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

Street vendors give Istanbul extra charm

Posted on 14 October 2019

One of the many charms of Istanbul is that you still find lots of street vendors, also called hawkers, everywhere. They sell all kinds of merchandise or provide services like shining your shoes. It reminds me of my youth in the south of the Netherlands where I saw them selling sweets, or shoe shine, or sharpening… Read more »

Turkish is easy!

Posted on 17 September 2019

Reading and speaking Turkish is easy: all words are written and pronounced phonetically. Even if you don’t know what the words mean, you can still pronounce them without any mistake, after learning the pronunciation of the letters. I will teach you in 15 minutes! Until 1928, Ottoman Turkish – the language of the educated few… Read more »

Love for stray cats

Posted on 4 June 2019

The large number of stray cats that have their home in the neighborhoods of Istanbul is remarkable. They are well fed and look great for stray cats. How is that possible? Keeping pets is a foreign concept in Islamic culture, and dogs are considered unclean animals by pious Muslims. Cats, however, can expect care and… Read more »

Dogwalkers in Istanbul too

Posted on 8 April 2019

The first time I saw professional dog walkers was when I was posted in New York City as a foreign correspondent in 1999. Here in Istanbul I mostly saw stray dogs. Not surprisingly as many pious Muslims consider dogs to be ritually unclean. The last couple of years I see an increasing number of young… Read more »

Oldest graffiti artist adores Atatürk

Posted on 19 March 2019

You will find his work on many walls in Istanbul. On the European as well as on the Asian shores of the Bosporus. I saw him once around 11 PM drawing on exactly this spot in Kadıköy, where the Roma women are selling their flowers. He is retired and in his 70ties. He draws always the… Read more »