Turkey Blogs

  • 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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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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