Turkey Blogs

  • 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.

    Read Full Entry

  • 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...

    Read Full Entry

  • 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...

    Read Full Entry

  • 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...

    Read Full Entry

  • 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...

    Read Full Entry

  • Kebab Knowledge – get it while it’s hot!
    It’s the food on everyone’s lips when they arrive to Turkish shores – kebabs, kebabs, kebabs. You dream of how good it’s going to be straight from the source. You order a kebab at the first restaurant you see, wiping a trickle of salvia that escapes the corner of your mouth. The big moment arrives. You’re excited. And suddenly, as you look down at your order, you’re confronted with a perplexing problem: what the hell is that floppy, skinny-arse wrap on my plate? A real Turkish kebab is nothing like the westernised version, where you select to stuff your kebab...

    Read Full Entry

  • Şile…Istanbul’s pretty little secret
    Şile is an Istanbul village on the Black Sea and to the East of the Bosphorus on the Asian side. It is a popular day trip get-away for Istanbulites who normally drive there. I had heard that you can take the public (IETT)bus from Harem (on the Asian side of Istanbul between Uskudar and Kadikoy) to reach Şile but I was suspicious. It seems like a very long way. In fact it is true, the bus (39) starts in Uskudar and you can catch it in Harem or along the E-5 highway near Kadikoy. It costs 7 lira per person...

    Read Full Entry

  • Istanbul’s Sports Showdown – the European Capital of Sport 2012
    Turkey is on a hosting momentum. Having just put the European Capital of Culture 2010 to rest, Istanbul has nabbed itself another title for the trophy room. But what does being elected as the European Capital of Sport mean, exactly? Well, for starters, it means that Istanbul has some pretty sweet sporting facilities: the Türk Telekom Arena, Atatürk Olympic Stadium and Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium have been built or renovated in the last eleven years, plus there are also three UEFA Elite Stadiums among the collection. High quality sporting facilities and event organisation certainly helped get the title, but what will...

    Read Full Entry

  • Common Misconceptions About Turkey
    Most of the news that the Western world receives about Turkey is focused on the more conservative, eastern region of the country, or the violence surrounding border towns that are close to Syria, Iraq, or Iran. The truth is that Turkey is a diverse, secular country that has a wide spectrum of beliefs and cultures. Geographically its cultural landscape makes sense; with the eastern portion of the country that is closer to the Middle East, being more conservative, whereas the western cities that are located near Europe tend to be more liberal. Here are some common misconceptions. Most of them...

    Read Full Entry

  • Cut the crises – cheap eats in Istanbul
    No one should miss out on Turkey’s tasty cuisine, no matter what their financial situation. Sure, you should definitely treat yourself to a gourmet meal in one of the many waterfront classy restaurants. But who can afford to eat like an Ottoman sultan everyday? Choose from some of the following cheap dishes and you might find you can. These are just a few of my favourite things. Breakfast Menemen: the fact that this dish sounds like ‘many men’ will at least get you smiling in the morning. And when it’s served, your grin will get wider as you taste the...

    Read Full Entry