölye

10 October
7:00pm - 8:00pm

In collaboration with the ongoing exhibit, "Identity," Endless Art Taksim Atölye brings Pınar Derin Gençer's performanced entitled "Between Waves" for viewers on October 26th at 7:00pm. This event is about the collective unconsciousness of people whose circumstances are more interwoven than they may think because we are connected by waves that begin from birth with our cut umbilical cords. Performers Gamze Öztürk and İlgi Özdikmenli will join in on this performance. 

Endless Art Taksim
26 October

End Date: 

Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 20:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

http://www.endlessarttaksim.com/

Event Address: 

Elmadağ Caddesi No:28 Şişli

Royal Opera House Screening: Alice’s Adventures

10 October
7:00pm - 9:00pm

The Royal Opera House continues its ballet screenings on the big screen. With inventive choreography by Christopher Wheeldon and sweeping melodies of Jody Talbot, this classic story of Alice’s extraordinary encounters in Wonderland are brought to life.

 
Zorlu PSM
27 November

End Date: 

Monday, November 27, 2017 - 21:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B004'03.9%22N+29%C2%B000'59.2%22E/@41.06774,29.0142623,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.06774!4d29.016451

Event Address: 

Zorlu Center, Zincirlikuyu

Event Places : 

GusGus Live

10 October
9:30pm - 12:00am

Known for his work with famous musicians such as Björk and Sigur Ros, GusGus will take the stage to perform his music, a mix of techno, trip-hop, and house.

Babylon Bomonti
09 December

End Date: 

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 23:30

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B003'30.0%22N+28%C2%B058'50.2%22E/@41.058337,28.9784333,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.058337!4d28.980622

Event Address: 

Bomontiada, Silahşör Caddesi Şişli

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ALA.NI

10 October
9:30pm - 11:00pm

After serving as a back-up vocal artist for Andrea Bocelli, Mary J. Blige, and Blur, Ala.Ni began to record solo songs in a jazz five years ago. As a part of the Akbank Jazz Festival, Ala.Ni will take the stage with her well-known EPs entitled You & I.

Babylon Bomonti
16 November

End Date: 

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 23:30

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B003'30.0%22N+28%C2%B058'50.2%22E/@41.058337,28.9784333,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.058337!4d28.980622

Event Address: 

Bomontiada, Silahşör Caddesi Şişli

La Fresque

10 October
8:30pm - 10:30pm

The Istanbul Theater Festival will host French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj’s La Fresque. This performance, which is based on two travelers and a Chinese monk’s quest for a fresco, is told through a dazzling fusion of classical ballet and contemporary dance. Composer Nicolas Godin and fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa join Preljocaj in this dynamic performance.

 
Zorlu PSM
18 November

End Date: 

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 22:30

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps?q=41.06774,29.01645099999996

Event Address: 

Zorlu Center, Zincirlikuyu

Event Places : 

CANAN: Behind Mount Qaf

10 October

CANAN’s solo exhibition brings together cosmology and landscape-based legends in this creative self-exploration. Inspired by the spirit of a mountain, the artist draws the viewer into another world in which mythical and real creatures live together.

ARTER
12 September

End Date: 

Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 20:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B001'49.7%22N+28%C2%B058'32.3%22E/@41.030478,28.9734491,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.030478!4d28.9756378

Event Website: 

http://www.arter.org.tr/W3/?iExhibitionId=69

Event Address: 

İstiklal Caddesi No.211 İstiklal

Event Places : 

David Helfgott

10 October
8:30pm - 11:00pm

This world-renowned piano prodigy and subject of the Oscar-winning movie Shine returns to Istanbul to play many favorites, including one of the most difficult pieces composed, Rachmanioff’s Piano Concerto No.3. He will be accompanied by Hoang Pham, a young up-and-coming pianist.

Zorlu PSM
15 November

End Date: 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 23:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B004'03.9%22N+29%C2%B000'59.2%22E/@41.06774,29.0142623,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.06774!4d29.016451

Event Address: 

Zorlu Center Zincirlikuyu

Event Places : 

2nd Harvest Festival

10 October
1:00pm - 8:00pm

The 2nd Harvest Festival is taking place in KüçükÇiftlik Park this year, bringing good music, exciting workshops, and the creation and exchange of creative art products together in one space. Come here to meet with small business owners and creative minds representing grocery stores, coffee shops, find ecological food products, and artwork. The music group, Jungle, will keep your festival day filled with cool beats.

KücükCiftlik Park
27 October

End Date: 

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 20:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps?q=41.043134,28.992471

Event Address: 

Kadırgalar Yokuşu No:4 Maçka

Event Places : 

Museum talk: Is it used up and beyond its time?

10 October
7:00pm - 9:10pm

In collaboration with Goethe-Institut Istanbul, Istanbul Modern brings Nicolaus Schafhausen, the director of Kunsthalle Wien, to its “Museum talks” series. He will be discussing the role of art and art institutions in mediating our the hectic changes, erosions, and transformations in our contemporary society.

Istanbul Modern
26 October

End Date: 

Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 21:00

Event Category: 

Map Location: 

https://www.google.com/maps?q=41.026675,28.98442399999999

Event Website: 

http://www.istanbulmodern.org/en/events/museums-talk/museums-talk-from-germany_1820.html

Phone: 

(0212) 334 73 00

Event Address: 

Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi Antrepo No.4 Karaköy

Event Places : 

Jujube soup recipe: comfort food for the fall

September 25, 2017

Jujubes, hünnap in Turkish, are more common in Turkey than one might think, and they deserve more attention given their health benefits, pleasant taste, and versatile nature. This fruit, slightly bigger than an olive, is reddish brown when ripe, with a light green flesh that is soft in texture. It grows in the summertime and is in season during the September and October months. Jujubes are most commonly eaten as a dried fruit. Sometimes, they are made into jam. However, they can also be bought fresh and used as a main ingredient in other dishes, such as soups. Selçuk Gönen, the executive chef of The Grand Tarabya Hotel, shares his recipe for jujube soup, a comfort food you’ll enjoy making as the colder weather sets in.

Ingredients

2 kilograms jujubes

1 kilogram green apples

2.5 liters vegetable broth

½ liter vegetable cream

200 grams potatoes

100 grams onions

100 grams celery

5 grams garlic

12 grams salt

6 grams brown sugar

8 grams black pepper

20 grams croutons (optional)

½ leek (optional)

 

Preparation process

Chop the jujubes and green apples. Add olive oil and a sprinkling of sugar and salt, and place in a bowl. Set aside. Optional, for garnish: Slice leeks thinly and fry them in oil until they become crispy. Set aside with croutons.

 

Cooking process

Add the jujube and apple preparation to a vegetable mix of potatoes, onion, garlic, and celery. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes. Before the vegetables change color, making sure the mixture is still soft, take it out of the oven. Place the mixture in a soup pot and cook for 10 minutes over low heat. After the ingredients further soften, add vegetable broth to the soup pot and continue to stir until a thick liquid consistency is reached. Add cream, salt, and pepper to taste, and bring the soup to a slow boil. Remove the ingredients from the heat and place in soup bowls. (Optional: Ladle the soup over a bed of fried leeks and croutons.) Serve warm.

Eastern Halkidiki: An enriching journey

Marzena Romanowska
September 18, 2017

 

 

The area of Eastern Halkidiki is an example of how cultural and historical influences have no borders. Ottoman history enthusiasts might know that the heart of the region, the area historically known as Mademochoria, or in Turkish as Sidrekapısı, was one of the most profit-generating areas during the Ottoman Empire. Rich in silver and gold resources, it was developed in the 9th century in the present-day town of Stagira. Several fortifications of Machala, the capital of Mademochoria, as well as a recently restored Ottoman hammam nearby, are preserved and surround Aristotle Park. The park is an open-air museum overlooking Mount Athos, which displays installations showing the great thinker’s contribution to some of the proudest achievements of humanity. The ancient philosopher is the patron of the area, with all present-day activities revolving around him and his legacy.

 

Footsteps of the great philosopher

 

Occupying two hills of the Liotopi Peninsula, Ancient Stagira was a little settlement founded in 655 BC by the Ionian colonists of Andros. Although very prosperous at first, the city was devastated by king Philip II of Macedon, and despite the later rebuild, the place has begun to decline; six centuries later Strabo described it as completely deserted.

 

The reason why the place hasn’t been forgotten today is the legacy of its most famous son, the omnipresent Aristotle, who was born there in 384 BC. Although he spent most of his life in Athens, first with his studies in Plato's Academy, then later with his teachings for Alexander the Great, he returned to Stagira for a short period of time before his death. Still, residents of the ancient town have attributed to him importance and a respectable status. Aristotle is known to have studied every subject possible during his time, and it was even suggested that he was the person to know everything there was to know, a savant.

 

The latest archeological discovery suggests that people of Stagira have transported the ashes of Aristotle from the island of Euboea, where he died, to Ancient Stagira to build an altar. Although it has been destroyed by the Byzantines, the entrance making the memorial accessible to the pilgrims has been preserved. Later on, in Aristotle’s honor, the Stageiritans organized feasts and races, commonly known as Aristoteleia.

 

In order to follow the footsteps of the ancient philosopher, eight different hiking trails have been mapped out around the Halkidiki region, with the longest one being approximately 30 km. Three different paths cut through Eastern Halkidiki besides the one already mentioned, there is a route leading from Arnea to Varvara, as well as a two-kilometer walking path from Olympiada to Ancient Stagira.

 

The culinary tradition in Eastern Halkidiki is as old as the history of the region. The Ancient Greeks’ diet was simple yet varied, based on the local ingredients nature was providing them with. Today, when traveling around the region, one can see the great comeback of appreciation for local seafood, mushrooms and berries, and meat and wine. The reason behind this is more than just a temporary gastronomic trend.

 

Chef Dimitrios Tsananas Thessaloniki’s popular Met Hotel, a native to Arnea, says that the economic crisis is one of the reasons why Greeks had to change the way they thought about food. “People ended up with nothing and many of them came back where they were from. The farms that used to be shut down are now starting to operate again, providing the locals with great produce which they previously sourced from Italy or Spain,” he states. Current development is beneficial for the local cuisine not only in terms of sustainability, but first and foremost as a value added to the available varieties of food.

 

Among many local products, Olympiada mussels are reason enough to travel to the area. Feeding off of the sea and sweet water at the same time, they grow to be larger and tastier than those coming from other areas. Louloudia Alexiadou, owner of Hotel Liotopi and one of the local gastro-experts, says it is best to eat them only slightly seasoned because then you can still smell the sea on them and enjoy their full flavor palate. While serving four different takes on the local delicacy, her brother Dimitris recalls that when his family first settled in the area, there was no infrastructure not only to grow anything, but also to live. The Sarris family (Sarı in Turkish) came to Olympiada from Turkey’s Yalova region due to the population exchange agreement between Greece and Turkey. His family used to speak fluent Turkish, and the locals still use various Turkish expressions on a daily basis. “You can hear guys at the port yelling ‘gel buraya,’” he laughs. The events of the past helped the family to open up to foreign travelers and get involved in the tourism industry. “Everyone is welcome here,” says Sarris. “Tourism is not only musaka and mussels, it is about making people comfortable.”

 

 

 

 

Where to eat

 

A part of a larger touristic complex consisting of a hotel, spacious garden and a lounge area, Prasino Horio is also a popular locals hangout, with a full bar as a bonus for the evening. www.prasinohorio.gr

 

With an extensive menu of mezze and meat, Bakatsianos offers a wide range of local delicacies, paired with tsipouro and locally-made wines by Claudia Papayianni. www.bakatsianos.gr

 

Alongside a great choice of local seafood, the waterfront restaurant Akroyiali serves countless variations of Olympiada-grown mussels, which are an essential when visiting the area. www.hotel-germany.gr

 

Where to stay

 

In Arnea:

Chorostasi Mansion is a traditional guesthouse located at the central town square, with rooms overlooking the Cathedral of Saint Stephanos and the property’s back garden. The building, dating back to 1896, is home to six rooms decorated in a simple yet warm and welcoming style. For more info visit www.chorostasi.com

 

In Olympiada:

Having been forced to re-settle from the present-day region of Yalova, Sarris family took residence in Olympiada where they run boutique Hotel Akroyiali, known among the locals as Hotel Germany. With 17 rooms and a waterfront restaurant, the place makes an ideal base for further exploration of the area. www.hotel-germany.gr;

 

Award-winning Hotel Liotopi, known for its homey atmosphere and cooking workshops conducted by the owner, is attracting visitors from all of Europe. Their kitchen is the focal point of the entire operation: homemade breakfast is served in the back garden, while delicious snacks are on display during the day. www.hotel-liotopi.gr;

 

 

Arriving and getting around

 

Olympiada is located a three-hour drive from the Turkish-Greek border gate in Ipsala, with Arnea being a further 45 minutes away. Alternatively, you can choose one of the daily flights from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Thessaloniki and then proceed by car. Greek Travel Services can send a driver to pick you up at a designated time and accompany you throughout the stay. English speakers are not easy to find in the little villages, you might want to rely on the help of someone who communicates in both languages at ease. For more info visit  www.greektravelservices.gr

 

What to buy, what to try   

 

From 2000 bottles in 2006 to 150 thousand bottles today, Claudia Papayianni’s award winning Greek wine varieties, malagouzia, xinomavro and assyrtiko, are the local finesse that add unique value to any dining table. Blends with international varieties such as chardonnay and syrah are also available. www.cp-domaine.gr

 

Liquor enthusiasts will appreciate Mountovina, distilled honey extract slightly resembling tsipouro, granted a geographical indication of Halkidiki region. www.honeygeorgaka.com

 

The ignorants will claim that feta is just another type of beyaz peynir, but cheese enthusiasts will appreciate the distinction, and enjoy Karagiannis feta, as well as choriatiko, paneraki and other varieties of cheese available in markets across Greece. www.karagiannifeta.gr

 

Jams and marmalades from the abundance of berries that can be found in the forest on the slopes of Holomontas mountain are another must-try. Ask at the Lanara Cafe in Arnea if Angelos Gagani and his wife Fotini have any to offer. If you have some free time on your hands, the owner of Hotel Liotopi, Louloudia Alexiadou can even teach you how to make the  delicacies.

 

From mid-May until mid-June, Eastern Halkidiki hosts Kouzina gastronomy festival, highlighting various aspects of the local culinary tradition. The event gives the opportunity to local and visiting chefs to expand their creativity and interpret traditional recipes with a modern twist. en.mountathosarea.org

 

Past Meets Present

09 September
12:00pm - 7:00pm

16 Turkish and international artists will present artwork inspired by historians, scientists and archaeologists to explore the meaning of taking a historical journey through contemporary art practices. A curatorial tour, artist talk, and a performance installation by TORK Dance Art will also be presented within the scope of the program.

07 September

End Date: 

Friday, October 13, 2017 - 19:00

Event Category: 

Event Address: 

Bankalar Caddesi No.10, Karaköy

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Past Meets Present

09 September

16 Turkish and international artists will present artwork inspired by historians, scientists and archaeologists to explore the meaning of taking a historical journey through contemporary art practices. A curatorial tour, artist talk, and a performance installation by TORK Dance Art will also be presented within the scope of the program. This exhibition is open for viewing on Sundays from noon-6pm and Tuesdays to Saturdays from noon-7pm.

07 September

End Date: 

Friday, October 13, 2017 - 19:00

Event Category: 

Event Address: 

Bankalar Caddesi No.10, Karaköy

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A porcelain-inspired peek into Ai Weiwei's practice

Ai Weiwei's first solo exhibition in Turkey presents a wide selection of works from this internationally famous Chinese artist. 

Meeting the neighbors at the 15th Istanbul Biennial

Considered the biggest art event of the season, the 15th Istanbul Biennial under the title “a good neighbour” welcomes 55 artists from 32 countries to display their works in six locations around the city. The featured exhibitions will attempt to answer some of the most burning questions about fostering a sense of belonging in a neighborhood or community. In parallel with the Istanbul Biennial events and in addition to the six venues of the main event in the Karaköy area, there are other venues around the city, such as Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci railway stations and the French Cultural Center, that are hosting running exhibitions. All events of this public program can be attended free of charge every day of the week except Mondays. 

La La Land in Concert

09 September
9:00pm - 11:00pm

The winner of 6 Academy Awards® including Best Original Song, LA LA LAND can now be experienced for more than its movie form. On October 6th at 9pm and October 7th at 8pm, La La Land in Concert will take the Zorlu stage alongside a live symphony orchestra.

Zorlu PSM
06 October

End Date: 

Saturday, October 7, 2017 - 23:00

Event Category: 

A-WA

09 September
9:30pm - 11:30pm

The three sisters that form A-WA (pronounced Ay-Wa) take inspiration from jazz, hip hop, reggae, progressive rock, and Yemenite women’s chants to form their eccentric sounds. On September 23 and 24, they will showcase selections from their album “Habib Galbi” to captivate their audience with their new genre of inspired music.

Babylon
23 September

End Date: 

Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 17:15

Event Category: 

Michael Kiwanuka

09 September
8:30pm - 11:00pm

British musician Michael Kiwanuka, winner of the BBC Sound of 2012 poll, will be sweeping the stage at Zorlu PSM with his acoustic blues-folk sound and soulful voice. He will be performing songs from his successful albums “Home Again” and “Love & Hate.”

Zorlu PSM
27 September

End Date: 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 23:00

Event Category: 

Turkcell Platinum Istanbul Night Flight

09 September

Bringing together some of the best musicians in classical music, Turkcell Platinum Istanbul Night Flight will host a series of concerts at Hagia Irene. Famous groups, such as the duo Igudesman & Joo, the Berlin Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and the quartet Salut Salon are some of the groups to be featured in these events.

Hagia Irene
15 September

End Date: 

Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 17:15

Event Category: 

Gezgin Salon in collaboration with Limits Off presents: Kiasmos Live

09 September

In collaboration with Limits Off, Gezgin Salon, a new project by Salon IKSV, will be bringing the duo Kiasmos to the stage at Beykoz Kundura. Known for their electro-pop sounds and energetic performances that involve stunning visuals and lighting, Kiasmos will leave an impression on even those who are not fond of electronic music with their dense but elegant sound.

Beykoz Kundura
10 September

End Date: 

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 17:00

Event Category: 

Fotoistanbul

09 September

The fourth edition of Fotoistanbul will present a large variety of photographs in indoor and outdoor locations to reach Istanbul’s people in unexpected places. Venue locations range from Ortaköy and Beşiktaş squares to waterfront sites.

Various locations along the Bosphorus
22 September

End Date: 

Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 17:00

Event Category: 

Diana Thater: A Runaway World

09 September
10:00am - 7:00pm

This multilayered exhibition includes the artist’s recent works exploring the current plight of animals living in imminent danger of extinction. The works, which will be staged in a self-designed architectural environment with free-standing screen structures, will give the viewer a glimpse into the fragility of our world and our place in its condition. Though the exhibition will be on display until February 18, the venue where it is held, Borusan Contemporary, is only open on the weekends.

Borusan Contemporary
16 September

End Date: 

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 17:00

Event Address: 

Baltalimanı Hisar Caddesi, Perili Köşk No.5, Rumeli Hisarı

Contemporary Istanbul

09 September

Bringing together contemporary art galleries from around the city and taking up more than 13,000 square meters of exhibition space, the 12th edition of Istanbul’s largest art fair will continue to shape the art scene of the region. New additions to the upcoming edition of Contemporary Istanbul will feature its first ever outdoor sculpture garden as well as the release of a project called “Collectors’ Stories.”

Istanbul Congress Center & Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre
14 September

End Date: 

Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 16:45

Event Address: 

Istanbul Congress Center & Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre, Harbiye

CANAN: Behind Mount Qaf

09 September

Featuring new and existing works produced since the late 1990s up until today, this exhibition will provide an overview of the artist’s wide array of practices and media. CANAN’s works often involve the use of her own body to portray the ways the personal meets the political and the ways in which suppressed individuals can adopt new forms of expression.

Arter
12 September

End Date: 

Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 16:45

Event Category: 

Event Address: 

Istiklal Caddesi No.211, Beyoğlu

Ai Weiwei

09 September

Ai Weiwei's first exhibition in Turkey presents a wide selection of this internationally famous Chinese artist’s works, including several new pieces. The focal point of this exhibition will be on the artist’s study of porcelain.

Sakip Sabanci Museum
12 September

End Date: 

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 16:45

Event Category: 

Event Address: 

Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi No.42, Emirgan

Past meets Present

09 September

16 Turkish and international artists will present artwork inspired by historians, scientists and archaeologists to explore the meaning of taking a historical journey through contemporary art practices. A curatorial tour, artist talk, and a performance installation by TORK Dance Art will also be presented within the scope of the program.

Anna Laudel Contemporary
07 September

End Date: 

Friday, October 13, 2017 - 16:30

Event Category: 

Event Address: 

Bankalar Caddesi No.10, Karaköy

Homage to Masters of Sculpture

09 September

The 9th edition of the Elgiz Museum Terrace Exhibitions, entitled “Homage to Masters of Sculpture,” is open until October 28. Sculptures by 14 Turkish artists are presented on the museum terrace overlooking Istanbul's district of Maslak.

 
Elgiz Museum of Art
04 July

End Date: 

Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 15:45

Event Category: 

Event Address: 

Beybi Giz Plaza, Meydan Sokak, Maslak

Zeferan

Influenced by flavor palates of two distinct geographical regions, Azerbaijani cuisine offers nourishing dishes that bring the element of surprise to the table. This unique fusion of tastes and textures take the dining experience at Zeferan to a whole new level.

When trying a new cuisine for the first time, it is crucial to go beyond what’s served on the plate. You must look at the experience from a wider angle in order to understand and appreciate the cuisine. And Zeferan, Istanbul’s only Azerbaijani restaurant, offers exactly that. Composed in a way that it presents not only cultural authenticity and diversity on your plate but also a tasty travel experience to the beautiful country of Azerbaijan.

Many elements of the decor, such as traditional handicrafts and original paintings from Azerbaijani artists, have been brought from their place of origin to give diners the feeling  of being culturally immersed  in a genuine way. The menu explains which part of the country a particular dish comes from, providing an educational element that further amplifies the culinary experience.

According to Azerbaijani tradition, one should never welcome his guests with an empty table. That being said, a six-selection sherbet tray is brought to the table to prepare one's palate and complement the food. The menu begins with a “welcome setup” including cheese and charcuterie platters, stuffed eggplant wraps, cold spinach salad, grilled vegetable puree, a plate of seasonal greens, and last but not least, a selection of pickles. Meat lovers will appreciate the platter’s variety, with a selection of delicious chicken pâté, roast beef, pastrami, roulade, and beef tongue. If you already have your favorites, or if you are dining with a smaller party of two or three, each dish can be ordered separately.

At Zeferan, pay close attention to the plates. All dishes are served on unique antique plates, collected from various places in Azerbaijan. The small quirks you can see in each of them remind you of your grandmother’s collection of tableware that’s been gathered over the years.

To ensure you enjoy every course of the meal, it is crucial to pace yourself and to save room for each incoming delicacy. The selection of cold and hot starters are followed by soups, such as düşbere, meat-stuffed mini dumplings in fragrant broth served with crispy, unleavened flatbread, or dovğa, a soup made of yogurt and herbs. The variety of main courses is lavish with a focus on meats. Azerbaijan’s staple foods such as lula kebab (made of minced lamb meat), piti (slow-cooked lamb with chestnuts, dried plums and saffron), xengel (a type of pasta with a meat and yogurt topping), and şah pilav (crispy dough stuffed with beef, rice and dried fruit) are all part of the menu.

The traditional tea service following the main course might seem like an entire meal on its own. Beverages are followed by a selection of pastries, jams, nuts, and dried fruit. If you haven’t tried an exotic fruit known as feijoa, Zeferan offers you the opportunity to taste it in their special pie. Take your time with the tea and dessert service, as all of this delicious food is being served against a breathtaking view of the Marmara Sea and landmarks of the Historical Peninsula.

(0212) 638 22 12
http://zeferan.com.tr/
  • Sultanahmet

Type: 

  • Hotel Restaurant & Cafe
7:00am - 11:55pm
Monday
Sunday

Address: 

Ajwa Hotel Sultanahmet, Piyerloti Caddesi No.30

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Zeferan: Tantalizing taste buds

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Gaea

The newly opened Intema Yaşam concept store in Kanyon offers customers a culinary surprise with the location of its trendy Gaea Restaurant. When walking from the store’s sample kitchen display section toward the table setups, you will quickly realize that these sample tables are a part of the store’s on-site restaurant, which serves up another element of surprise from its tasty menu offerings.

 

Gaea Restaurant’s menu nicely compliments the choice of products in the store, in line with its focus on the latest culinary trends and high-quality goods. Pick any dish on the menu and you will receive proof of how local ingredients and outstanding presentation delights the diners. We suggest you start with a selection of appetizers to share, such as pulled wild duck, piyaz (beans salad), hummus, or cibes (a type of local wild green). When you are ready for the main course try a few plates from Gaea’s diverse selection of entrees, such as köfte, salmon, or octopus tandoori. Although the names on the menu may sound familiar, there is an element of amazement every time a new plate arrives on the table. Bloggers will appreciate how the dishes are beautifully composed, and definitely are Instagram-worthy.

 

The bar, with an array of signature cocktails that alone are worth the trip, was set up with the working Levent crowd in mind. The impressive selection of eye-catching drinks, such as Afet, Gerçek Acı or Biraz Tuzlu, can easily compete–and perhaps even beat–offerings in other spots in Kanyon, making hanging out in a store an attractive alternative to happy hour.

  • Levent
10:00am - 10:00pm
Monday
Sunday

Address: 

Gaea Restaurant at Intema Yaşam, Kanyon, Büyükdere Caddesi No.185, Levent; T: (0212) 353 53 11

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Gaea: Culinary trendsetter

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MSA's Restaurant

The name for MSA’s Restaurant is no coincidence. Instead of fashionable ambiguity describing the place's conceptual secrets, one comes across the “still in training” statement on several occasions. However, the place, a training field for culinary students who aspire to create and develop other people’s taste palates, is already much more than just a work in progress.

 

İstanbul’s Culinary Arts Academy (Mutfak Sanatlar Akademisi, or MSA) has been one of the most important culinary institutions of the city for over a decade, shaping local tastes and training the next generation of gastronomy professionals at a level comparable to international standards. MSA’s previous restaurant did not keep up with the school’s expansion, eventually giving up its space to demonstration facilities used for classes. Even after the closing of the first space, however, the idea of running a restaurant as crucial to gaining a full understanding of gastronomy remained a subject of inhouse conversations. The perfect opportunity to open the restaurant arrived when MSA took over available space at Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan. At the end of the summer, MSA established a new restaurant on the grounds of the previous tenants, Istanbul's legendary müzedechanga, incorporating elements of its existing decor.

 

Although the previous restaurant’s legend lives on at the property, MSA’s Restaurant does not seem to be affected by it. Rightly so, since its concept has nothing to do with filling its predecessor’s large shoes. “You are at a class,” says the paper placemat on the table, as if trying to prepare its guests for the worst that could possibly happen during the dining service. There is no need to worry, though, as the staff members are not beginner culinary students, and their work is overseen by experienced professionals.

 

Working at MSA’s Restaurant creates the opportunity for chefs-in-training to take a look at one aspect of the restaurant business that is normally taken care of by someone else: service at the front of the house. Guests are expected to go easy on shortcomings they might notice during the service; luckily, there are not so many since the overall enthusiasm for learning a new skill amongst the workers is easily noticeable.

 

MSA’s Restaurant is definitely worth a visit, whether you are making your way around the museum or intending to dine here without any art viewing plans on the agenda. The bar section is overseen by future mixologists and there are several signature drinks on offer. The menu takes into consideration its guests’ time preferences, offering a wide range of foods, from quick bites to a full course meal, which you can enjoy against a Bosphorus view. A wide variety of current food trends are covered as well, from vegetarian, vegan, and raw (beetroot ravioli, sea bass, or salmon ceviche), Turkish fusion (soft-shell kokoreç taco), classy takes on street food (the infamous late night islak hamburger in a steamed bun), comfort food (noodle with veggies or in udon), to traditional menu must-haves (salmon salad or grilled meatballs). In case of initial confusion of where to start from on the menu, you might just want to go for one item in each category. For large parties, shared dishes for two to six people are also available. Leaving room for dessert is a must; whether you are in the mood for chocolate or fruity flavors, MSA’s Restaurant offers surprising combinations with each course.

  • Emirgan
12:00pm - 11:00pm
Tuesday
Sunday

Address: 

Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi No.42, Emirgan; T: (0212) 323 30 30

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Mürver

This newly-opened restaurant proves that the open fire cooking concept works well not only on camping grounds but also on top of a five-star hotel in the center of Istanbul. In case you have any doubts about what a center-staged stove does on a Bosphorus-facing rooftop in Karaköy, our answer is simple: it makes pretty much everything on the menu.

 

Mürver is the newest brainchild of the acclaimed Istanbul chef Mehmet Gürs. His signature eatery, Mikla, has been awarded raving reviews by both the local and international community; knowing this, it is easy to have high expectations for Mürver. The setting alone resembles Mikla: a hotel rooftop, a Bosphorus view, and a bar and lounge alongside the dining area–and this is where the resemblance comes to an end. Mürver is a much-welcomed departure from Mikla’s fine dining setup, which is noticeable from the lack of white tablecloth on the tables and the open, stove-dominated area where the culinary magic happens. Mürver’s setup also allows curious diners to take a peek into the back of the house, which sends them a message of honesty and accessibility. The same message applies to the menu price range that situates it amongst places more suitable for a casual after-work unwind.

 

Overseeing Mürver’s kitchen operations is executive chef Yılmaz Öztürk. Upping the ante of the smoking game, Öztürk has introduced and mastered various fiery cooking techniques used at the restaurant, some of which include wood-oven, wood-grilled, slow-cooked, and smoked cooking techniques.

 

For starters, smoked tongue with pickled green apple, ash-roasted octopus with Aegean greens, or calamari cooked over an open fire are some of the most interesting menu options. For your main course, try the Thrace lamb and dry-aged beef, which come with a plethora of side dishes such as firik pilavı, yogurt, or spicy fruit compote (hoşaf). Keep in mind that these main course dishes are served in portions for two. Leaving enough room for dessert might be a challenge, but if you decide to accept it, you’re in for a truly delicious treat. We recommend Mürver’s burnt sütlaç. Inspired by traditional oven-baked pudding with the perfect combination of crispy, smoky, and milky, this plate is way more than what you’d expect.

 

Since Mikla is known to have one of the best restaurant wine lists in Istanbul, Mürver doesn’t disappoint with anything less. The full bar, featuring signature cocktails, and lounge area alone are well-worth the visit before you begin your culinary feast. It might be overwhelming to try all of the food and drinks in one go, but we guarantee you will be coming back for more at Mürver.

 

 

 
  • Karaköy
12:00am - 11:00pm

Address: 

Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus, Kemankeş Caddesi No.57-59, Karaköy; T: (0212) 372 07 50

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Mürver: Playing with fire

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Izmir: Beating heart of the Aegean

The Guide Istanbul team
July 28, 2017

Boasting a cuisine developed on unique ingredients and award-winning wine, Izmir is the starting point of a memorable journey sprawling from resort towns like Alaçatı to the ancient sites such as Ephesus. 

 

 

Known as Smyrna in ancient times, İzmir is a metropolitan city on the west coast of Anatolia. Its famous clock tower is located in the center of the city which was once a busy port exporting goods arriving from the Silk Road to the west. Former trade hub, the city is an ideal base for curious visitors, who want to explore the region, discover the remains of ancient world, and travel further to the booming resort towns of Alaçatı, Çeşme, and Urla.

 
Although İzmir is the third largest city in Turkey, the lifestyle of nearly three million residents runs on a slower pace compared to the rest of the country. Therefore, the visitors find it easy to relax and enjoy peaceful surroundings just like locals do.
 
In recent years, with culinary events like Urla International Artichoke Festival and Alaçatı Herb Festival, generosity of mother nature in the area captured attention of foodies in and out of the country. Covered by international media, the early variety of sakız enginarı has become an endless source of inspiration for local chefs. Rare wild greens —like şevket-i bostan, or cibes—are widely used in regional cuisine, and best enjoyed locally. Same thing applies to seafood: surrounded by the pristine Aegean waters, fish is flavorsome, fresh, and abundant.
 
 
Where to eat
 
A specialty of İzmir, boyoz—a pastry with thin layers of dough kneaded multiple times with a hint of tahini is the way to start the day. Often eaten with eggs for breakfast, this mouthwatering pastry was brought to the region by Sephardic Jews from Spain. Try it at Dostlar Fırını. Kıbrıs Şehitleri Caddesi No.120, Alsancak
 
Located on the main promenade, Kordon Yengeç Restaurant is a prime example of how wild greens turn into quality mezze, served alongside daily caught fish. Go before sunset and pick a table close to the street to enjoy the scenic landscape with a glass of rakı in hand. Reservations are recommended. Atatürk Caddesi No.314/A, Alsancak; T: (0232) 464 57 57
 
İzmir’s take on fastfood, kumru (action-packed meat and cheese sandwich), tastes best at Kumrucu ŞevkiConveniently located at the Gündoğdu Square, the venue is an ideal quick lunch stop. Ali Çetinkaya Bulvarı No.2/B, Alsancak; T: (0232) 421 90 65
 
Tucked away in downtown Alsancak, Pizza Locale is an ingredient-oriented local Italian pizzeria. With many branches around the city, you will want to visit the original one. Open daily from 11am-9:30pm; 1390 Sokak No.5B, Alsancak, İzmir; T: (0232) 463 45 60
 
Located inside the French Culture Center, La Cigale's idyllic garden is perfect for a romantic dinner on a summer night. The charcuterie plate goes hand in hand with a bottle of wine.
Fransız Kültür Merkezi, Cumhuriyet Bulvarı No.152, Alsancak; T: (0232) 421 47 80
 
 
Tour around
 
Popular gathering spot for young locals, Kordon (promenade) runs from Konak to Alsancak port. With cycling and walking tracks, as well as waterfront seating areas, this large inviting quarter is where you watch the sunset.
 
Kültürpark İzmir is an expansive leisure complex containing a vast green space filled with rich flora, where culture events and activities take place. Running tracks, an open-air theater, museums, an amusement park are all part of the infrastructure. The 86th İzmir International Fair, combining cultural, gastronomic and commercial activities, will be organized from August 18-27 at the Kültürpark İzmir and Fuar İzmir building. Mimar Sinan Mahallesi, Şair Eşref Bulvarı, Alsancak
 
Before shopping malls arrived to the city, Kemeraltı was the place to go to. The historic market built during Byzantine times was an important trade hub of the Silk Road. From spices to textiles and clothing, the present-day market caters to the needs of both locals and visitors with a variety of stores lined side by side. One of the entrances is conveniently located in the city center, walking distance from Konak metro station.
Kızlarağası Hanı is a renovated historical inn from Ottoman times, located inside Kemeraltı. The inn houses small shops selling accessories, decorative objects, souvenirs, and more. Turkish coffee served at the local cafe is cooked in the cup.
 
Originally built in 1907, the Historic Elevator that leads to a terrace and a restaurant, offers a panoramic view of the city and the Gulf of İzmir. Open daily 8:30am-11pm; Şehit Nihatbey Caddesi, Dario Moreno Sokak No.76/A, Konak, İzmir
Having lived on the street housing the historic elevator, a famous Jewish poet and singer, Dario Moreno was known for his love for the city. The street named after him is home to a display of Moreno's poem about İzmir. Also, the songs played on the elevator are by Moreno, too.
 
Cable car in Balçova offers a bird-eye view of the city and the gulf. Up high, there is a picnic area with a restaurant. The ride is 8 TL. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-10pm. Teleferik Mahallesi, Sakarya Caddesi, Balçova

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July 28, 2017

Aila

The recently opened Aila at Fairmont Quasar Istanbul proves that there is plenty of room for surprise as far as hotel restaurants are concerned. The new Turkish cuisine-oriented venue is one to look up to with regards to decor, menu and the wine list, and is well on its way to become one of Istanbul’s new favorites.

 

The restaurant has a separate entrance that doesn’t require unnecessary wander around the lobby, and all the details hidden behind the blue doors offer one astonishment after another. The modern, spacious venue is divided into multiple dining rooms, the main one facing an open kitchen, creating a space that is commodious yet cosy and intimate. ‘Spice Library’ is another distinctive decoration detail that adds a touch of elegant authenticity, often sought after by international visitors.

 

Aila’s selection of mezze is a creative masterpiece by chef Umut Karakuş, previously of Duble Meze Bar in Beyoğlu. Menu design makes it easy to navigate among a plethora of options, with separate sections dedicated to vegan mezze, the classics, seafood-based and hot dishes. With Turkey’s finest ingredients used to execute the recipes, the chef draws the country’s culinary map, ensuring the diners have enough information to make a knowledgeable choice. We wouldn’t have chose better ourselves, knowing that the chickpea used to make hummus comes from Çorum, prawns from Iskenderun, and the lamb is from Thrace.

 

Ocakbaşı section of the restaurant offers some of the finest meat cuts cooked up to your liking, however if you’re not a keen meat-eater, the selection of veggie dishes will not disappoint: traditional soups and salads, vegetable casserole and pide, or ottoman-style piruhi are all there to save the day. Parallel to the culinary map of Turkey, one of the Turkish wines is presented (listed according to regions of origin) with local highlights such as emir, narince, yapıncak or acıkara. A full bar serves classic cocktails with its own elegant, yet nostalgic twistyou will definitely want to try the raki-based new Istanbul Sour, the hotel’s signature.  

 

In the summer, Aila has nostalgic Turkish film screenings in the garden. On those selected movie nights fix menu is available.

T: (0212) 403 85 00
  • Şişli

Type: 

  • Meyhane (Turkish Tavern)
6:00pm - 1:00am
Monday
Sunday

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Turkish nostalgia under the stars

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How Zeynep Ahunbay unveils the mysteries of Hagia Sophia

Joshua Bruce Allen
July 12, 2017

The many older parts of Istanbul are home to a number of historic buildings from the Byzantine
and Ottoman eras that require regular maintenance to keep
their magnificence. Thankfully, architects such as Professor Zeynep Ahunbay have spent their lifetimes overseeing the conservation and restoration of these buildings. Having been instrumental in the restoration of structures such as Hagia Sophia, Zeyrek Mosque, and the Theodosian Walls, Ahunbay this year received the Vehbi Koç Award for her contributions to Turkey’s cultural life.

Zeynep Ahunbay by Merve Göral

As Ahunbay told The Guide Istanbul, the work of a restoration architect is about more than drawing up plans. “For example, the city walls shouldn’t be understood as a wall. There are particular periods when they were made—the fifth century, the Middle Ages, and the Ottoman era. You have to read and understand all
of that before taking action,” she explains. “When you give the 
work to a contractor and don’t supervise it, they can treat it as 
just constructing a wall. That isn’t restoration. So the architects have to be constantly involved.” In 
terms of its historical value and the time spent working there, Hagia Sophia was Ahunbay’s most important project. The size of the sixth-century building presents unique challenges for restoration. “The first precaution taken in the 1990s was the stabilization and cleaning of the mosaics on the large dome. It’s very hard to reach of course, so they used a special scaffold. The dome is 55 meters up, and the scaffold was around 53-meters tall,
so you could touch the dome when standing on top. That was a great milestone because of
the difficulty of touching that space,” she says. Later, Ahunbay supervised the restoration of the dome’s lead covering, which was allowing water to seep through.

Hagia Sophia, photo by Merve Göral

Ongoing restoration efforts
 are removing cement that was added to the walls in the 1950s. “Some interesting marks have emerged from under the cement on the northern interior. Those marks have been mapped out for restoration that will begin soon,” she notes. According to Ahunbay, the building still has secrets to 
be uncovered such as mosaics hidden behind the remaining cement and potential artifacts buried in the area that was originally the church’s atrium. She also speculates that there could be tunnels connecting the Hagia Sophia’s underground cistern to the nearby Yerebatan Cistern.

Due to the vast number of historic buildings in Istanbul, Ahunbay stresses that the most imperiled must be saved before the worst happens. “For example, some towers and parts of the city walls are under threat and need urgent attention. This is a world heritage site that the whole world values and respects. Apart from that, there is civil architecture such as wooden houses that are in a ruined condition—if nothing is done, they’ll be lost completely.” Aside from the major projects, Ahunbay expresses pride about her restoration of Siyavuşpaşa Medresesi in Eminönü, which had been in a state of ruin for 100 years. This sixteenth-century religious college is now home to the Hilye-i Şerif and Prayer Beads Museum.

Hilye-i Şerif and Prayer Beads Museum

Encouraging tourists to go further than the classic sights
of Sultanahmet, Ahunbay has her own recommendations
for exploring Istanbul. “The shore of the Golden Horn is incredibly interesting, especially Fener, Balat, and Ayvansaray. Then there’s Eyüp, which not many tourists go to I suppose,
the villages along the Bosphorus, and Üsküdar. Every area has its own hidden history. If you know how to look at those places, you can read very beautiful things in them.” This eclectic taste extends to restaurants as well, with her top two being Konyalı, a traditional Turkish restaurant on the grounds of Topkapı Palace, and the Uyghur restaurants in Aksaray.

Get to know director Ferzan Özpetek’s Istanbul

Caner Kocamaz
July 12, 2017

His latest movie, İstanbul Kırmızısı, brought Ferzan Özpetek back to his hometown of Istanbul, and with all that has changed over the years, he had something to say about it.
 

Photos by Yiğit Eken

Ferzan Özpetek, Istanbul

“Istanbul is changing.” This is a phrase residents of the city have gotten used to hearing, along with “Istanbul survives only in memories.” The latter is also a line from Ferzan Özpetek’s latest movie, İstanbul Kırmızısı.
 It is easy to put the blame on the city even though it is the people who change the city, not the city itself. “What affects me is not 
the change in the city, it is the change in people, their behavior and worldview,” Özpetek told The Guide Istanbul.

Istanbul-born screenwriter and director has been living in Italy since 1976, but he keeps coming back to Istanbul for movie shoots or holiday, and because of this, he probably notices the differences that Istanbul residents cannot realize and has included them in this movie.

In Rosso Istanbulİstanbul Kırmızı in Turkish (Red Istanbul)—Özpetek invites audiences to see how Istanbul can play a huge part in residents’ lives. From the opening scene to the end credits, the movie takes you on a ride with the city, how it revives memories and becomes an actual character in people's stories. The movie is inspired by Özpetek’s book of the same name, which was originally published in 2013. Talking about the film, Özpetek says “it’s a story of an editor who goes to Istanbul after 20 years.” The editor, Orhan (Halit Ergenç), is in Istanbul
 to work on director and writer Deniz’s (Nejat İşler) book, which is about his family and friends. Deniz disappears the day Orhan arrives in the city, and while looking for him, Orhan faces his past and future in Istanbul.

The movie got mixed reviews from audiences—after the closing credits, people started murmuring, "Is this it? Will there be a sequel? What kind of an ending is this?" Yet this did not upset Özpetek. “I really liked people’s discussions at the end of the movie.” Just like the city, İstanbul Kırmızısı is mysterious, unpredictable, and awe-inspiring.

Through Özpetek’s looking glass


The world, especially Istanbul, might seem very different when you see it from Özpetek’s point of view. The success of his movies comes from showing things in a different light than they are generally perceived. Leaving the theater, if they get past criticizing the movie, the audience can see how important the changes they overlook can be, or look at a traditional concept from a different perspective.

A still from İstanbul Kırmızısı, Rosso Istanbul

The opening scene of İstanbul Kırmızısı is a construction site on the Karaköy shoreline. The rhythmic sound of a pile-driving machine repeats during the movie’s momentous sequences. “That’s a machine that takes Istanbul’s insides out. With that sound, many things deteriorate, many things change,” Özpetek explains. He fed the sound into the theme song together with the composers of the movie’s original soundtrack, Giuliano Taviani and Carmelo Travia.

“In the mornings I could hear it from my house, and sometimes it blends with the call to prayer and something so profane and so sacred emerges,” Özpetek explains. The way this sound is used in the movie emphasizes the degrading change in the city and is a denunciation of that degeneration.

Left to right: Halit Ergenç, Mehmet Günsür, Nejat İşler, Ferzan Özpetek

His directing debut, Hamam (1997), successfully showed audiences outside of Turkey a different side of hammam culture and break stereotypes. “They saw [hammams] as a touristy institution, whereas I shot the movie with a different feeling,” he explains. “Hammams and circumcision, these were matters of shame for everyone during those times.” The critically acclaimed movie went to Cannes Film Festival and other international festivals, sweeping awards in Turkey, Italy, and
 other countries. “Some people likened it with sexuality, some said otherwise. However, there 
is a philosophy of reaching
 the soul by cleaning the flesh in hammams.” Interest in hammams grew quite a bit after the release of the movie. “The owner of Çemberlitaş Hamamı told me, ‘I made loads of money thanks to you,’” Özpetek says.

“Now is the time to visit Istanbul”


Although he lives in Italy and is busy making new movies, Özpetek comes to Istanbul often for 15 days or a month. “Istanbul is a city that offers you thousands of things—it is a city that takes you away. I like to walk the side streets and sit down at small cafes, small places that you’d never think of.” He encourages his non-Turkish friends to visit Istanbul outside the movies as well. “I tell them now is the time to visit Istanbul. Go, stay at Pera Palace Hotel, a hotel that you would dream of. Now it’s very cheap. There is a great restaurant just across the street, Duble Meze. In the past, you would reserve your table two months beforehand. Now it’s empty. There are no lines at the museums,” Özpetek says, reciting his tips.

A still from İstanbul Kırmızısı

These days, Özpetek is in Naples shooting a new thriller, Napoli Velata, starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno, and directing the opera La Traviata for the third time. “I’d be in Istanbul right now if I wasn’t busy preparing another movie.”

Ferzan Özpetek’s Istanbul

Favorite restaurants
Karaköy LokantasıAheste Pera,
 Akın Balık,
 9 Ece Aksoy

Favorite neighborhoods
Galata, Bebek, Üsküdar, Kuzguncuk 

Top 7 breezy gardens in Istanbul

July 11, 2017

Sometimes all you need is some shade and a breath of fresh air during the summer time in Istanbul. Whether it’s for a breakfast with family, or drinks with friends to cool off while enjoying the sunset, a comfortable outdoor seat amongst luscious greenery is nourishing and essential during the hot months. Give this list a read before making reservations next time you’re looking for something like this.

Backyard

Backyard

Backyard is a kind of safe zone located in Bebeköy. You could visit both in the mornings and in the evenings. It has been popular for city locals due to its peaceful aura brought on by the welcoming garden. Backyard is popular for delicious breakfast options, prepared with local ingredients and also known for delicious salad options. Otlukbeli Caddesi, Bebeköy Sokak No.4 Etiler; T: (0212) 287 15 00

Zanzibar

One of the classics of the Asian Side, Café Zanzibar boasts a spacious garden overlooking the azure Marmara Sea and a well-thought out menu catering to anyone’s palate from breakfast to dinner. Cemil Topuzlu Caddesi Köşk Sokak No.112, Caddebostan; T: (0216) 385 64 30

Ahali 279

Ahali 279

Ahali 279 is an ideal spot for large gatherings as well as escaping the city for the weekend. Cabana-like seating spaces create a romantic setting overlooking the lush foliage. Breakfast is available all day long and the menu is wholesome and diverse. Kilyos Caddesi No.279, Sarıyer; T: 0532 351 79 84

Limonlu Bahçe

With its spacious garden in all hues of greens, Limonlu Bahçe offers you an escape from the crowded streets of İstiklal. Cool off with one of the many drinks featured on the venue’s menu. Yeniçarşı Caddesi, No.98, Galatasaray; T: (0212) 252 10 94

White Mill

White Mill

Set among beautiful buildings in Cihangir, White Mill offers a peaceful spot in the middle of the city’s center. The café’s large and cozy garden attracts locals daily. Enjoy a glass of lemonade or go for a beer, either way you are sure to cool off. Susam Sokak No. 13, Cihangir; T: (0212) 292 28 95

Mabeyin

One of the best places to enjoy rakı and kebab on the Asian Side of Istanbul. The restaurant’s menu is a mix of Turkish, Arabic, and Ottoman cuisines. The roomy garden can host hundreds. Eski Kısıklı Caddesi No.129, Altunizade; T: (0216) 422 55 80

Suvla

Suvla

Suvla is bound to be the breeziest spot in the busy business district of Levent. Decorated with flora and chic tables, Suvla’s terrace provides its guests with an idyllic atmosphere perfect for pleasant conversations over delicious dishes and impeccable local wine. Kanyon Shopping Mall terrace floor, Büyükdere Caddesi No.185, Levent; T: (0212) 353 54 64

Where to go for open air cinema in Istanbul

July 07, 2017

With summer in full swing, its time to carry movie nights outside to seek the pleasures of the warm summer breeze. You can end your summer days cooling off at these five different outdoor cinema locations and watch the classics or recent masterpieces while taking advantage of the summer to the fullest.

Open-Air Film Festival
UNIQ
Throughout the summer
As lights dim with the setting sun, UNIQ opens its doors for all movie lovers. Collaborating with Başka Sinema, UNIQ Istanbul is screening many award-winning movies including The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, Snowden and Trainspotting 2. For the festival program visit uniqistanbul.com. Tickets at mobilet.com.

Outdoor Cinema By the Bosphorus
Sait Halim Paşa Yalısı
Throughout summer
Gaggenau is taking cinema out on the port of Sait Halim Paşa Yalısı for a luxurious movie experience. The setting, right on the Bosphorus under the starry summer sky, is an exquisite match to the romance of La La Land and the thrill of Passengers that are among other hyped up movies on the program. Treats continue all night, starting with a pre-movie open buffet as well as popcorn and ice cream throughout the movie. Tickets available at biletix.com.

Open-Air Cinema Wednesdays
Bomontiada Avlu
Every Sunday from May 31–August 16
Wednesday is the designated movie night at Bomontiada with selected movies from around the world in varying genres. TV+ and Başka Sinema come together to form a unique cinema experience, embedded within the sweet summer air. All screenings are free of charge. See the full schedule at bomontiada.com.

Zorlu Center Open-air cinema

Outdoor Movies at the Park
Zorlu Center Meydan Park
Every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer
With a selection of movies featuring Oscar winner La La Land, animated comedy The Boss Baby, biography of outstanding women pioneers who worked for Nasa Hidden Figures and touching Turkish movie İkinci Şans (Second Chance), Zorlu’s open-air cinema has something for everyone from all ages. Don’t miss these outdoor movie nights free of charge. All movies start at 9:15pm. Find out more at zorlucenter.com.

Pizza Locale

Hailing from İzmir, the newly opened Pizza Locale is a living proof that one more Italian eatery is never one too many. The casual joint offers classic Italian delicacies side by side with their Turkish interpretations, such as Tire sucuk pizza. Gourmets will appreciate the fact that the ingredients are sourced from the place’s Aegean hometown. The venue boasts an outdoor seating space, as well as long tables inside. As reservations are not accepted, and the eatery gets crowded during lunchtime, arriving before or after rush hours is recommended. If you like your Italian in the comfort of your own home, the place delivers, too. Göktürk branch will open in August, followed by another joint in Ataköy in October. 

(0212) 327 02 01
http://pizzalocale.net
  • Akaretler

Features Filter: 

  • Lunch
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
11:00am - 10:00pm
Monday
Sunday

Address: 

Şair Nedim Caddesi No.21,

Google Map: 

Slider Images: 

Place Image: 

Pizza Locale, Akaretler - photo by Merve Göral

Highlight Content: 

Payment Methods: 

  • Cash and credit card

Büyük Ev Ablukada (Live)

07 July
8:00pm - 11:45pm

Büyük Ev Ablukada has left their mark in the local music industry with their conversational vocals, freeing lyrics and flowing compositions since its formation in 2008. They will be taking the stage at Peyote Cennet Bahçesi in Burgazada on July 8th.

The band has taken a new direction in their artistic path with Fırtınayt, a set of live performances exploring a unique take on electronic music mixed with their sultry vocals. The night will start with Peyote DJ Taha Kiremitçi’s set featuring afro-beat, psychedelic and disco music. Büyük Ev Ablukada will take the stage at 8:30pm. Tickets at biletix.com

08 July

End Date: 

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 11:45

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Burgazadası Mahallesi, Gönüllü Caddesi, No:60, Burgazada

#istanbulwithkids: summer time

The Guide Istanbul editorial team
July 03, 2017

Akbank Sanat

Akbank Sanat has put together a summer schedule filled with art workshops for children between the ages of 6-14. 

The workshops range from drawing, music, sculpture to mosaic and offer an extensive artistic exploration specialized for nourishing children’s creativity. The workshops include “A Journey of Music and Painting with Beethoven” singing along lyrics written to Beethoven’s famous pieces and drawing scenery inspired from his music, “I'm Drawing A Selfie” exploring different emotional expressions on paper through self portraits, and many more activities blending different artistic forms. İstiklal Caddesi, No.8, Taksim; T: (0212) 245 12 28; www.akbanksanat.com

Istanbul Modern

Istanbul Modern is inviting children from ages 7-12 to participate in artistic workshops, in the guidance of experienced artists until the busy school year restarts. 

Morning workshops allow young artists to experiment in different fields combining art history, design, animation, architecture with hands on activities. In the afternoon, artists including Sinan Demirtaş work closely with children in workshops with a new artistic focus each day. Besides Mondays, each workshop also takes children to exhibits at the museum that are closely related to the subject at hand. Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, No.4, Tophane; T: (0212) 334 73 52; www.istanbulmodern.org

Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Sakıp Sabancı Museum has prepared weekly summer school programs filled with six different types of activities throughout the week, giving kids an immersive artistic experience at the museum. 

“Art at the Museum” activities feature tours of summer’s highlight exhibits, Feyhaman Duran’s “Between Two Worlds” and Selim Turhan's “Thesis – Antithesis– Synthesis”, with follow-up workshops. In the afternoon children participate in workshops on drawing, illustration and puppetry by Enis Malik Duran, printmaking by Merve Turan and illustration by Erhan Cihangiroğlu, as well as making their own technological creations in projects of “Science and Technology at the Museum”. Besides artistic endeavors, the program begins each morning with “Yoga at the Museum” conducted by Cihangir Yoga instructors and keeps kids physical with swing dance lessons. “Camp at the Museum” brings camp spirit to the museum with tents, team activities and camp rituals. For a special treat at lunch, kids taste The Culinary Arts Academy(MSA)’s preparations for “Picnic at the Museum”. Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi No. 42, Sarıyer; T: (0216) 550 97 62; www.sakipsabancimuzesi.org/en

UNIQ Istanbul

UNIQ Istanbul’s “Creativity Summer Camp” consists of day-long workshops centered on engaging kids to think outside the box in multiple fields of fine art, theater, cinema, math, science, philosophy and sports. The week long program has two periods, the first one starting on July 31st and the second between August 14-25. Within only a week the program teaches new skills in arts and sciences as well as surrounding kids with an entertaining social environment. Ayazağa Caddesi No.4, Maslak; T: (0212) 269 00 69 / 0533 273 40 82; uniqistanbul.com  

Kidzmondo

Kidzmondo, a “city for kids”, offers children to peek into the adult world, trying out different career professions. This summer Kidzmondo is organizing three different summer camps specializing in arts, technology and the outdoors. Each program encourages creativity and team spirit as well as teaching children specialized skills in professional fields. With each camp’s unique selection of activities, Kidzmondo gives children a taste of different professional pursuits they might want to explore in the future. Mecidiyeköy Yolu Caddesi No.12, Şişli; T: (0212) 348 10 00; www.kidzmondoistanbul.com  

Istanbul Toy Museum

Istanbul’s one and only Toy Museum, on the Asian side of the city, is an entertaining location for both parents and children. The museum enhances its guests experience with different workshops taking place throughout the summer. ”Wooden Toy Painting Workshop” is one of these activities, allowing your kids to project their creativity onto wooden figures including animals, and personalized toys with different colors they wish to use. Ömer Paşa Caddesi, Dr Zeki Zeren Sokak No.17; T: (0216) 359 45 50; www.istanbuloyuncakmuzesi.com  

Istanbul Aquarium

Worlds biggest thematic aquarium, Istanbul Aquarium takes guests from all ages on a trip into the marvels of the underwater world. Following the travel route, you can visit 17 different themes from the Black Sea to the Pacific as well as a rainforest. Continue your adventure trying to solve the path of the Mirror Maze. Starting at 15:00 don’t forget to watch the feeding time of the aquarium’s unique habitants. Şenlikköy Mahallesi, Yeşilköy Halkalı Caddesi, No.93, Florya; T: (0212) 574 21 35; www.istanbulakvaryum.com

Forestanbul

Forestanbul is a freeing location for youngsters and adults with its outdoor activities embedded in Kemer’s deep green forest. You can do zip lining over breathtaking views, complete a high rope parkour or the climbing wall to test your limits, and play competitive paintball. With its escape room and go cart, Forestanbul adds on to your adventurous day. It is also a unique location for an unforgettable birthday celebration. Kurt Kemeri Mesire Yeri, Davutpaşa Caddesi, Kemerburgaz, Eyüp; T: 0542 740 0 740; www.forestanbul.com

Happy Nest

Happy Nest is a social and educational family club offering a place for entertainment for children of all ages. They host activities including ceramic, dance, theater and cooking as well as birthday parties and activities for toddlers younger than 12 months. Their multilingual library provides your children a place to discover new stories and improve their reading habits together with their peers. Onaran Sokak No.4, Hareket Sitesi, Etiler; (0212) 257 87 87; www.happynest.com.tr

Big Burn

06 June
4:00pm - 11:55pm

Between July 21-24, Big Burn is joining electronic music lovers with primary DJs and producers of the field at Suma Beach.

This year’s only camping festival of Suma Beach offers endless down and high-tempo electronic music for 3 days with a line-up highlighting legendary Richie Hawtin, Luciano for first time in Istanbul, tech-house master Loco Dice, house essential Dixon, queen of techno Nicole Moudaber and Berlin’s influential names like Nu as well as an Acid Paulu Showcase. Information about the artists and the program is at bigburn.istanbul. Tickets selling fast on biletix.com

Suma Beach
21 July

End Date: 

Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 16:15

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Gümüşdere Mahallesi, Boğaziçi Kampüs Yolu No:1/A, 34450 Sarıyer/İstanbul

Event Places : 

Jazz in the Parks

06 June
4:00pm - 11:55pm

Istanbul Jazz Festival’s essential Jazz in Parks, invites all to enjoy nature together with music at Fenerbahçe Khalkedon on July 9th.

The day will start with a line-up introducing Young Jazz bands, selected through a preliminary concert, followed by a performance by Spanish band Mastretta. The experimental music of Mastretta has a Mediterranean taste with a twist of rock. A day full of music will conclude with an outdoor movie screening of Sugarman. Don’t forget to checkout the Design Bazaar of TAK that will also have a stand at the park. Information on the line-up and program is at caz.iksv.org. Tickets are available through biletix.com

Fenerbahçe Khalkedon
09 July

End Date: 

Sunday, July 9, 2017 - 23:45

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

caz.iksv.org

Event Address: 

Fenerbahçe Mah., Fener Kalamış Cad. No:90, 34726 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Fatoumata Diawara and Hindi Zahra (Live)

06 June
9:00pm - 11:00pm

The sensational vocals of Fatoumata Diawara and Hindi Zahra will fill the terrace of The Grand Tarabya Hotel on July 17th.

Fatoumata Diawara came together with Zahra, a talent in both jazz and world music, as a part of their Olympic Cafe Tour. Their breath-taking vocals will introduce blended sensations of rhythmical jazz and world music to their audience. You can get your tickets at biletix.com. More information is available on caz.iksv.org

The Grand Tarabya Panaroma Terrace
17 July

End Date: 

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 23:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Tarabya Mahallesi, Haydar Aliyev Cd. No:154, 34457 Tarabya, Sarıyer/İstanbul

Event Places : 

Kerem Görsev Quartet (Live)

06 June
9:30pm - 11:30pm

Kerem Görsev is celebrating his 50th anniversary of playing the piano by playing with his quartet including Ferit Odman, Kağan Yıldız and Engin Recepoğulları. The quartet will perform at Zorlu PSM Drama Stage on July 14th under the 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival. 

Kerem Görsev fell in love with the piano during his conservatory training. He started to release his own music in the 90s. Today, he is among the leading names within Turkish jazz communities, performing both nationally and worldwide. More information is available at caz.iksv.org. Tickets at biletix.com

Zorlu PSM Drama Stage
14 July

End Date: 

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 23:30

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Kuruçeşme Mahallesi, Koru Sokağı No:2, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbulzo

Event Places : 

%100 Music: Electronica Festival

06 June
6:00pm - 11:55pm

%100 Music: Electronica Festival, an event by radio station Future Generation, is from July 29-30 at Suma Beach. The massive line-up consists of Andhim, Architectural, Claptone, Eagles & Butterflies, Elderbrook and Stavroz.

Last year brought 3000 music lovers to Suma Beach, Electronica Festival is preparing to be 2017’s biggest electronic music celebration transforming the venue into a festival village with multiple stages, pop-up shops, workshops and selected flavors. Tune in to FG 93.7 or visit electronicafest.com for a taste of the festival. Tickets at biletix.com

Suma Beach
29 July

End Date: 

Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 21:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Gümüşdere Mahallesi, Boğaziçi Kampüs Yolu No:1/A, 34450 Sarıyer/İstanbul

Event Places : 

Istanbul Cocktail Festival

06 June
2:00pm - 8:00pm

Istanbul Cocktail Festival, exhibiting Istanbul’s favorite cocktails with tastings and workshops, brings together all cocktail lovers with famous drinks from the city’s stand out cocktail bars on October 21-22 at UNIQ Istanbul.

The festival will answer all questions on cocktails from A to Z. Guests will both experience how to use the perfect ingredients in precise portions to make their own cocktails and taste samples from trendy city cocktail bars throughout the day. Checkout the Facebook event for further information. Purchase your tickets at biletix.com

UNIQ Istanbul
21 October

End Date: 

Sunday, October 22, 2017 - 23:45

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Huzur Mah., Ayazağa Cad. No:4, 34396 Maslak/Sarıyer/İstanbul

Event Places : 

Moovment Festival

06 June
2:00pm - 11:55pm

Moovment Festival, organized by One Colony, is featuring pioneering names of electronic music KSHMR and Ummet Ozan with exhilarating light and visual performances. Offering an in-city festival escape, the event will take place at Küçük Çiftlik Park on August 29th. 

Previously brought worldly renowned festivals including Life in Color and I AM Hardwell, One Colony is now crafting an original concept for the first time with Moovment Festival. Checkout onecolony.com.tr for more information about the line-up. Tickets are on sale at biletix.com

Küçük Çiftlik Park
19 August

End Date: 

Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 23:45

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Kadırgalar Yokuşu No:4, 34367 İstanbul

Event Places : 

Babylon Soundgarden

06 June
12:00pm - 11:55pm

Babylon Soundgarden, a music festival immersed in the blue green nature of Kilyos, returns for a second round on September 9th. The festival’s line-up features Gordon City, The Drums, Sevdaliza, Kadebostany, Whilk & Misky, Wax Tailor, Hey! Douglas. 

For the first time, this year’s Soundgarden mixes excitement with an option to camp for a unique night accompanied by live DJ sets. Featuring a wide range of genres including electronic, disco, soul, funk, rock, grime and hip-hop, Soundgarden attracts a broad audience for a proper farewell to the summer. Visit soundgarden.babylon.com.tr and festival’s Facebook event for more information. Tickets are on sale at mobilet.com

Kilyos
09 September

End Date: 

Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 08:00

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.mobilet.com

Event Places : 

Night Out

06 June
7:00pm - 11:55pm

Night Out, a night full of musical ventures, hosts latest rising and popular names from Turkey’s alternative music scene. The performances will be on July 6th at Moda Kadıköy, the heart of the city on the Asian side.

The third Night Out of the annual festival will be held by VİTRin, a project of the 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival to showcase artists of Turkey’s contemporary music scene including Ceylan Ertem, Gevende, Son Feci Bisiklet and Jakuzi. More information about the event and Jazz Festival is available at caz.iksv.org. Tickets at biletix.com

Kadıköy, Moda
06 July

End Date: 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 23:45

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Kadıköy, Moda

6 types of baklava that will surprise you

June 23, 2017

First comes a crackling sound of crisp, thin phyllo, and then delicious syrup flows from between the layers. This is the beautiful allure of baklava. Most likely you have tried a classic version, filled with pistachios or walnuts. But there are more variations of this heavenly dessert, and each one offers a different journey to the sweet lands. We have rounded up our favorites below to help you embark on your next baklava journey.

Baklava, photo by Merve Göral

Kuru baklava

The name kuru (dry) may suggest a lack of moisture. However, it merely has less syrup than the original, and more pistachio. This gives kuru baklava a lighter yet more intense flavor. It also has a longer shelf life, perfect if you want to grab a box on your way home or send someone a gift.

Çikolatalı Baklava

Why not combine two out-of-this-world desserts and make something new and great? Çikolatalı baklava (baklava filled with chocolate) is the modern meeting of these two delicious universes, and should be on your to-try list.

Havuç dilimi baklava

For those who promise themselves just one piece of baklava, go for havuç dilimi baklava (baklava sliced in shape of carrots). The generally larger slices (filled with classic nuts) are incredibly satisfying. It’s also the most popular dessert at the end of a feast at Nusr-et Steakhouse. 

Şöbiyet

Şöbiyet looks like a folded handkerchief and what it hides inside is a delicious surprise, kaymak (clotted cream.) Next time you visit a baklava house, you can cheat on baklava for a little extra kaymak.

Yaprak şöbiyet

Imagine the thinnest layers of baklava phyllo in the shape of şöbiyet mentioned above. Now stuff it with pistachios and cream, until it's close to bursting. Just the thought of it can make your mouth water, right? Picture yourself eating it…

Sütlü Nuriye

What if we put milk instead of syrup inside baklava? It would be called sütlü Nuriye. One story says this dessert came out during hard times in 80s’ Turkey to cut back on sugar consumption. Since people liked the output, it stuck around.

Get the best baklava in Istanbul

Baklava, photo by Merve Göral

Karaköy Güllüoğlu

Originally hailing from Gaziantep, Karaköy Güllüoğlu is an institution for baklava. The well-known location in Karaköy serves nearly all kinds mentioned here and is usually packed. They even have gluten free baklava, as well as a sugar free renditions for people those watching their diet. Rıhtım Caddesi No. 3-4, Karaköy; T: (0212) 293 09 10

Köşkeroğlu

Located right behind Güllüoğlu in Karaköy, the goods at Köşkeroğlu are sometimes overlooked but are truly exceptional. Make sure to try the baklava in house, as it arrives perfectly on a warm plate. Mumhane Caddesi No. 2/2, Karaköy; T: (0212) 245 52 45

Gaziantepli Baklavacı Bilgeoğlu

If you are on discovery in Kadıköy, make sure to visit this small baklava house right in the middle of the busy market. Their kuru baklava is particularly famous. Muvakkithane Caddesi No.56, Kadıköy; T: (0216) 336 00 49

Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Kandace Springs and TRT Big Band (Live)

06 June
9:00pm - 11:00pm

24th Istanbul Jazz Festival will bring together TRT Big Band with bass virtuoso Christian McBride, American jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman accompanied by the captivating vocals of Kandace Springs. The artists will share the main stage of Zorlu PSM on July 11.

TRT Big Band is one of Turkey’s most valued jazz orchestras, conducted by the mastermind, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Kamil Özer. Combining famous names within international jazz communities, the night is one of the festival’s most awaited dates. You can find tickets at biletix.com. More information is on caz.iksv.org.

Zorlu PSM Mainstage
11 July

End Date: 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 23:30

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Kuruçeşme Mahallesi, Koru Sokağı No:2, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Event Places : 

Beyond The Memory

06 June
9:30pm - 11:30pm

Beyond the Memory, will be a reminiscent night of the 24th Jazz Festival on July 8th. The event will pay tribute to legendary flamenco guitarist and composer Paco de Lucía with an all-star performance on the main stage of Zorlu PSM. 

The night will join musicians who have collaborated with Paco de Lucia including Jorge Pardo, Carles Benavent, Jose Maria Bandera, Nino Josele and Piraña with David de Jacoba's vocals. Stunning Turkish names Levent Yüksel, who adapted Paco de Lucia’s song Palenque in Tuana, Taksim Trio, and Cenk Erdoğan will accompany the performance. More information is available at caz.iksv.org. Tickets are on sale at biletix.com

Zorlu PSM Mainstage
08 July

End Date: 

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 23:30

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Kuruçeşme Mahallesi, Koru Sokağı No:2, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Event Places : 

Taksim Trio (Live)

06 June
7:30pm - 9:30pm

Taksim Trio, a rising name in world music made up of Hüsnü Şenlendirici, İsmail Tunçbilek and Aytaç Doğan. The trio will perform at Zorlu PSM’s Drama Stage on July 8th in Istanbul Jazz Festival’s ViTRin project.

The local band has gained recognition performing at venues around the world including WOMEX music fair and London Jazz Festival at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Their distinctive compositions are appreciated for their rich harmonies and the enchanting sounds from the clarinet, baghlama and qanun. More information is available at caz.iksv.org. Tickets are available at biletix.com.

 

Zorlu PSM Drama Stage
08 July

End Date: 

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 21:30

Event Category: 

Event Website: 

www.biletix.com

Event Address: 

Kuruçeşme Mahallesi, Koru Sokağı No:2, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Event Places :