Istanbul is unique. It is the only city in the world where two continents meet. Enjoy old and new in the cultural capital of Turkey with Istanbul expert Marc Guillet

“Ottomania” is everywhere, even in burgers

Posted on 2 November 2019

The first thing that struck me visiting Istanbul again in the summer of 2006, after having spent seven years in the U.S., was the fast changing face of the city. Many squatter’s houses (‘gecekondu’ in Turkish and translated as ‘built overnight’) in shanty-neighborhoods had been destroyed or were gradually demolished and replaced by modern mass-housing compounds developed by the… Read more »

Orient Express nostalgia in Pera Palas

Posted on 22 October 2019

The legendary Pera Palas Hotel is getting more attention again. Not only because the old grandeur is back after undergoing a major renovation and restoration project (2006-2010). Also because of a great book that has just been published Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul, by Charles King. I loved reading it. It is… Read more »

Shortest ‘metro’ line in the world: Tünel

Posted on 24 July 2019

Istanbul was the second city in Europe – after London – that had an underground rapid transit system constructed. When it opened in 1874 it got the name “The Metropolitan Railway of Constantinople From Galata to Pera”. It is an impressive name for the shortest ‘metro line’ in the world: it has only one stop!… Read more »

Topkapı, an intriguing Ottoman palace

Posted on 8 July 2019

Topkapı Palace is the oldest and also the most Ottoman of all Turkish palaces. It is different from palaces in the rest of Europe. It reminds you of a tent camp of nomads built of stone, as the palace is not a single large structure like Buckingham Palace or Versailles, but a collection of relatively… Read more »

Guidebook writer Pat Yale on my e-book

Posted on 20 February 2019

Published in: Time Out Istanbul English Marc Guillet has just published a walking guide to Istanbul. Fellow guidebook writer Pat Yale follows him around Kadıköy. “What do you think this used to be?” I’m standing with Dutch journalist Marc Guillet in front of the Kadıköy branch of the chichi small-chain bakery Komşufırın and my eye… Read more »