THEY turn 5 as you can see it in their handwriting THEY are going to shake their kebab stuffed bellies to the folk Turkish rhythm. And THEY are going to do it in the only city in the world that spreads across two continents. THEY will have their energy sucked out by carpet touts and THEY will be pushed around by disorderly crowds. THEY will nod to friendly locals (without having a clue what THEY have just been called). THEY will give in to the sesame-encrusted simits (bread rings) and THEY wonâ€™t avoid starting a BS philosophy conversation with a street vendor. THEY will secretly be humming to the rhythm of the prayer and THEY will have their nostrils filled up with enough apple tobacco scent to provide for generations to come.
They Story so far Once upon a time in 660 BC, the history of Istanbul began. Some Greeks came along and built a city called Byzantium. That city went through a lot. Some short Persian rule around the 5th century BC, then the Greeks came back and it went on until the year 335 BC when they said ‘no more’ and decided to become cool and independent. Or so they said because they kinda liked the Romans, so they said “what the hell” and became a part of the empire in 73 AD. Some not so wise decisions followed, like taking the wrong side in a war. That did not end up well. In 195 the city surrendered, devastated. But the Romans still seemed to like it, so after destroying it, they built it again. Even better. Almost. In 324 Constantine the First became the emperor of the Roman Empire and he was a man with a plan. He wanted to make Byzantium a city of Christianity and he also gave it a name, Nea Roma, not so catchy though since everyone started calling it Constantinople. In 330 it was official. Constantinople was the capital of Byzantine Empire. And it was quite good too. It gave the Roman power a nice push and the city was full of Greek culture, tzatziki and Christianity. But that’s not all. It’s not like they were just sitting there being rich and prosperous, but they protected the whole Europe from the invaders from the east as well as Islam. The shit hit the fan at after the 4th crusade. First the catholic crusaders made it into the center of the Latin Empire. It was short but painful. The population went down to 40.000 from nearly half a million. Some more bad calls and some sneaky Ottoman Turks later, led to the capturing of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II, which turned it into the new capital of the Ottoman Empire. Mehmet was a cosmopolitan dude so he made a cosmopolitan city with Muslims, Jews and Christians. By the end of the century there were 200.000 of them. The once symbol of Christianity became a symbol of Islamic culture. People seemed to have quite a blast though because apparently they were reproducing like rabbits. By the end of the 18th century, the population was 570.000. In the 19th century a progressive sultan came along and brought with him bridges, stable water network, electricity, telephones, trams and other nice stuff. But the 20th century was a bit unstable. The British came and the French came and the Italians came. All the coming and going ended in 1923 when Kemal Atatürk convinced the rest of the world to recognize the Republic Of Turkey.
Istanbul Archaeological Museums
In other words, the place where the Ottoman Sultans spent their days and nights for four hundred years of their 624 years of their reign, when they were not busy expanding the Empire. Today it’s the place where tourists spend a significant time of their vacations, admiring among other stuff, the most holy relics of the Muslim world, such as prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword. The palace also belongs to the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. When Sultan Mehmed II took over the city in 1459, he needed a place to rest his royal body. So the construction began. The palace is a complex of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings and it’s been the home of as many as 4000 people. And because not everyone can agree on the color of the circumcision room, the palace underwent many, many changes and renovations, specially after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire. Which explain the asymmetry, even though the original shape was somehow maintained.
Even though the Palace had everything that a royal Ottoman might have needed back in the days, from mosques and bakeries, to a hospital and a mint. Even though as an inhabitant of the palace you would rarely had to go outside of it, people are greedy. So the Topkapi palace gradually lost its importance at the end of the 17th century, to the new hip palaces along the Bosporus. Guess what happened in 1924. It was transformed into a museum! Today, visitors can find besides government officials and armed guards of the Turkish army, excellent examples of Ottoman architecture, large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts, as well as a display of Ottoman treasure and jewelry. address: Babihumayun Caddesi opening hours: Wed - Mon, 9 am - 5 pm Sultanahmet
Not one, not two, but three archaeological museums in Eminönü district. The trilogy consists of 1. The Archaeological Museum (in the main building) 2. The Museum of Ancient Orient 3. And the Museum of Islamic Art (in the Tiled Kiosk). Why three? Well, over one million objects need their space. The museums cover almost all of the eras and civilizations in world history. How is that possible? When it was originally founded in 1891 (the first museum to feature Turkish art) by Osman Hamdi Bey, an imperial decree was enforced in the Ottoman Empire. That meant that aaaaall Turks (governors) had to send in the artifacts to the capital and make a museum, or three, out of them. They did a good job, cause in 1991 the museum received the European Council Museum Award. address: Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gulhane opening hours: Tue - Sun, 9 am - 4 pm Gulhane
Sightseeing #3 Hagia Sofia The Byzantine Emperor Justinian was an Emperor with a dream. A big dream... Bigger than the other two versions of the church, that were destroyed by rioters. It was designed by two Greeks, Isidore of Miletus (physicist) and Anthemiius of Tralles (mathematician). The current building was originally constructed as a church in the year 532 and it took five years to finish. But it was worth it. Until that Seville Cathedral came along and took the place of the largest cathedral in the world in 1520. Even so, biggest or not, it’s considered to have changed the history of architecture. In 1453, when the Ottoman Turks came, the Sultan Mehmed II was not really into Christianity, so he thought he could turn it into a mosque just by adding a few extra Islamic accessories, such as the mihrab, the minbar and the four minarets outside. But still… Finally in 1935, in order to find a middle ground, it was turned into a museum by the Republic of Turkey. address: Aya Sofya Sq opening hours: Tue-Sun, 9 am - 7.30 pm Sultanahmet
Turkish bath - Hamam
Is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Get lost in the more than 58 covered streets, get bankrupt in the 1200 shops and feel like a drop in the ocean of 250.000 to 400.000 visitors. Daily. Besides an excellent tourist trap, the Grand Bazaar is well known for its jewelry, pottery, spice and carpet shops. Today, itâ€™s more of a city within the city, than a bazaar. It contains mosques, banks, police stations, restaurants, workshops and of course numerous shops. When it started though, back in 1461, it was nothing more than a small warehouse. The small warehouse matured and grew bigger and bigger as near by shopkeepers decided to put up roofs and porches for the sake of trading under any weather circumstances. The commerce must go on. By now, there are so many of them, that the street names refer to the trades, such as Jewelers St, Pearl Merchant St, etc St.
That would be the Turkish variant of sauna, distinguished by a focus on water as opposed to steam. In a hamam, first the customer relaxes in a room that is heated (warm room) in order to perspire freely. Then he moves into an even hotter room (hot room) before he splashes himself with cold water. After a full body wash and a massage, the bather retires to the cooling-room for some relaxing time and possibly a drink. Hamams were and are a big deal in Turkey. Back in the days, if women did not receive their pocket money from their husband to go to the hamam, they were actually entitled to a divorce. So, THEY might want to give it a try before they leave.
address: Kapali Carsi Covered Market opening hours: Mon - Sat, 9 am - 7 pm Beyazit
address: Vezir Hani Caddesi 8, Cemberlitas opening hours: 6 am - midnight +90 212-522 7974 Cemberlitas
Ă‡emberlitas HamamÄą One of the best hamams, as well as one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
Turkish 101 turkish <> malti, malti <> turkish Where are the gay venues? I have diarrhoea. Are you stupid? I am not a stupid tourist. We have eaten the poo. Shut your mouth. Move your ass. To get drunk. Are you free tomorrow? Can you breathe? Chill out. Did you burp? Do you really love me? Don’t shoot! Dude.
Nerede gey klüpleri? Var shalim. Seni aptal mi? I aptal bir turist de gilim. Boku yedik! Kapa ceneni. Çek arabanı. Kafayi çekmek. Varin bos musun? Nefes alabiliyor musun? Neselen. Gegirdin mi? Beni gerçekten seviyor musun? Atma! Ahbap.
Give me a kiss.
Bana bir öpücük ver.
He is biting me.
I want to marry you.
Seninle evlenmek istiyorum.
Interactive game Brain action required If you recognise more than seven people, have a closer look at your genealogical tree. 1. __________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________ 4. __________________________________________________ 5. __________________________________________________ 6. __________________________________________________ 7. __________________________________________________ ...
THEY waste their money Shopping places If you are not into rugs, if you are too cool for textiles, bling-blings, and home stuff that you always hate to buy, too bad, cause that is what’s mostly on this list. 1. Cocoon – Rugs & Textiles adress: Kucuk Aya Sofya Caddesi 13 opening hours: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm Sultanahmet
6. Necdet Danis – Textiles adress: Yaglikcilar Caddesi 57, Grand Bazaar opening hours: Mon - Sat, 9 am - 7 pm Beyazit
2. Design Zone – Jewellery & Homewares adress: Alibaba Turbe Sokak 21, Nuruosmaniye opening hours: Mon - Sat, 10 am - 6 pm Beyazit
7. Doors – Clothing adress: Ensiz Sokak 18, Tunel opening hours: Mon-Sat, 9 am- 8 pm; Sun noon - 6 pm Karakoy
3. Mehmet Çetinkaya Gallery – Rugs & Textiles (again) adress: Tavukhane Sokak 7, Kucuk Aya Sofia opening hours: 9.30 am - 7.30 pm Sultanahmet
8. Gönül Paksoy – Clothing adress: Atiye Sokak 16A, Tesvikiye opening hours: ; Mon - Sat, 10 am - 7 pm Osmanbey
4. Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir – Food & Drink adress: Hamidiye Caddesi 83, Eminonu opening hours: Mon - Sat, 8 am - 8 pm Eminonu
9. Haremlique – (last but not least) Homewares adress: Sair Nedim Bey Caddesi 11, Akaretler opening hours: Mon - Sat Kabatas
5. Abdulla Natural Products – Homewares (uh huh) adress: Halicilar Caddesi 62, Grand Bazaar opening hours: Mon - Sat, 9 am - 7pm Beyazit
Hardcore bargaining Survival guide So you think you can bargain? Are you proud of your social skills? Do you feel that everybody likes you? Do you think you are too smart to be treated like a tourist? Do your friends call you a cheap bastard just because you are awfully accurate in your financial deals? Well. Here is your big chance. But your opponent is not just any shop owner. It’s a Turkish shop owner, and that stands for something. There is a protocol to be followed. Don’t expect to just walk in a store, wave your euros and have everyone kissing your feet and other body parts. Welcome to Hardcore Bargaining. First and most essential. TIME. Bargain takes time and if you don’t have enough better just order something on Amazon. Secondarily. Have a look around at the market prices to know the average. You don’t want to be caught uninformed. Then and only then, when you feel you know a thing or two, walk in one of the stores, take a deep breath and let the party begin.
Hardcore bargaining How to do it
Step 1: If we are not talking cheap stuff, a seat and drink will be offered and some chitchat will be made.
Step 3: Carefully take a look at the items that are selected and displayed for you to inspect.
Step 2: General discussion will be made about the store’s goodies, the customer’s (that would be you) tastes, preferences and requirements.
Step 5: Wait for an answer.
Step 6: Look doubtful.
Step 4: Ask for the price.
Step 7: Make a counteroffer. 25-50% lower would do. REMEMBER! If you are the type of person that buys lots of shit for everyone back home, or you are just a shopping freak, buying lots of stuff at once can get you a better offer or a discount if you pay cash and don’t get a receipt.
Step 8: Repeat steps six and seven until mutual agreement is reached. Remain good humored (according to general standards, not according to your personal opinion) and polite. WARNING! Do NOT walk away, I repeat, do NOT walk away after an agreement is reached.
Traffic in Istanbul Run like a motherfucker Pedestrians is a species recognized by the law but not on the streets. As a pedestrian give way to cars and trucks at all times, even if you have to run like a motherfucker.
THEY got wasted
Clubbing in Istanbul
THEY will have a lot of entertainment options. From getting wasted in a glamorous nightclub on the Bosporus and spending their entire (holiday) life savings in the space of one night, to drinking raki and singing loudly at a cheap and cheerful mayhane, while trying to overcome belly dancing and gravity. Istanbul has a killer nightlife. That’s why when Istanbullus go out clubbing they dress to kill (occasionally, good taste is among the victims). If you don’t do the same, you will have to obey the pumped up youngster bouncer and take your business away from the mega-venues on the Bosporus. Fortunately THEY will have no trouble in other parts of town.
1. Sortie – Club and tabloid’s haven
address: Muallim Naci Caddesi 141, Kurucesme opening hours: 6 pm - 4 am Fri & Sat, free Mon-Thu & Sun +90 212-327 8585 Kurucesme
6. Cumhuriyet – Atatürk’s favorite joint back in the days address: Sahne Sokak 47, Beyoglu opening hours: 9 am-2 am +90 212-293 1977 Kabatas
2. Ghetto – Renaissance meets glowing bottles address: Kalyoncu Kulluk Caddesi 10, Beyoglu opening hours: 8 pm - 4 am +90 212-251 7501 Kabatas
7. Reina – Trendy club with a strict door address: Muallim Naci Caddesi 44, Ortakoy opening hours: Mon-Sun +90 212-259 5919 Ortakoy
4. Jolly Joker Balans – Performance hall and glass floor address: Balo Sokak 22, Beyoglu opening hours: from 10 pm +90 212-251 7762 Kabatas
8. Anjelique – Chic “superclub” address: Muallim Naci Caddesi, Salhane Sokak 5, Ortakoy opening hours: 6 pm - 4 am, Mon - Sun +90 212-327 2844 Ortakoy
The Sultan’s revenge
The turkish tapas
Fancy some bacteria with that?
Meze is something beyond food. It’s an eating experience. It’s the little somethin’ to nibble on while waiting for the main course to arrive. If you get carried away though, it will end up being the main course. Suleyman the Magnificent (the dude that started the Topkapi Palace) is to take responsibility for the introduction of meze into the country. While doing some Sultan stuff over in Persia, he learned from the Persian rulers that for every respectable Sultan, a food taster is a must have. So, even though today meze is an eating experience, back in the days it could be the last experience you would ever have if you were one of the lucky, or not so lucky, food tasters. So when Suleyman the Awesome came back home he introduced a new rank in the slaves’ hierarchy. The taste slaves. It sounds kinkier than it is. The taste slaves were given small portions of the Sultan’s meals. If they were still breathing after trying them, the Sultan dove in. If not, somebody in the kitchen would get in trouble. Popular mezes include cacik (yogurt with cucumber and mint), enginar (cooked artichoke), haydari (yogurt with roasted eggplant/aubergine and garlic) and yaprak sarma (vine leaves stuffed with rice, herbs and pine nuts).
Street vendors are everywhere. They’re next to ferry and bus stations, on busy streets and squares, on city bridges, in the corner of the street, in your souvenir photos. They push their carts loaded with all kinds of snacks, nicely arranged to lure you to them. But beware. Some of their snacks are harmless – freshly baked simits, golden roasted corn on the cob, refreshing chilled and peeled cucumber – but other score way high on the ‘are you out of your freakin mind?’ scale. Sample these local treats and you are risking a major dose of the Sultan’s revenge (yes, that is diarrhea).
Uncomplicated Kebabs Eating in Istanbul As THEY should know by now (if THEY read any of the previous pages), Istanbullus love exposing their culture in museums. But there is one thing they love more. Eating. The national cuisine has been refined over the centuries and without a doubt it gets more respect than any museum collection in the country. Culture is nice, but you can’t eat it. Usually. What makes it special is it’s rural charm and honest base. Here meze is simple, kebaps uncomplicated, salads unstructured and sea food un-sauced. That’s right. Un-sauced. It might come as a surprise, but fruits and vegetables don’t actually grow during all the seasons. Tomatoes just don’t exist during the winter. True story. Remember that when your taste buds experience their first orgasm. The dishes served in Istanbul are the same as they are in the rest of the country. With only one difference. They are better. In general, the best eateries are in Beyoglu but Eminönü is the place to go to experience the national dish – Kebabs!
Major offenders: 1. Midye dolma (stuffed mussels): Delicious, exotic, and packed with more bacteria than a beggar’s kiss. Only for those who want to live very, very dangerously. 2. Pis pilav (rice and chickpeas): You will find it behind glass displays and the rice usually comes with boiled chicken, which only makes it even more dangerous. The direct translation is ‘dirty rice’, which gains a whole new meaning when you realize that the stuff often sits in the sun all day. 3. Cig kofte (raw meatball): Raw meat kneaded by hand for hours with wheat, onion, clove, cinnamon, salt and hot black pepper, then formed into patties, usually by a profusely perspiring man with a cigarette in his other hand (at best case). Enough said. 4. Kokorec (lamb’s intestines cooked with herbs and spices): You know how you were always curious about lamb’s intestines? Lucky bastard, here is your chance! Locals love to snack on this smelly stuff. If you don’t feel nauseous yet, give it a try. 5. Balik ekmek (fish sandwich): Best sourced on the quay at Eminönü, this is the most typical Istanbul snack (or so they say). They are harmless when freshly prepared, dangerous when not. Worth the risk.
THEY have their tummies full Afiyet olsun! Cooking Alaturka: Aladutch It’s a little restaurant, and this might sound weird, but it’s run by Dutch born foodie Eveline Zoutendijk. She serves a set four-course menu that changes daily according to what’s in season. address: Akbiyik Caddesi 72A; Sultanahmet opening hours: Lunch Mon-Sat & Dinner by reservation +90 212-458 5919 Sultanahmet Develi: The Kebap King Turks will tuck into anything cooked on a stick with gusto. And we can’t really blame them if we consider their kebab experiences. The kebabs here come in many different colors and shapes, often reflecting the season. The Keme Kebabi (truffle kebab) is only served a few weeks each year for instance. Prices are pretty reasonable for the quality of the food. Plus, it has a terrace with a great view. Oh. And it made it to the Top 100 Restaurants. Of the world. address: Gumusyuzuk Sokak 7, Samatya opening hours: noon - midnight +90 212- 529 0833 Koca Mustafa Pasa Karakoy Gulluoglu: Baklava & Borek Haven The Gullu family opened its first baklava shop in Karakoy in 1949 and has been making customers deliriously happy and dentists obscenely rich ever since. address: Rihtim Caddesi, Katli Otopark Alti, Karakoy opening hours: 8 am - 7 pm, Mon - Sat +90 212-293 0910 Karaköy
Ciya Sofrasi: No Comment The best lokanta in the city. Just that. address: Ahmediye Meydani opening hours: 11am-9pm +90 216-330 3190 Uskudar Zubeyir Ocakbasi: The Meat Joint Prepare the fresh meat in the morning, grill it at night: Spicy chicken wings, Adana Kebabs, flavorsome ribs, pungent liver kebabs and well marinated lamb sis kebabs. Order one dish at a time and share. Since that meat has quite a reputation, book a table. address: Bekar Sokak 28 opening hours: noon - midnigh +90 212-293 3951 Kebatas Sofyali 9: Probably the best meyhane in Istanbul Be prepared to put up a fight to get a table at this place on a Friday or Saturday night. Probably because it serves some of the best meyhane food in all of Istanbul. It’s like eating in a close friend’s home, except you have a really wide range of menu choices. And you don’t have to help with the dishes when you are done. Provided that you pay the bill. address: Sofyali Sokak 9; Tunel opening hours: 11 am - 1 am, Mon - Sat +90 212-245 0362 Karaköy
Mikla: The Big Gun There’s got to be a damn good reason why this place is praised in every travel guide and on every travelers’ blog. Maybe it’s the excellent Mod Med (that’s short for Modern Mediterranean) cuisine, or the top-notch ingredients and simple executions. Maybe it’s the impressive service and wine list, or possible the to-die-for view. But who knows. address: Marmara Pera, Mesrutiyet Caddesi 15, Tepeb opening hours: 6.30 pm - 1 am, Mon - Sat +90 212-293 5656 Karaköy Ece Aksoy: Local & Organic A modern meyhane in trendy Tepebası. Jazz and warm-toned casual interior. This is what your momma would feed you, if your momma were Turkish. Leave with a pleased heart and belly. address: Otelier Sokak 9, Tepebasi opening hours: noon - late +90 212-245 7423 Karaköy Tarihi Karakoy Balik Lokantas: Back in the Days One of the few old-style fish restaurants left on the Golden Horn. It’s a nice surprise to find top-class, perfectly prepared dishes that are within everyone’s budget. No other word for the food, except fabulous. address: Kardesim Sokak 30, Karakoy opening hours: noon - 4 pm, Mon - Sat +90 212-251 1371 Karaköy
The turkish way
Where to drink
If you find yourself in the biggest city of a Muslim country, naturally one might assume, ‘no drinking’. Well, guess again. Even better, take a look yourself on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.
1.Raki (aniseed brandy): If tea drinking is the national hobby, then for sure raki is the national drink. It’s meze’s best friend and is consumed either straight or mixed with a bit of chilled water. That mixing gives it a nice chalky, milky colour (‘the ouzo effect’). That’s the reason why it was given the ‘aslan sütü’ nickname, which literally means ‘lion’s milk,’ and of course is a metaphor for something close to ‘milk of the brave.’ You can have your lion milk on the rocks if you wish. You will still look cool- as long as you don’t add cola to it.
1. Dervis Aile Çay Bahçesi – Çay Bahçesi Lazy tea drinking, nargileh and backgammon. opening hours: 9 am - 11 pm Sultanahmet
1.Tea Gardens (çay bahçesi): It’s safe to say that tea drinking is the national hobby. Sugar cubes are the only accessory necessary to balance the effects of a strong brewing. You will be standing out as a foreigner anyway, you might as well avoid the big sign over your head that screams ‘TOURIST’. How? Just don’t go for the biggest tourist cliché. Sweet apple tea (elma çay). The result of citric acid, packed with spoonfuls of sugar. No self-respecting Turk would even consider drinking that stuff. 2.Turkish Coffee (Türk kahvesi): That coffee is a thick, powerful, kick-ass mathafacka brew. It comes in small portions (guess why) and it’s drunk in short sips. On the bottom of your cup you will always find some grounds. Don’t drink them. You will need them for your future. 3.Orange Juice (portakal suyu): That’s an extremely popular drink, for some reason. 4. Ayran: Very popular drink among the patrons in Kebapcis. The legend has it this is a refreshing yogurt drink. It’s made by whipping yogurt with water and salt. Then again, ‘refreshing’ is a relative term.
2. Bira (you don’t need a translation for that): Second most popular alcoholic beverage. Don’t expect much Heineken and Amstel stuff though. The market is conquered (80%) by the Turkish brand Efes that is supposed to have among other things, a ‘bitter-sweet finish that becomes dry and hoppy.’ Whatever that means. 3. Sarap (wine): Rumour has it that the first wine was produced in Turkey. But who believes rumours anyway. Just look for the following labels to have an enjoyable wine experience. Sarafin, Karma or Doluca Özel Kav.
2. Lale Bahçesi – Çay Bahçesi Cushioned seats under the trees. Always full of students and one of the cheapest (in a good way) teahouses. opening hours: 8 am - midnight Laleli-University 3. Setüstü Çay Bahçesi Hot tea and ferryspotting. opening hours: 10 am - 11 pm Gülhane 4. Leb-I Derya Richmond – Bar/Café Unpretentious place on the top floor with a view to the Old City and the Bosphorus. opening hours: 11 am - 2 am Karaköy
5. Mavra– Bar/Café The artists’, journalists and other so-called creatives’ favorite place. opening hours: 9 am - 4 pm, Sat - Sun Karaköy 6. Nu Teras – Bar Summer-only terrace. Perfect if you are into sunsets and that kinda shit. opening hours: 6.30 pm - 2 am, Fri-Sun Karaköy 7. Tophane Nargileh – Nargileh Café An atmospheric row of nargileh cafes. Just follow the smell. opening hours: 24h Tophane 8. Zihni – Bar Elegant century-old apartment. opening hours: 6 pm - 2 am, Fri - Sat Osmanbey
THEY find Malti
THEY connect the dots
THEY should have their cup read Melekler Kahvesi Eagle: Great improvements in your life. The café and its staff operate under the Turkish idiom that says not to obsess yourself with fortune telling, but also not to devoid yourself of the fun either. And because they practice what they preach, THEY will have their coffee fortune told as a bonus with the coffee. The staff members are by no means professional fortune tellers and they certainly do not assume to be so. They are just doing it for the fun of it, which is the bottom line anyway.
Lines: Straight - Trouble free progress.
Bell: Surprising news.
Coffee fortune telling is as old as Turkish coffee itself. And what you should know about it is: • The cup is divided in two horizontal halves. The bottom half is the past and the top half is the future. • The shapes on the right side are usually positive. The shapes on the left side are signs of bad events, enemies, illnesses, and troubles. • The saucer represents the home and gives clues about domestic life, if any. • Big blank areas in the saucer mean relief. If the shapes are confused it means illness, or a funeral related crowd at the person’s home.
Fruit: Prosperity in your endeavors.
Sword: Enemies will fall.
expiration date: 40 days
Key: Doors opening for you.
Melekler Kahvesi Unpretentious place on the top floor with a view to the Old City and the Bosphorus. address: Ayhan Isik Sokak 36, Beyoglu +90 212-251 3101
1. Coffee should be drunk only from 2. While the saucer is placed on top of one side. the cup and held at chest level, turn a few times counter clockwise.
3. Cup turned upside down and left to cool.
THEY should know better Do’s and don’t’s Good timing: The Istanbul Design Week takes place during 29 Sep – 3 Oct 2010. This year’s theme is ‘meeting’ and it’s held around the iconic landmark connecting the Asian and European side of Istanbul.
Danger zones: Aksaray/Laleli: The number one place to get raped. Grand bazaar: Pickpocket central. The streets off Istiklal Caddesi Beyoglu: Bag-snatching 101.
Custom regulations: Besides your good memories, what you CAN take home with you is: one 100cc bottle or two 75cc bottles of alcohol, one carton of cigarettes (200 cigarettes), 1Kg of coffee and ten cigars. Trying to take antiquities out of the country might extend your stay at a luxurious Turkish prison.
Toilets: The alternative way of taking a dump. Don’t bother looking for the toilet paper. Look for the very low sink with a tap that spits water to all the necessary places. If instead of a toilet you find a tiled hole on the ground, that’s the place to aim. Just don’t sit down. Toilets as THEY know them can be found near the big tourist attractions and transport hubs. Some are acceptable, some are just disgusting. And keep a tissue or a scarf handy.
Smoking: Turks smoke like chimneys. Istanbul is challenging for asthmatics or allergics, or just fanatic, ball breaking, nerve racking non-smokers. Dogs: Yellow tag on a dog’s ear shows it has been vaccinated. Let it bite you. Money: Don’t accept any notes that have looooooots of zeros. Police: They will judge you partly by your personal appearance. The less Sander-like you look, the better for you.
Business hours: Don’t rely on business hours. It’s a very subjective matter. Women: Traveling in Istanbul as a female can be nice and enjoyable. As long as you follow some simple guidelines and don’t show too much cleavage or leg. And sit in the back of the taxi, rather than next to the driver. In case of unwanted, hungry sexual approach yell ‘Ayip’ (ah-yuhp), meaning, ‘shame on you’. Hopefully that will really, really teach the guy a lesson. Keep your fingers crossed too, just in case. Photographs: Not everybody wants to be in your Facebook pictures. Ask permission before taking one. And be prepared to send a copy if you are asked to.
THEY have a scedule The masterplan