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Art How one Turkish artist changed the art game in Turkey

Artist Feyhaman Duran, now the subject of a large exhibition at the Sabancı Museum, is one of Turkey’s talented curiosities. Born in the Ottoman Empire, made in the Turkish Republic, master of Arabic calligraphy and Western painting, trained in Istanbul and Paris – Duran’s life combines many...

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The Populist, Bomontiada
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Food & Drink The Populist

Set in the renovated Bomontiada complex, which was originally the first brewery built in Istanbul in 1894, The Populist stays true to its historical roots, serving up craft brews alongside hearty American classics. The restaurant’s enormous interior makes a statement by highlighting its brutal...

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Turkish AFAD
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Practical information How to be ready for an earthquake

Istanbul is located on the axis of a great fault line, making it a city exposed to a greater chance of an earthquake. If you haven’t had the chance to participate in a professional training preparing you for such emergency, this article covers preparation basics. Preparing in advance is a crucial...

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Yeniköy Lokantası
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Food & Drink Yeniköy Lokantası

Combining homey food and a cozy atmosphere, Yeniköy Lokantası has recently opened as a small eatery on the second floor of a building behind Yeniköy Port. Ditch the menu and ask for the daily zeytinyağlı (olive oil) dishes. Produce comes from the Aegean region, is picked in season and preserved for...

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Balkan Ateşi
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Music A taste of Balkan Fire from Turkey and Macedonia​

Clarinetist Serkan Çağrı is taking the stage on January 27 with Yarkın Rhythm Group and Macedonian Roma band Kocani Orkestar in a concert called “ Balkan Fire ”. Though you might think there is only one Balkan group among them, geographically they are all from the Balkans: Çağrı is from Turkish...

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Istanbul layover
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Practical information How NOT to get stuck at the airport during a layover

Getting stuck with a long layover sounds about as exciting as a trip to the mall. However, Istanbul offers a lot for those who find themselves with a long waiting period between flights at one of the busiest airport hubs in Europe. Take a look at our guide for the best ways to discover Istanbul in...

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Zorlu PSM, Yeni Yıl Yeni Umutlar
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Arts & Culture Opera stars rain on Istanbul in 2017

Although it may just be a date on the calendar, many of us see the New Year as a chance for better things in the months ahead. The saying is “start as you mean to go on,” and for that reason Zorlu PSM is starting with an unforgettable display of opera: “ New Year, New Hopes ”. With world-class...

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Nur Muhammed, Fatih - photo by Merve Göral
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Food & Drink Nur Muhammed

Despite the variety of Asian cuisines on offer in Istanbul, few people have heard of the city’s only Malaysian restaurant, Nur Muhammed. This is a shame, as the restaurant boasts excellent food, a historic location, and a beautiful building.​ Nur Muhammed is located in the Karagümrük neighborhood...

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Art One camera, three cities: Istanbul, Tbilisi, Baku

The complex geography of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Caucasus has been united and separated under many empires over the centuries. Current politics divides these regions on the basis of nation and religion, but that was not always the case. In his exhibition ArTriangle “City...

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Food & Drink Most romantic restaurants in Istanbul for Valentine's Day

Istanbul is many things - old, chaotic, refreshing, calming, unnerving - but it is always romantic. Whether you aready have a significant other in your life, or you’re meeting someone for the first time, or you’re just hanging out with your best friends, here are some of the most romantic...

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Epiphany, Photo by Merve Göral
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Culture & history Epiphany in Istanbul: a cold swim for the cross

If you had been on Fener pier on January 6 last year, you would have seen an unusual sight: men wearing only swimming trunks as they waited in small boats on the Golden Horn. While the whole city was wrapped up in coats and scarves, these men seemed to be untouched by the cold. Perhaps the...

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Soerabeol
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Food & Drink Soerabeol

When the chilling winter winds of Istanbul blow blustery through the streets, our thoughts turn to the fiery dishes of South Korea and we head to the welcoming lights of Soerabeol. Opened earlier this year by a Korean couple, this is a restaurant that offers few frills but copious amounts of soju (...

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ballenesque-room
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Arts & Culture Roger Ballen’s surreal South Africa at Istanbul Modern

Roger Ballen is undoubtedly one of the most influential photographers of the 21 st century, making the Istanbul Modern exhibition “Roger Ballen: Retrospective” mandatory viewing for all art appreciators in the city. Publishing his first book, Boyhood , in 1979, over the following decades Ballen...

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Bookshelves, photo by Emre Dörter
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Culture & history Istanbul's first public library meets the 21st century

Located between Istanbul University and the Grand Bazaar, the Beyazıt neighborhood is packed with historic buildings that are still in use today. Istanbul University itself used to be the Ottoman Ministry of War, while on the other side of the square is the recently restored II Bayezid Hamamı . In...

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Culture & history Texts of time: Istanbul's living libraries

One of the earliest inventions of civilization is the written word itself, as well as buildings designed to house the most important documents. The value of learning was so great for ancient civilizations that the Library of Alexandria was known as a wonder of the world; after this library’s...

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Quince season
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Flavor Factor What's in season: quince

When discussing winter fruits in Turkey, quince is one of the first that come to mind. Now, it’s quince’s time to shine in all the local markets. The fruit has a unique, perfumy taste unlike any other. It is also a great immune system booster, providing you with more than 20 percent of your daily...

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Food & Drink Salep: A Winter Warmer

Picture a steep street in Istanbul’s old city, the cobbled ground and colorful wooden houses, masked by a light frosting of snow. Feathery snowflakes continue to fall, taken by the swirling wind on a merry dance, before coming to rest on warm woolen hats. Night is falling and tired workers brace...

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Seyhan Arman, photo by Merve Göral
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Books & Film Is there a hopeful future for the trans community in Turkey?

Actress Seyhan Arman has found acclaim for her lead role in Merve Gezen’s short film Nerdesin Aşkım? (Where are you my love?), which won the Canada International Film Festival’s 2016 Perfection Award and the Human Rights Prize at the 2016 Atlas Awards. This is the brief, bitter story of two...

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Culture & history Kalenderhane Mosque (Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa)

Kalenderhane Mosque is a 12th-century building located in the picturesque Vefa district, close to the Beyazıt tram stop and the Vezneciler metro station. This mosque is one of Istanbul's many that occupy a former Byzantine church. Restoration work in the 1970s uncovered frescoes that indicate an...

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Culture & history Bayezid II Turkish Hammam Culture Museum

The Bayezid II Hammam dates back to the 16th century, when Sultan Bayezid II commissioned it as part of the complex around the nearby Beyazıt Mosque. In recent decades the hammam had fallen into disrepair, but it was restored as part of Istanbul University in 2015. This hammam is also known as the...

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Fairmont Quasar Istanbul
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Hotels Fairmont Quasar Istanbul

The worldwide name behind renowned hotels The Plaza and The Savoy, Fairmont Quasar Istanbul is the first venture of the Fairmont brand in Istanbul. Located in the boisterous district of Mecidiyeköy, the hotel was designed by American Wilson Associates, staying true to the surroundings of the...

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Burak Delier - Free Society of Fools and Crooks. Photo by Rıdvan Bayrakoğlu
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Arts & Culture The art of the steal: when con men ruled Istanbul

In our time, movies such as Catch Me If You Can or Ocean’s 11 have shown that fictional con men can make more money in the cinema than the real ones do on the street. But public consciousness of con men goes back farther than we might think, in fact to a man named William Thompson in 1840s New York...

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Küçük Kulüp Meyhane, Nişantaşı
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Food & Drink Küçük Kulüp Meyhane

Topağacı is awash in great restaurant concepts, and Küçük Kulüp is the latest new resident, bringing a fresh, new meyhane perspective to the neighborhood. The sleek entrance and neatly set up tables with white tablecloths may seem upscale for a traditional tavern, but this small space manages to...

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Talk of the table It’s cold outside – stay cozy at these winter shelters

Contrary to Turkey’s postcard image of sun, sea, and sand that people know abroad, the winters here can be wet and windy. How can we preserve ourselves in these less hospitable months, when we wait for spring to emerge? There’s no need to stay at home with our helpful guide to the best places for a...

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