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Its difficult to categorize the Turkish people with one region as in the East or the West because the culture branches from many traditions. Their roots draw from different regions which led to a great richness in culture and cuisine. Locals welcome visiting tourists always with an apple tea or a typical earl grey tea. Hospitality is a way of life here and the Turkish people are genuinely friendly. Even if someone does not speak a word of English they will try their best to guide you in the right direction… And if Turkey does one thing well it’s the food. Passed down from the Ottomans, feasting tradition has carried on through the years because whether it be meze and local fish with a glass of raki, or a pizza called lahmahcun with a local Efes beer, the Turkish- Mediterranean passion for their food is an experience in its own.

Jenna Hughes-Anlar, Barbera Hotel’s owner/manager came to Turkey in 2010. While she left Colorado in route again to discover another big city of the world, she had very little information on living in Turkey or the country in general. Not long after her arrival, she realized what a beautiful and different place this ancient city was…and the journey continues today. “My first few years in Turkey, I spent every free moment sightseeing by day and discovering the social scene by night. I met an international crowd and developed friendships with great people, many of them Turks! The city has so much culture and history unlike our cities in the US which are vibrant in very different ways. I fell in love with the beauty and distinct character you find in each individual region throughout this big city. Also the food, but most of all the people.”

Istanbul well deserves a modern and cosmopolitan image even though in city’s true richness shines through from history, traditions, art and architecture. Regardless of the sheer size of the city, its always a delight to visit a 2000 year old mosque in the morning and then spend an afternoon at Zorlu Centre shopping the luxury brands and seeing an evening Broadway show followed by a bite to eat at Eataly.

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