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 23 December 2018

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 »

Human pack mules of Istanbul

Posted on 19 December 2018

Whenever you stroll through the district of the Covered Bazaar and the Egyptian or Spice Bazaar you probably will see human pack mules with all sorts of cargo on their backs. Bent over, groaning under their unimaginable huge burdens, they trudge through the streets, up the hills, and even up the stairs in the wholesale… Read more »

Roasted chestnuts as a snack

Posted on 17 December 2018

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 »

Lokma, hot & sweet Ottoman snack

Posted on 9 December 2018

Photos © Slawomira Kozieniec During the cold winter months I see all kinds of warm street snacks popping up in Istanbul. Lokma is one of them. The Turkish word lokma means ‘mouthful’ or ‘morsel’. Just recently a couple of young men started to sell these lokma tatlısı (deep fried dough balls), soaked in sugar syrup in… Read more »

Chaotic piles of wood

Posted on 1 December 2018

Whenever you see a chaotic pile of wood while strolling the backstreets of Istanbul, you can be sure that this is the new delivery for one of the many traditional wood-burning stone ovens where artisan breads or lahmacun – Turkish pizza – are baked.