Istanbul is an old love of mine. I came here in 1983 for the first time as a reporter and have returned many times to write stories for Dutch media.
After my first visit I was hooked. The crazy, chaotic and dynamic Istanbul gives me a lot of energy. I love strolling through the back streets of the city. I love the warm hospitality, the Mediterranean culinary culture, the melancholic music, the rich history, the remains of ancient civilizations and traces of early Christianity.
The French emperor Napoleon said: “If the world was a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” This city is the former capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Now it is the coolest city in Europe and the party capital of Europe.
I live in Kadıköy (ancient Chalcedon), a large, populous and cosmopolitan district on the Asian side of Istanbul, facing the historic city center on the European side of the Bosporus.
On the European side my favorite district is Beyoğlu, before 1955 the mainly non-Muslim neighborhood where Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Italians and other nationalities lived. It is still the most cosmopolitan area of Istanbul with many bars, restaurants, cinemas, shops, galleries, museums and live music venues. I love night life, good food and wine, and the company of friends.
In my free time I’m strolling through the back streets of Istanbul. I like to share my experiences about Turkish culture, restaurants and night life. And I hope that everybody who reads my blogs will enjoy Istanbul as much as we do.
I am a freelance journalist, based in Istanbul. With my wife, Slawka Kozieniec, who is a photo journalist, we work for media in the Netherlands and Belgium.
More about my work on my website www.turkeycorrespondent.com