Magical talismans of Istanbul, photo by Merve Göral

Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

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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Murat Bulut Aysan, photo by Merve Göral
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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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Find over 2,000 years of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern history in the city’s museums. From Sufism to photography, Istanbul is full of cultural marvels.

In British author A.S. Byatt’s best-selling collection of fables, the title story, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye , takes its inspiration from the Turkish glass known as çeşme bülbül, “ nightingale’s eye”. Her storyteller’s erotic genie emerges from a bottle made with this mysterious swirling...

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A short walk from the bustling Ali Suavi Sokak, referred to by locals as “The Artist’s Square,” Art Sequoia is a newly opened ceramics studio that adds another layer of creativity to this neighborhood. Walking down the street, bright and eccentric ceramic pieces immediately capture your attention and it is impossible not to peek inside to see the hand-crafted personality and details of these objects. Rabia Özdemir Tokat, the owner of Art Sequoia, characterizes her space as a not only a shop but also a workshop space and art gallery. Her motivation for opening the store is to reach people who seek to use art as a form of rehabilitation or therapy, and she invites anyone to participate in one of her ceramics workshop sessions.

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