Burgerhood, Nişantaşı - photo by Merve Göral
Food & Drink Burgerhood

“Original taste for real burger lovers” is a motto that promises much, and Teşvikiye’s new burger joint delivers on its adage. First off, Burgerhood fits right into current local food trends. All cuts of meat are chosen from quality, local butcher shops, prepared and seasoned in-house to avoid...

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Boğaziçi Paws, photo by Merve Göral
Istanbul Living How Boğaziçi Paws has created a sanctuary for dogs and humans

You hear them before you make it up the hill. One low bark breaks the idyllic quiet of Boğaziçi University’s backwoods, quickly followed by a rousing, rising chorus. Soon, flop-eared mutts appear in the distance, bounding towards us with mouths open in ridiculous grins. Crowding about our heels,...

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Islamic designs
Arts & Culture Magical geometry: innovation is at the heart of Islamic design

For visitors to Istanbul, Sultanahmet Mosque is high on the list of tourist attractions. Besides the mosque’s exquisite tiles, there is an order that brings the architecture, lighting, floral designs, and calligraphy into a perfect whole. This is the secret of Islamic geometry, and designer Eric...

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White Posture
Fashion How a plain white shirt emphasizes one's character and status

The white shirt has long been an indicator of high status and quality. Its symbolism and long history mean that it can describe a society like no other everyday wardrobe element. Today, this simple and often unacknowledged garment unites people of various occupations, opinions, and backgrounds,...

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Yasin Vural, photo by Merve Göral
Lifestyle Hey Douglas' modern beats will make you love 70s music again

Coming to fame as part of the Ankara rap group Mode XL, producer Yasin Vural might not be an obvious name from the world of 1970s rock. But he has found a cunning way to market the music of his parents’ generation to the youth of today. Using the energy and expertise from his rap days, Vural...

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Haldun Dormen - photo by Merve Göral
My Istanbul See Istanbul through Haldun Dormen's eyes

Haldun Dormen received The Guide Istanbul at his museum-like house in Teşvikiye, where he has lived for the past twenty years. Sitting in a room filled with books, vinyl, cassettes, photos, and posters from his plays, the living legend of Turkish theater rose to greet us with unexpected energy....

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Thai Food
Food & Drink Top 7 fall food festivals

This autumn, get ready to eat, drink and make merry! There’s a long lineup of food festivals popping up around the city, each glorifying a different, delicious culinary highlight with workshops, vendors, samples, music, barbeques and more. Here’s seven to get excited about. Thai Food Hyatt Regency...

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Fish season in Istanbul
Food & Drink Fish season starts in Istanbul

The Bosphorus is the migration path of a wide variety of fish. Starting in autumn and running through winter, fish begin moving towards the Black Sea and Istanbul becomes awash in fish. As the fishing ban was lifted on September 1, the new season is open, so expect to see a wide variety of fish on...

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Tomato sauce and tomato paste
Flavor Factor How to prepare tomato sauce to last the winter​

Come the last days of summer, mothers in Turkey spend a lot of time in the kitchen trying to preserve those sunny, sultry flavors to last through the impending winter. Some make jams out of succulent summer fruit and others go for canning tomatoes, which are currently at their peak. While you can...

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Hagia Sophia
Culture & history 6 unusual minarets of Istanbul

Before skyscrapers began to spring up in the modern districts of Istanbul, the defining feature of the skyline was the mosques with their domes and minarets. Most tourists know the classic image of the muezzin giving the call to prayer on the balcony of the minaret, and the effect of several...

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Sabahattin Ali, Photo Credit FilizAli
Books & Film Sabahattin Ali’s Madonna in a Fur Coat: a lonely story finds unlikely fame​

Of the three novels Sabahattin Ali wrote in his short life, Madonna in a Fur Coat is not the one recommended to schools by the Ministry of National Education. In fact, between its first publication in 1943 and a fresh printing in 1983, the novel was barely spoken of in Turkey. But since then, it...

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Flekk, Beyoğlu - photo by Merve Göral
Food & Drink Flekk

Located on the hill running from Galatasaray to Tophane, the small and cozy Flekk makes up for its size with kitchen creativity. The casual atmosphere, fresh takes on Turkish cuisine, and a well-stocked drinks menu will make this a popular spot with the younger crowd from Cihangir or Karaköy. Meze...

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Urla Vineyards - photo by Merve Göral
The coasts of Turkey Urla: Aegean offseason travel destination

The enchanting lands of Urla have a direct effect on the people who traverse these blessed landscapes. Here, folks are merry; nature evokes a feeling of sanctuary, which invokes inspirational prose, most literary. Residents of Urla are gentle and at ease and spending a few days here turns visitors...

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Palomar, Karaköy
Food & Drink Palomar

Hidden within many of the old financial buildings shadowing the sidewalks of Bankalar Caddesi are a population of bars and restaurants set far above the street; far from belching cars and exposed to those most precious of ocean breezes. Perhaps the most unobtrusive of these is housed in The Purl...

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Food & Drink Top 7 rooftops in Istanbul

Istanbul is a city of a million memorable vistas, whether you’re overlooking the old city or gazing across the glittering Bosphorus Strait. Soak up these breathtaking views in full 360-degree splendor to make any day a special one. Mikla After extensive research and dedication to creativity and...

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Shopping Top 7 fish markets in Istanbul

With its proximity to the sea, Istanbul’s culinary heart palpitates for fresh fish. To honor that fact, we've compiled the best places to find the freshest varieties of the season to prepare at home. Here's our Top 7 (in no particular order): Reşat Balık Market Located in the Galatasaray Fish...

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Moro, Nişantaşı
Food & Drink Moro

A slew of recent openings on Ahmet Fetgari Sokak in Teşvikiye have turned the area into a dining destination, from the open-buffet breakfast at Plus Kitchen to Turkish homestyle dinners at Doğaya Dönüş Bistro . Now you also have Moro, a place to gather your friends around a table packed with savory...

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Mario Levi, photo by Merve Göral
My Istanbul Mario Levi’s Istanbul: a Torah, a Koran, and a Christmas tree

While Istanbul’s overall population has swelled from around 1 million in 1945 to 15 million today, various splits and calamities have caused much of the city’s Christian and Jewish populations to emigrate. Along with this movement, the living memories of old Istanbul have slowly evaporated. One...

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Istanbul ferries
Istanbul Living Top 7 favorite snaps from our Instagram

Millions of photos are shared on every channel of social media; moments immortalized by the click of a digital shutter. How far we've come over the centuries. On August 19, 1839, the patent for the first practical photographic process was bought by the French government and announced as a gift "...

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Bakırköy, Vue Lounge
Neighborhoods Bakırköy neighborhood guide

Mostly a residential area, Bakırköy has a different pattern than the rest of the city. Unlike the central parts of Istanbul, Bakırköy has managed to keep its unique neighborhood feel. Here, people are not strangers to each other, they love their neighborhood, and are a part of it. The locals and...

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Özdemir Erdoğan, photo by IKSV
Music Master of jazz in Turkey: Özdemir Erdoğan

While fresh talent is always springing from the ground of Turkey, we should also not forget the tall oaks that have stood the test of time. This year Özdemir Erdoğan was the recipient of the Istanbul Jazz Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his well-loved compositions that...

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Culture & history Museum break: cool museums to beat the summer heat

In Istanbul, summers are hot and tourists are plentiful, but there are few places you can go for a break from the crowds and the temperatures while enjoying some of the best sights the city has to offer. Take one of the many boats traveling up the Bosphorus to the village of Beylerbeyi on the Asian...

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Flavor Factor What's in season: fig

Walk down nearly any small street in Istanbul, and a distinct sweet and heady perfume wafts through the late summer afternoons. Hooray! Figs have arrived. Though the dried renditions are available year-round, there’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh, perfectly ripe fig. It’s honeyed fragrance...

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Veysel Berk, photo by Merve Göral
Lifestyle Veysel Berk: making ideas a reality

In Turkey, it is hard to come by a resume like Veysel Berk’s, filled with Boğaziçi University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Berkeley along with start-ups, which have raised millions of dollars of investment. One might even call him an inventor and a genius. Since there is no...

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