Turkey Blogs

  • 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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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • Paragliding in Olu Deniz
    The resort of Olu Deniz is famous for its beautiful blue lagoon but one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery is by indulging in a spot of paragliding. Many people, the brave and the not so brave, are tempted by this breathtaking sport, with jumpers ranging from age 4 to 84 years of age! While the thought of it is quite scary, in reality it is a serene and wonderful experience. As you witness daring holidaymakers descend gracefully, like great colourful birds down the mountainside, the feelings of fear are soon replaced by a yearning to experience this...

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  • Get on the boat!
    I have the best commute in the world. I take a 15 minute stroll from my apartment to the harbor and get on a boat. In a city with 12-20 million people, depending on who’s counting, and only two bridges, the ferries are the best transportation option. But in addition to being practical (and passing a bridge of bumper-to-bumper traffic does drive home the practicality), regular boat rides are perhaps my favorite aspect of life in the city. Public transportation gives you the chance to relax and enjoy the ride instead of dodging between lanes and fighting your way forward...

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  • Building bridges… will Istanbul get a third?
    Will Istanbul get the controversial third Bosphorus bridge? Development was planned to start this year, but it seems it’s a rough road full of potholes./strong> Traffic. That’s all I’m saying, and if you’ve been to Istanbul, I need not explain. If you can’t picture an intercontinental traffic jam (you know, the ones that happen somewhere between Asia and Europe), take a taxi tour at peak hour across one of the Bosphorus bridges. Or even at 2am in the morning. Then you’ll know the very inspiration for building a third bridge across the Bosphorus Strait. Probably, you’ll even be swearing for...

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  • Istanbul’s Million Dollar Views
    It’s lucky Istanbul’s urban sprawl is gifted with nature’s beauty. Just when the clutter of houses and chaos of traffic start to choke, it suddenly gives way to glistening, lapping waves of three wonderful waterways. At the crossroad of the city lie the Bosphorus, Golden Horn and Marmara Sea, blessing Istanbul with amazing scenery and panoramic views. As the sky changes from day to night, the glint of the sun’s water reflection is replaced by the glitter of a million twinkling lights. Istanbul’s views are sure to etch themselves in your memory. These a just a few favourite places to...

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  • Turkish Airlines, the best in-flight food around
    If there’s one part of flying that gets a hard rap, it’s the food. But you can’t say it’s not in some ways deserved. We’ve all been served at least one terrible meal on a flight, haven’t we? It may be the case that airline food is rapidly improving, thanks to a competitive marketplace and plenty of complaints from hungry fliers, but the quality of the fare still does depend on who you book your seats with. Squishy mystery substances and scorching hot – yet strangely tasteless – sauces, the assault to our taste buds is all the more irritating...

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