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

Turkish is easy!

Posted on 29 December 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 »

Roasted chestnuts as a snack

Posted on 17 December 2019

Photos © Slawomira Kozieniec First there is the smoke from a distance. Coming closer to the source of the smoke you smell something that reminds you of barbecue. But this is different. It is roasted as meat, but in a more gentle way. ‘Kestane kebab’ (roasted chestnuts) shouts the street vendor. With a small metal… Read more »

How to drink Turkish coffee

Posted on 7 November 2019

Photos: Slawomira Kozieniec Modern coffee bars like Starbucks and Turkish counterparts like Kahve Dünyası and Mado, where a range of Western coffees are sold, are found in Istanbul’s tourist and upscale westernized districts. In most restaurants bars in the old city they have all kinds of western style coffees too. Elsewhere in the city, the… Read more »

“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 »

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 »