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LATEST REVIEW

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Wellbeing & Beauty 5 Istanbul spas that rejuvenate in style

Who doesn’t like to escape all the rush and noise of the city, to unwind and relax for an hour or two? In other words, who doesn’t love a spa session? A city like Istanbul sets a fast pace that has everyone trying to catch up. This makes regular spa visits nearly mandatory - and luckily, there is...

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Art “Emotion Commune” streams South Korea’s smart city to Istanbul

Interconnectivity of networks, free capital flows, ergonomic efficiency from mind to interface to production: these are the catchphrases of the digital world that is rapidly encasing our workplaces, homes, and bodies. New York-based artist Mika Tajima has examined these dizzying developments in her...

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Magical talismans of Istanbul, photo by Merve Göral
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Culture & history 15 magical relics protecting Istanbul

Istanbul is a city whose memories stretch far into the past, through the ages of Islam and Christianity back to the ancient religions. The power of the Evil Eye, known in Turkish as nazar, is one example of how these traditions live on. But the Romans also created a complex and intriguing system to...

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Ghulam Mohammad, 2016 Jameel Prize Winner
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Art Three-dimensional calligraphy wins the Jameel Prize

Ghulam Mohammad has been declared the winner of this year’s Jameel Prize, organized by the V&A in partnership with Art Jameel. This is the first year that the prize has been presented outside the UK, and nominated works will be on display at the Pera Museum until August 14. As well as the great...

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CANAN, Istanbul exhibitions, June 2016
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Art V&A nominates Cevdet Erek and CANAN for Jameel Prize

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London began collecting Islamic art in the 1850s, and the renovated Islamic arts wing was renamed the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art in 2006. Along with the renovation came the Jameel Prize, which celebrates contemporary art that draws inspiration from the...

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Beyti Güler, photo by Merve Göral
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My Istanbul Same quality kebap for 70 years: what's Beyti Güler's secret?

For more than half a century, Beyti Güler has kept his restaurant at its best. His reputation has travelled far and wide, with his eponymous Beyti kebab. An adagio was playing through the speakers when we first stepped into one of the oldest restaurants in town. Clearly, Beyti is not your ordinary...

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Anayurdu, Motherland film
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Books & Film Turkey’s clash of generations hits the screen in “Motherland”

The word “motherland” is so familiar in its political connotations that we might forget the subtler, and yet more fundamental, nuances of its components: “mother” and “land”. Senem Tüzen’s debut film picks apart these semantics through three generations of women: the young urbanite, the traditional...

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

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar when Muslims are required to fast every day from pre-dawn to sunset for a month. Due to differences between calendars, each year the dates of Ramadan change by approximately ten days. In 2016 Ramadan runs from June 6 – July 7, followed by a...

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From left to right Tyma Hezam, Akram Al-Amoudi, Farah Salem, Mohammad Shibli, Rawan Husseini, Marwan Haredy
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Arts & Culture Arab photographers take Art Jameel’s Journey to Turkey

The oft-repeated phrase of countless travel guides declares that Istanbul is “a fusion of Europe and Asia”. But in a century when you can buy a Savile Row suit in Dubai or eat falafel in London, we might question whether the concepts of “East” and “West” have much meaning left. On the other hand,...

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Istanbul after dark Where to go for a true meyhane night

On the historic side of the Golden Horn, in Balat, is Balat Sahil Restoran . It has been open for 23 years and its owner’s family emigrated from the Black Sea town of İnebolu, renowned for its various produce and local dishes. As residents of Balat, which has been home to many immigrants from many...

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Rakı, meyhane
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Culture & history From past to present Istanbul's meyhane culture

If there is one social space that epitomizes the true Istanbul experience in this city, it is meyhane . Most commonly referred to as just a Turkish version of a tavern, for many decades, the meyhane has been representing more than just a mere place to eat and drink. It is a place where the...

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Ouzo Roof Restaurant, Kalamış
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Food & Drink Ouzo Roof Restaurant

The moment you step into Ouzo Roof Restaurant, you’ll be mesmerized by the Marmara Sea view – especially if the sun is about to say its goodbye. You’ll feel like you are in a coastal town in İzmir or on a Greek island when you sip your rakı or ouzo with that kind of view. But you cannot simply...

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Ali Ocakbaşı, Gümüşsuyu
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Food & Drink Ali Ocakbaşı

Ali Ocakbaşı’s new location in Gümüşsuyu may just be the perfect way to try ocakbaşı (traditional Turkish grill restaurant) culture. This branch with an eye-catching Bosphorus view is the new addition to the chain, after having successfully operated in Karaköy for three years and over a year in...

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Erdem Helvacıoğlu, Turkish Experimental Music
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Music New anthology dives into Turkish experimental music

It can’t be said that experimental electronic or electroacoustic music is very well known anywhere in the world - and that might be especially true of Turkey. With that in mind, the Sub Rosa label’s new album Anthology of Turkish Experimental Music 1961-2014 is filling an important gap in global...

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Mila Biju accessories
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Design Mila Biju accessories: from whimsical pineapples to elegant flowers

After studying politics and working at a magazine publishing strong political content, Elif Ergenç Işıldar decided to pursue her passion and turn her leisure time activity into her full-time job. “This is what I always wanted to do,” she told The Guide Istanbul, while we were talking about her...

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Ahmet Ümit, photo by Merve Göral
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Books & Film Ahmet Ümit talks about Istanbul's vibrancy, history, dark side

Ahmet Ümit’s latest novel, Farewell, My Beloved Homeland , has sold over 2 million copies since its release in December 2015. Ranked the most translated Turkish author in 2014, Ümit’s reputation stretches across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Given this popularity, it is tempting to put his...

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How to get residence permit in Istanbul
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Practical information Residence permits in Istanbul: All you need to know

Dear reader, please note that this article is strictly informational . For details we advise you to direct all your questions to the Directorate General of the Migration Management located on Vatan Caddesi No. 64 in Istanbul. They will be able to address all concerns you might have. Most foreigners...

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Efruz, Taksim - meyhane
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Food & Drink Efruz

When we walked in to Efruz, at the top of a hotel in Cihangir, the maitre d’ told us, “We’ve got you the table in the corner, with a good view, so you can enjoy your first time in Istanbul.” Never mind that this is nobody’s first time - his attitude in itself is a surefire way to please a guest....

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Baybars Örsek and Batuhan Ersun
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Lifestyle Young Turks: making difference one click at a time

A more tolerant, accountable political landscape in Turkey? It’s possible, and it’s happening. We spoke to Baybars Örsek and Batuhan Ersun of the Dialogue for a Common Future Association, whose innovative, non-partisan approach fuels debate and transparency. They also run Doğruluk Payı, Turkey’s...

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Culture & history Top 7 Istanbul museums

Archaeology Museum Founded in 1881 by the eminent painter, architect, and Renaissance man Osman Hamdi Bey, this often overlooked site is actually a group of three museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. The Museum’s holdings constitute the best...

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Burhan Sönmez, Istanbul Istanbul
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Books & Film Istanbul Istanbul: tales from the underground

Burhan Sönmez’s third novel presents a theme that is all too familiar to intellectuals in Turkey: political imprisonment. For almost a century, the country has seen the sufferings of cultural icons such as Nazım Hikmet, Orhan Kemal, and Yılmaz Güney. It is a topic that touches on Sönmez’s own past...

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Le Meridien Etiler, Explore Spa & Fitness
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Wellbeing & Beauty Explore Spa & Fitness

Situated at Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler, Explore Spa offers everything you might need from a spa. With local touches like a Turkish hammam and additions such as a fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the facility is a well-equipped holistic wellness center. To really discover the...

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Açık Radyo
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Music Istanbul celebrates 20 years of Open Radio

If variety is the spice of life, then we might say that our views, hobbies, and interests are the salt and pepper on our personalities. Despite the trove of niche topics on the Internet we still discover many of these things by word of mouth. So what if you could tune in to those passionate voices...

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Murat Germen
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Art Turkish artists join forces for school in Kilis

“Can art really change the world?” There is no doubt that art can be beautiful, insightful, and disturbing, but at some point every art appreciator will have asked this question to the mirror. If your conscience is still grappling with the problem then you might find some solace at an upcoming...

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