Turkey Blogs

  • Part 3. Life and times of a Modern Day Orientalist – “Why not open a bar in Goreme?”
    Just a quick recap………………. Part 1 of this saga dealt with the subject of how I found myself in this fascinating country. Travelling from Greece in 1984 and sleeping in Ephesus ancient city, sights, sounds, smells and people. Part 2 leads from 1984 into a further trip where I made a remarkable  mysterious discovery of a possible past-life. Now here we are again………… After my third or fourth trip to Turkey I had decided it was the place for me. i simply could not get enough of it. At this time in my life there had been several dramatic upheavals. I had lost a...

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  • How to ride a Turkish Dolmus?
    1- There are no dolmus stops. They stop and pick-up passengers whenever and wherever they want. This is good if you are a passenger waiting for a dolmus. This is not good if you are driving behind the dolmus. So, wait at an appropriate point where they can see you and they can stop without too much “Fast and The Fourios” movements. 2- You can easily hail them and they will stop. Most of the time they will stop or honk even if you don’t hail. 3- Before hop on to the dolmus, make sure it goes to the same...

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  • Staying in Istanbul: The Best Boutique Hotels in the City
    The city of Istanbul is filled with a myriad of hotels and hostels, but what makes theirs a cut above the rest is their contemporary takes on historical architecture and their rich Turkish heritage. These beautiful hotels are spread across the various neighborhoods of the city, some more favorable than others, like the district of Taksim or the tourist hotspot Sirkeci

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  • Foreign Film Production in Turkey: The Top 5 Films
    Turkey is becoming a popular film production hub for Hollywood as filming in Turkey becomes more favourable for the producers. VAT rebate recently offered by the Turkish Directorate of Cinema and success of popular films “Skyfall” and “Argo” are the reasons behind the increasing number of foreign productions.

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  • Buying Leather in the Grand Bazaar – Inside tips from storeowners
    Turkish leather is famous – or should that be infamous? But the horror stories of being ripped off can leave one feeling rather scared when forking out cash to get your object of leather desire. Unless, of course, you’re in the know-how.

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  • Don’t leave home without your travel tips for Istanbul
    Don’t leave home without your top ten tips – before you go to Istanbul… Before you embark on your getaway trip to Istanbul for a glimpse of Byzantine and Ottoman history, below are ten tips for your travels in Turkey. If you’ve only got time for a weekend getaway in Istanbul, it helps to fast track the leaning process of helpful hints without the awkward moments.

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  • Top Ten Churches in Istanbul – A Christian past
    Tell-tale signs of a Christian past are littered throughout the city. The diverse selection of Istanbul’s churches is a reference to its multi-cultural past, when it led as a cosmopolitan city of religious tolerance. These beautiful churches now stand true to the religious minorities that exist in the city today. Hagia Sophia – Church of Holy Wisdom (Aya Sofya) If only the walls could tell tales of this building’s transformation from church to mosque to museum. The architectural feat of Hagia Sophia in 537A.D. apparently led Emperor Justinian I to declare ‘Oh Solomon, I have outdone thee!’. It was the...

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  • Top ten for Istanbul – after sightseeing…
    After the sights have been seen, kebabs consumed and photos taken, how can you further your experience of the true Turkish culture? If you’re lucky enough to have more than just a weekend in Istanbul, venture out of the touristic Sultanahmet for a taste of the real Istanbul. 1. The Bosphorus. It would be sinful not to embrace the Bosphorus in some way, considering it’s the throbbing vein of Istanbul and responsible for much of its history. Take a boat tour from Eminonu or fine dine in one of the many restaurants that are scattered along the waterfront from Besiktas...

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  • Digging through underwater history – the Marmaray Tunnel Project
    Given Istanbul’s a crammed city, it seems obvious to dig underground for infrastructure solutions. But, as the underwater Bosphorus tunnel proves, below the ground is just as cluttered as above. Yes, there’s something going on under Istanbul’s waters. The world’s deepest undersea-immersed tube tunnel currently lies dormant under the Bosphorus Strait. Marmaray is the grand title given to this underwater rail transport project, a combination of the ‘Sea of Marmara’, which lies south of the project site, and the Turkish word for rail, ray. And while the tube tunnel was completed back in 2008, it’s still yet to grace Istanbul...

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  • Fly to space from Turkey in a “bloon”
    No, this is not the plot of a futuristic movie set in 2083. But it does involve advanced technology and almost-extraterrestrial activity. It seems that Turkey is looking to space for possible touristic adventures. Well, near-space, at least. A Turkish company, VIP Tourism, plans to bring the Spanish designed ‘bloon’ to Konya, Turkey, as soon as 2014. What the hell is a ‘bloon’ you ask? It’s a balloon-like pod that allows people to soar 36km above Earth for an astronaut view. That’s twice the cruise altitude of the super-speed Concorde. And seeing the tour goes for two whole hours, you...

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