Turkey Blogs

  • Secrets of Istanbul’s history
    To those who know the history of Istanbul’s turbulent past, each name and location can reveal a treasury of secrets. Open the vault to reveal a couple of interesting facts about Istanbul’s history. Istanbul claims fame from being the only city in the world to straddle two continents. However, historically, Istanbul’s centre was only situated on the European side while two separate cities existed on the Asian side. It only came to incorporate these separate cities and become a cross continental city in the 20th century. In fact, the extent of Istanbul today is the result of explosive immigration that...

    Read Full Entry

  • Nuclear Turkey: Keeping it Clean
    Japan has been hit with a calamity comparable only to that of the atomic bombs that befell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  As we watched from our television screens and computer monitors in horror the tsunamis wiping out towns and villages, we were unaware of what would happen next.  Within hours, word broke out that one of Japan’s nuclear sites had exploded, and within days, radiation reached lands as far as Italy and arguably the US. These awful events have now opened up new discussions concerning the plans proposed for Turkey’s new nuclear power plant developments.  The debate, sparked by a...

    Read Full Entry

  • Hagia Sophia’s History – A cathedral, mosque and museum
    Hagia Sophia, history, facts,

    Read Full Entry

  • Izmir: The Center of It All
    Many questioned me when I explained that I was moving to Izmir. The automatic, almost robotic response was, and still is sometimes “Why not Istanbul?” Of course, Istanbul is a city unparalleled in history, architecture, and food. It’s a globalized city, as you will see from the explosion of capitalistic shopping centers and eatery chains. In many ways, Istanbul does have it all. But I would argue that Izmir has an edge over Istanbul in terms of living and lifestyle, due to its location and environment, which still makes it the pearl of the Aegean. The positive aspects about the...

    Read Full Entry

  • The Many Historical Names of Istanbul
    A quick guide to the transient names of Istanbul over its history. With a transient past of ownership and religions, it’s no surprise the city of Istanbul has a chronicle of names. Trace the history of Istanbul’s names as it changed from the hands of Byzantines to Latin Crusaders, from Ottomans to Turks.

    Read Full Entry

  • Turkey- Drinking It In
    Ayran was my first love in Turkey. I discovered the yogurt drink at a touristy restaurant in the old town, Sultanahmet, when I randomly ordered it off the drinks list, probably attracted by the word “traditional” next to it. “Would you like it salted?” The waiter asked. I said no, I don’t know why. I’ve never wanted anything unsalted in my life. “Have you had ayran before?” “Yes,” I lied irritably. “Of course.” The drink was disappointing, but I was determined to enjoy it. When the waiters weren’t looking, I shook some table salt into the glass. It was transformed....

    Read Full Entry

  • Pastimes at Pierre Loti
    Unlike its Bosphorus brother, the Golden Horn did not inherit bold beauty, luxury mansions, suave cafes and swanky restaurants. Having spent the better past of history remaking its image, it now offers clean and quiet tranquility that attracts local crowds to its shores. Watching over the Golden Horn’s fight for survival, a little hilltop cafe stood steadfast and dedicated, Pierre Loti Cafe. This lookout point and café has continued to attract visitors to its humble dwellings for offering the best views of the Golden Horn. As the sunset truly burns the waters golden, the ethereal beauty is not lost as...

    Read Full Entry

  • Say “CHEESE”!
    My love for cheese is so big that almost makes me believe I was a mouse in my previous life! It’s a “must have” in my cooler and I can eat it any time of the day. Although I do not know the history of cheese but I know for sure that it has a special place in Turkish cuisine. For those who needs to know what cheese is Turkish Food Regulation described it as a dairy product with particular taste, aroma and consistency, produced by coagulating raw milk, UHT milk or milk cooked at 72 degrees for two minutes...

    Read Full Entry

  • Finding work in Turkey
    Moving to Turkey came with an understanding that most foreigners don’t heavily consider until it’s too late; finding a job. Now, there are many people who do come to Turkey with a previous contract already situated. They’ve made a deal with a Turkish company or an international company based in Istanbul or other parts of Anatolia, accompanied with legal documents which guarantee and protect their right to work abroad. However, there are many who wait until after arriving to start looking for work, or have ‘connections’ that may promise them an ‘opportunity’. I can surely say that if you don’t...

    Read Full Entry

  • Booozaaa!
    Despite of the cold weather in winter, there are some nice traditions that can warm up your soul… As an Istanbullite, one of the nicest tradition of winter is a famous local drink called “Boza“. Made from a fermented grain, boza is a cold drink served with cinnamon and roasted chick peas. It has a thick consistency with a little acidic sweet flavor and low alcohol content (usually around 1%). This tasty drink’s history dates back to thousand years ago in Mesopotamia. It’s said that because of its vitamin contents (A, B and E) it was mostly drunk by the...

    Read Full Entry