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

All things pickled in Kadıköy bazaar

Posted on 1 May 2019

Özcan Turşuları is my favorite shop with all things pickled in the neighborhood bazaar of Kadıköy. Look around in this shop and you will be amazed by the huge and colorful collection of pickled vegetables, ranging from gherkins, red beets and white cabbage to garlic, green tomatoes and carrots. Everything here is made using traditional… Read more »

Turks drink most tea in the world

Posted on 23 April 2019

Not in China, nor in the United Kingdom people drink most tea in the world, but in Turkey. No less than 3.16 kg per person per year. Tea is part of Turkish culture. Offering a glass tea to any stranger and all guests is a traditional token of Turkish hospitality. Most restaurants offer tea for… Read more »

“Ottomania” is everywhere, even in burgers

Posted on 18 April 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 »

Bomontiada: live music, food, art, drinks

Posted on 13 April 2019

It was a Friday night and the kick off of the annual Akbank Jazz Festival in Istanbul. As a group of fresh-out-of-university people we were looking forward to enjoy Ilhan Ersahin’s tunes. (https://open.spotify.com/artist/5aweKNLI0ZyI48q5TmoCxT) They combine electronic music with saxophone and sounds from the Middle East. (I recommend you continue reading with Ilhan Ersahin playing in the… Read more »

Modern and traditional toilets ala Turka

Posted on 25 March 2019

 In Istanbul’s old town, with all the touristic high lights, many public restrooms are not in a good condition. Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has promised to renovate existing facilities, including those in mosques, and construct new, modern ones. “There are often questions surrounding the cleanliness of public restrooms, so the municipality will initiate a project to… Read more »