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LATEST REVIEW

Beğendik Abi, Urla, photo by Merve Göral
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The coasts of Turkey What to expect from the 3rd Urla Artichoke Festival

At The Guide Istanbul, we appreciate the celebration of natural products, so we visited the 2nd International Urla Artichoke Festival in 2016. The third edition of the festival is taking place from April 28–30 this year, and if you are planning to go, here is what you can expect from this culinary...

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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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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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Kösem Sultan
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Culture & history Kösem Sultan: Magnificent Century continues

After the massive success of the series Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century), centering on Hürrem Sultan ’s life in the harem of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, the world has been eagerly anticipating a sequel. By becoming the first official wife of an Ottoman sultan and starting the period...

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Davetçokelbisemyok
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Fashion Where to find the best designer evening wear in Istanbul

The Turkish fashion scene has been gradually grabbing international attention over the past decade. Blending modern designs with homage to the country’s deep-rooted heritage, designers are creating stunning collections that are made for the spotlight - whether you’re on a red carpet or at a high-...

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Avlu Yeniköy
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Food & Drink Avlu Yeniköy

Istanbul has seen many neighborhoods become the trendy spot one for time. Asmalımescit was the place to go for drinks, then it handed that status off to Karaköy. Now, Arnavutkoy is the hip area to go, but could Yeniköy be next? If places like Avlu populate the streets of this waterfront...

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Alican Akdemir, Turkey's first water sommelier - photo by Merve Göral
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Talk of the table A water sommelier? Turkey’s first explains

To introduce yourself as a water sommelier is to constantly have to explain your job. The relatively nascent profession is just beginning to take root around the world and, as Turkey’s first, Alican Akdemir often has to deal with people’s incredulity. He says the first thing people usually ask him...

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Florart Workshop
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Lifestyle New season, new hobbies: pick up a new skill for spring

You may no longer be in school, but that’s no excuse to stop learning. Take the changing seasons as extra incentive to pick up a fun new skill. Glass blowing Children and adults alike will love learning how glass goes from sand to gorgeous works of art. Cam Ocağı has daily or 3 days workshops for...

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Martinez Istanbul, photo by Merve Göral
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Food & Drink Martinez Istanbul

As central as it can be, located inside Akmerkez, Martinez Istanbul is far from your everyday shopping mall eatery. The sleek restaurant is another venture by UKA Life group, the same name behind Hudson in Arnavutköy. Although there are some resemblances in its interior and on the menu, Martinez...

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Seasons & Stories, photo by Merve Göral
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Shopping Seasons & Stories

We have all been there looking for the perfect accessory to complete an outfit. Well, the search is over. That crucial piece to elevate your style is sitting and waiting for you at Seasons & Stories. Opened late last year, this elegant store is a venture by Ahmet Gencehan Güneş, former brand...

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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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Belle Epoque à Pasha, photo by Merve Göral
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Talk of the table How to dine like Istanbulites from the 1920s

If you enjoyed our 1895 Ottoman Guide in the last issue, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to sample this golden Istanbul era for yourself (as we playfully suggested), here’s a piece of good news.

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Judith Liberman, photo by Fethi Karaduman
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Arts & Culture How one French storyteller inspires with Turkish fairytales

The traditional storytellers of Turkey, called meddah, have a long history of entrancing audiences, weaving oral tales using epic narrative, humor and improvisation. Interestingly, one of the most famous meddah today is French. Over the course of her decade in Turkey, Judith Liberman has trained...

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Ebru tulips, photo by Merve Göral
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Arts & Culture Mystical blooms: tulips in Turkish marbling

In the Western world, tulips are simply colorful symbols of spring. In Turkish culture, their meaning runs much deeper. Tulips are native to Anatolia, and many of the elegant strains we know today began with the Ottomans, who cultivated thousands of new varieties. The Ottomans used tulip motifs to...

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Arts & Culture The hidden world of the Grand Bazaar’s jewelry masters

The Grand Bazaar is the largest covered market in the world and also Europe’s most-visited tourist attraction. The 15 million who visit every year are drawn by the profusion of gold, leather, antiques, carpets, ceramics, and jewelry in the bazaar’s over 4,000 shops. But there is another world in...

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Yoldan Çıkan Oyun, Zorlu PSM
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Arts & Culture Why this is the golden age of Istanbul theaters

There has been a general perception in Turkey that in the face of competition from the movie industry and technology, theater is gradually dying. However, a hungry audience and increasing interest from new generations of actors shows otherwise. Along with state-run theaters, there are also numerous...

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Turkish tea
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Flavor Factor What you should know about Turkish tea

After a meal in Turkey, there is always one more course: tea. Served in a slim-waisted, elegantly curved glass, the piping-hot liquid is inevitably whisked to the table right after your meal, amber-colored and deeply bitter. This is true whether you are at the local dürüm shack with three low-rise...

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Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat Simon de Myle
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Culture & history 7 secrets and mysteries of Turkey

Anatolia is home to the world’s first temple at Göbeklitepe, and countless religious figures, from Abraham to Saint Nicholas, have lived in the region. But alongside the official histories, there is also a wealth of unwritten stories that blend fact and fantasy. Some of these are based on events in...

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