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Basta! Street Food Bar, Kadıköy
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Food & Drink Basta! Street Food Bar

Basta! takes haute cuisine down to street level. Nicole Restaurant’s former chef Kaan Sakarya, along with chef Derin Arıbaş, opened the street food joint in Kadıköy late April. In a busy area with a short menu, Basta! is sure to get people talking with its mix of fine flavors and simple...

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Art Enter the surreal city of Syrian artist Mohammad Zaza

The images that we tend to associate with the Syrian refugee crisis are desperate faces trapped behind fences, discarded lifejackets on Greek islands, or ruined streets in Aleppo. But Syrian artist Mohammad Zaza uses his brush to create quite different scenes. His latest exhibition The earth is...

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Kilimanjaro, photo by Merve Göral
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Talk of the table Where to eat in April

Kilimanjaro With the majority of their ingredients coming from neighboring Feriköy Organic Market, the main focus of Kilimanjaro is clean and local flavors. The restaurant is great for groups with a menu full of sharing options like their shrimp mantı (small dumplings) starter or whole baked...

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Hotels Best business hotels in Istanbul

Other than being a wonderful city to explore as a tourist, due to its geopolitical situation Istanbul is a powerful city for making business. Let’s say you have a meeting, conference, or anything business-related in the city. You know very well where to stay in Istanbul to get the best Bosphorus...

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Murat Bulut Aysan, photo by Merve Göral
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Istanbul Living My Istanbul: Murat Bulut Aysan

Holding a mirror to ideas such as the evil eye, gentrification, and the Istanbul gentleman, Murat Bulut Aysan makes us question the cultural codes of the city. He gives his view on an ancient metropolis that is changing before our eyes. Perhaps nobody understands Istanbul better than an artist. The...

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Nick Laird, Üsküdar Poetry
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Books & Film Nick Laird discovers the poetry of Istanbul

For award-winning Northern Irish poet Nick Laird, the Üsküdar International Poetry Festival has been a way for he and Istanbul to discover each other. This convergence of poetic energy on the Asian shore produces a mix of nations, views, and styles that suits the eclectic mosaic of Istanbul....

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Balık Ekmek, photo by Merve Göral
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Flavor Factor Balık Ekmek: the changing story of fish sandwiches

Balık ekmek is a ubiquitous “ must-eat ” food in any tourist-oriented feature on Istanbul. Even for the casual visitor glancing at a guidebook, the “fish sandwich” is nearly impossible to overlook. Simply constructed of grilled whitefish with raw onions and lettuce sandwiched in a half-loaf of...

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Shopping 10 heaven-like chocolate shops in Istanbul

Why chocolate? Because it’s delicious, because it lifts your spirits when you’re down, because it goes great with coffee (and cognac), because it’s an antioxidant (if it’s dark enough), because it reduces stress (if only for a minute or two), and because it just tastes oh so good. Next time you...

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Books & Film Anatolian Tales: fairytales for today

“There was, and there was not. In an earlier time, when God had many servants, when the sieve was in the chaff, when camels were town criers, when fleas were barbers, when I rocked my mother’s cradle…” For Western readers, these words might seem like the opening of a surrealist novel. For Turkish...

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Bosphorus Yatch Cruises, photo by Merve Göral
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Culture & history Take a trip up the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn

Istanbul is the world’s only city situated on two continents and it is only right and proper that this be fully appreciated. Taking a boat up the Bosphorus is an inexpensive way of seeing some of the main sights of both sides of the city and enjoying the beautiful views across the water. Highlights...

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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 9-30 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, and the tulip-themed exhibition by...

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Art Best exhibitions to see in Istanbul this April

T.S. Eliot famously wrote “April is the cruelest month,” referring to a painful return to life out of numbness and unknowing. While the weather has certainly improved, the thought-provoking crop of art this month might bring you a similar awakening. Let’s hope the cruelty is balanced by...

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Beerhall, photo by Merve Göral
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Istanbul after dark Beer Hall

In Akaretler, you wouldn’t expect a place dedicated only to beer – and Beer Hall really is dedicated, even serving cocktails prepared with beer. Yet, it has become so popular that you may not find a table to sit or even a barstool to stand near after work hours on weekdays and weekends and, well,...

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Dede - Efendi, photo by Merve Göral
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Istanbul after dark Top 7 mixologists in Istanbul

From the mysterious Kulhanbeyi's cheerful bartender Kevin Patnode to Efendi Topağacı's "Dede", we rounded up the best bartenders in Istanbul.

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The Girl on the Bridge, photo by Merve Göral
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Books & Film Films set in Istanbul: The Girl on the Bridge

With its landscape and architectural diversity, Istanbul has always been an inspiration for artists. It is no surprise that when cinema emerged in Turkey, the city played a significant role not only as the country’s movie industry center but also a location for various films. Apart from great...

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Four Seasons Hotel at the Bosphorus, where to stay
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Hotels Istanbul's best waterfront hotels

For those looking to visit Istanbul over the summer when the sun is out and the Bosphorus is gleaming, what better place to stay than a hotel right beside the water? Options in this simultaneously historic and cosmopolitan city are endless, so we’ve put together a list of fabulous hotels all with...

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Artichoke, photo by Merve Göral
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Food & Drink What's in season: artichoke

Around this time of year in Istanbul, artichokes are a common sight outside greengrocers and other stores, usually stripped of all their outer layers, bobbing naked in buckets of water, drops of lemon preventing them from discoloring. Whilst in other countries it may be usual to purchase them whole...

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Lale Apa photo by Merve Göral
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My Istanbul My Istanbul: Lale Apa

Since The Guide Istanbul has been published, the city has no more secrets, says Lale Apa, the magazine’s founder. Having guided others through Istanbul’s narrow streets and picturesque coasts for a quarter of a century, in our silver anniversary series she paints her personal portrait of the city....

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Digital Revolution, photo by Merve Göral
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Art From the first Mac to giant installations: Digital Revolution

First shown at the Barbican Centre in London, Digital Revolution has been hailed as the most comprehensive show of digital technology in the UK. Now in its second incarnation at Istanbul’s Zorlu Center, Digital Revolution invites visitors on a journey from the very first days of digital to the...

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Yelkovan - Ömer Necipoğlu
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Culture & history The many lives of Istanbul's birds

“Isn’t it something of an adventure, the joy of millions of birds liberated outside of mosques, synagogues, and churches, the joy of people, for hundreds of years? I know that one day someone pleasant, intelligent, pure-hearted will arrive to write a beautiful, joyful, hopeful history of Florya’s...

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Talk of the table A Peruvian taste in Istanbul: ceviche

Vue Lounge & Bar at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Ataköy serves staple dishes of Peruvian cuisine.

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Eşşekhelvası, photo by Merve Göral
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Flavor Factor What’s in season: Aegean wild greens

Foraging and eating wild greens has long played a part in Mediterranean culture and cuisine. It’s said that in the Turkish Aegean region though, the use of ege otlari (Aegean wild greens) was massively influenced by the Cretan Turks who returned to Turkey in 1923 with such a strong love of these...

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Kilimanjaro, photo by Merve Göral
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Food & Drink Kilimanjaro

Bomontiada is fast becoming an oasis of creative calm in the city. Probably one of its best features is Kilimanjaro, opened in January 2016. The restaurant’s concept comes from a jazz club the owners once visited, and as far as we’re concerned they’ve pulled off that sense of laid-back cool. With...

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Talk of the table Yasu Baba Köfte Salonu

Yasu Baba Köfte Salonu is a small, simple restaurant that is exactly what it claims to be: a köfte (grilled meatball) place. This an unexpected venture of Ferit Sarper, the gastro-entrepreneur behind the swanky restobars Münferit and Gaspar . Unlike those eateries in Beyoğlu, Yasu Baba is north of...

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