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Hamdi Akatay
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Music How the works of Mozart meet the Roma

The Aegean port of İzmir is one of the most prosperous and developed cities in Turkey. But İzmir’s Tepecik neighborhood has a different story – this mainly Roma district is better known for poverty and crime. Hamdi Akatay, a Roma percussionist from Tepecik, is trying to offer something more hopeful...

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Arts & Culture Animatronic exhibition brings new perspective on modern Turkish society

Issues of identity and belonging are never far from the surface in Turkey, and have become one of the main themes for many contemporary artists. Serra Behar’s first solo show, To Remember , engages with society, personal history, and religion through 17 years of her work. Due to Behar’s training in...

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Çırağan Palace Kempinski
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Food & Drink Where to go for the best iftars in Istanbul during Ramadan

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is here from the evening of May 26 until the evening of June 24. There are only two meals eaten during the month of fasting: suhur, before dawn, and iftar, after sunset, to break the fast. Being the most important meal of the day, iftar is often a cause for...

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Fashion Where to find the best designer menswear in Istanbul

Marc Jacobs once said, “To me, clothing is a form of self-expression—there are hints about who you are in what you wear.” If you want to express yourself not through the collections of clothing chains but through unique and bespoke pieces, make your way to these stores where you will find designer...

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Luigi Datome, photo courtesy of Euroleague Basketball
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Sports & Skills How to have the ultimate Istanbul experience during Turkish Airlines Euroleague

Bringing Europe’s best basketball teams together, Turkish Airlines EuroLeague finals are in Istanbul this year. The final games between the best four teams in the Final Four are in Istanbul for the second time after five years. Istanbul-based Turkish teams Darüşşafaka Doğuş, Fenerbahçe, and Anadolu...

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Chez Galip - photo by Merve Göral
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Sports & Skills Pottery making in Cappadocia: the relationship of the river and clay

The ease of navigation around a town, that is divided by a river makes visitors adapt to the new location much faster. They quickly learn distinctive markers of each bank, finding the best spots preferred by locals and making them their own. This is the case of Kızılırmak, Turkey’s longest river...

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Music Şirin Pancaroğlu revives the lost Turkish harp

For many of us, the sound of the harp recalls images of cherubs in heavenly clouds, or classical concert halls. But Turkey’s foremost harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu takes the sound both forward and backward in time, using an Ottoman harp in her album Çengnağme and also collaborating with electronic...

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Burgerhood, Nişantaşı - photo by Merve Göral
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Food & Drink Top 7 burgers in Istanbul

A good hamburger is more than just a bun and patty. With quality meat, homemade buns, and special recipes, these places seem to have perfected their burger game. If you are looking for something more elegant but still as tasty as the ultimate late-night food, ıslak (wet) hamburger, head to one of...

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Hayalleme, Muhittin Bayram
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Arts & Culture For the love of Istanbul: imagining history with Muhittin Bayram

When choosing the name of his website, Muhittin Bayram could have chosen something simpler – Old Istanbul, for example. Instead he chose Hayalleme, which means “imagining.” This reminds us that our view of the past is always framed by the present, colored by our own nostalgia and prejudices. More...

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Communeaty
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Talk of the table Best foodie pop-ups in Istanbul

Foodie networks keep the culinary scene vibrant and add some creativeness to the milieu by taking food out of the restaurant and bringing people together on a regular basis. If you are looking to explore new pairings and flavors while meeting like-minded foodies, get a head start with these foodie...

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Çamlıhemşin, Rize - photo by Yalçın Örsoğlu
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Travel Çamlıhemşin: finding peace in nature

The vast, tranquil waters of the Black Sea and a land covered in dense verdant forest of the region hug each other at Turkey’s northern district of Rize and offer a wealth of untouched treasures. The region is filled with inspiring vistas, such as Çamlıhemşin, hidden amongst the green. Set in...

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Arts & Culture No LaB: Turkish street culture meets art and design

No LaB first burst onto the Istanbul scene with Modern Africa / A Rainbow Nation , showing a new face of art and design from Africa. Now with their second exhibition, the women behind No LaB, Ala Onur and Zeynep Ercan, believe that Turkish street culture is ready for a contemporary twist. The new...

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Önder Tiryaki - photo by Merve Göral
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Wellbeing & Beauty Best makeup artists in Istanbul

If eyes are the window to the soul, the face is it’s finely fashioned gateway. Meet accomplished beauty experts in Istanbul who are leaders in their craft, as adept at high fashion as they are everyday street style. Melis İlkkılıç After two years in the banking industry, Melis İlkkılıç decided to...

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Guitar Player 2003 Oil on canvas 28x37 cm
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Art Colombia's unique artistic voice Botero at Anna Laudel Contemporary

Born in 1932, Fernando Botero is the most renowned artist of South America and a cultural icon in his native Colombia. A range of his sculptures, paintings, and drawings is now on display in Istanbul for the first time, brought from a private collection in Switzerland. Called Everyday's Poetry –...

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Arts & Culture Orlando Carlo Calumeno Collection & Archives

Private museums are a major player in Istanbul’s cultural scene, but their owners often make their careers in industries quite different from art. Orlando Carlo Calumeno has done something similar, though on a smaller scale, in his Teşvikiye shop, Orlando Carlo Calumeno Collection & Archives....

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Fritillaria carica
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Arts & Culture Discover the rare and beautiful flowers of Anatolia

From the average tourist’s perspective, Turkey might seem to be a Mediterranean country with a landscape and climate similar to Greece. But as you move past the western coast and into central and eastern Anatolia, an array of unique vistas opens up. The many mountain ranges that cross Anatolia...

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Çam Sut Mangal Restaurant
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Food & Drink Çam Sut Mangal Restaurant

Located just across a busy intersection from another authentic Korean restaurant, Seorabeol, Çam Sut Mangal Restaurant’s unassuming facade hides a big personality that starts with the banchan . Many say a Korean restaurant can be judged solely on the quality of these small seasonal appetizers that...

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Refik Anadol
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Arts & Culture Artificial intelligence turns Ottoman archives into art

Back in 1968, Philip K Dick’s science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? asked whether intelligent robots could have genuine emotions. Technology is not quite there yet, but the collaborations at Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence (AMI) program are making potentially...

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In memory of John Freely
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Arts & Culture Remembering John Freely, the memory of Istanbul

To anyone who has taken a cursory look at an English-language bookstore in Istanbul, the name John Freely will be familiar. Known affectionately as “the memory of Istanbul”, Freely was one of those cross-cultural wonders who flourish in Istanbul’s fertile atmosphere. Though the city is mourning his...

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Fire of Anatolia
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Istanbul with kids Fire of Anatolia dance academy: children of the sun

For most children, touring the world with a renowned dance troupe sounds like an impossible dream. But thanks to the Fire of Anatolia Dance Academy, which has just opened a school at Mall of Istanbul (with branches in İzmir, Bursa, and Antalya soon to come) young artists now have more access to...

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A Wai Lou - photo by Merve Göral
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Food & Drink A Wai Lou

It might be the deep frying, a pinch of sugar added to almost every dish, or the balanced carb-protein ratio that make Chinese food the unquestionable king of comfort food. However, if you like to step outside your comfort zone every now and then and try something different, head to A Wai Lou, a...

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Artichoke, photo by Merve Göral
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Flavor Factor Artichoke: the Goddess of all veggies

Artichokes (Cynara scolymus in Latin) are a heavenly green that even have a place among the stars of Greek mythology. A story goes that Zeus fell in love with Cynara, a mortal, and took her to Olympos. However, the beauty missed her life on earth, and one night Cynara snuck back to her hometown....

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Food & Drink Mittag

The city’s gentrifying neighborhood of Reşitpaşa is slowly evolving, and Mittag is one of the coolest restaurants to emerge so far. After working at one of Istanbul’s most highly-lauded restaurants, Mikla, MSA-alumni Fatma Yıldırım decided to open up her own place and that’s how Mittag arrived on...

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Göztepe Parkı, photo by Caner Kocamaz
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Culture & history Why is Turkey crazy about tulips?

The Istanbul Tulip Festival is taking place on April 1-30 this year, when the city’s parks and squares will be beautified with thousands of colorful flowers. Everyone can appreciate what is known as “the world’s largest carpet of tulips” in Sultanahmet Square, as well as the rainbow blooms in...

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