Lale September - October 2017

Page 1



Keep Calm and Bake On Meet Pastry Chef Sylvie Giaquinto


Istanbul Biennial

Cosmetics from your Kitchen

What Makes a Good Neighbour? IWI Social Responsibility Meet our 2017-2018 Grantees




12 BUSINESS NETWORKING Building businesses and building bridges

14 SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Meet our 2017-2017 grantees




3 LETTERS FROM THE EDITOR AND CHAIR 4 PROGRAMMES Get your dose of art, culture and

food in September and October



18 NEIGHBOURHOOD Walking Beautiful Büyükada 20 HANDMADE Finding handmade items in the Grand


24 INTERVIEW In focus with photographer Noemie


30 CULTURE The 15th Istanbul Biennial returns 34 LIFE Meet our new Program Partner, Banu Küçüksubaşı 54 MUMS ‘N KIDS Help ease your kids back to school;

Annezen supports women on their journey of motherhood and beyond


the city

Going the distance with running clubs around

36 GOURMET Pastry chef Sylvie Giaquinto’s creations are a feast for all the senses


Summer Reading from Book Club 1; Author Nina Willner discusses her book Forty Autumns



Escape to romantic Romania; Sicily on a

50 BEAUTY Do-It-Yourself natural cosmetics 51 ART The Istanbul Comics & Art Festival 52 WELLNESS The pursuit of happiness


LALE BOARD INFORMATION IWI Office Hours: First Wednesday of the month, 10:30am to 1:00pm. Answering service available every working day Adres/ Address: Esentepe Mahallesi, Büyükdere Caddesi, Ecza Sokak. Pol Center No: 4/1, Levent, Istanbul – TURKEY Telephone: 0212 705 6215 Dergi Adı / Magazine Name: Lale, Monthly Programme of the International Women of İstanbul Yayını Yapan / Publisher: IWI International Women of İstanbul, Dernek Kod: 34-64/027 İrtibat Adresi / Address: Esentepe Mahallesi, Büyükdere Caddesi, Ecza Sokak. Pol Center No: 4/1, Levent, Istanbul – TURKEY İmtiyaz Sahibi / Licensee: Yasemin Kunze Adres/ Address: Piyalepaşa Bulvarı, Kastel İş Merkezi B-Blok Kat 5 Kasımpaşa-Istanbul Sorumlu Yazı İşleri Müdürü / Responsible Editor: Yasemin Kunze Adresi / Address: Piyalepaşa Bulvarı, Kastel İş Merkezi B-Blok Kat 5 Kasımpaşa-Istanbul Yayın Türü / Issue Type: Yerel Süreli Tasarım / Design: Marlet Corporate Publications +90 216 386 32 16 Matbaa / Printer: Marlet Print Solutions Fener Kalamış Caddesi: No:30 Kalamış / İstanbul +90 216 386 32 16 Basım Tarihi: 24.08.2017 Sayı: 89 Official Facebook page: Instagram account @iwistanbul Cover picture by: Noemie Deveaux



Anna Ilhan

Vice Chairwoman



Leen Saket


Jeanette von AlvenslebenNiethammer

Business Networking Coordinator

Halima Hodzic

Communications Coordinator Sibele Valsani

Community Coordinator

Maria Eroğlu

Events Coordinator


Lale Editor

Monisha Kar

Membership Coordinator

Elena Sklyarskaya

Mums N Kids Coordinator

Lyubov Gürler

Newcomers Coordinator (Asian Side)

Gabriele Sailer

Newcomers Coordinator (European Side)

Ayşe Yücel

newcomerseurope@iwi-tr. org

Online Marketing Coordinator


Programs Coordinator

Fiona Slay

Social Responsibility Coordinator

Wendy Chan

Sponsorship Coordinator

Gülşen Şahin

Volunteers Coordinator

Anna Mozejko

Business Networking Administrator

Julia Bayram

Social Responsibility Administrator

Dusty Kara

Program Team Members

Olga Dundar, Kathleen di Giacomo, Alexis Harvey

Sponsor Support Administrator

Gintare Nemanyte

Venue Administrator

Merle Klehn

Advertising Coordinator




Ruth Terry

Art Director


Photo Editor

Sogdiana Arslan


A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to a new season of IWI! For me, September is like another January; a signal to return to routine and a time to kickstart new projects, habits, and invest in ourselves. Whether you are new to IWI or a long-time member, we hope participating with us motivates and inspires you to do something new and different. Our programmes will kick into high gear this fall and, we welcome Art Historian and consultant, Banu Küçüksubaşı as a new cultural partner. Banu will facilitate excursions that expose our members to the vibrant Istanbul art scene and help us explore another facet of the city. You can read about her on page 34. Speaking of art, the Istanbul Biennial returns this September and October with the theme of ‘a good neighbour’. Six cultural institutions will open their doors to visitors, free of charge, with exciting exhibits and lectures. Also look for signs around the city as part of a worldwide tour. With summer travel winding down, September and October are still good times to plan a getaway, and take advantage of competitive prices and thinning crowds. For those who want another stamp on their passport, Romania is a quick flight from Istanbul. And, in our backyard, Büyükada makes for a nice day trip away from the hectic pace of the city. A new season also means new Social Responsibility grantees. In the last issue, you read about the process of selecting our grantees, and in this issue we reveal the new organisations that we chose on page 14. Come join us, I promise it will be fun! All the best, MONISHA KAR Lale Editor

A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR As expatriates, we have the opportunity to experience new places and cultures, not as tourists but as residents; which is always very different. Acclimating to a new city and culture is constantly a test of our resilience, perseverance and grit. One challenge we all share is finding a support network and a purpose (this is especially true if you are not working). I suppose that this is one of the primary reasons I have been so drawn to the International Women of Istanbul organisation. Once I arrived in Istanbul I quickly found a support network of women who understood most of my challenges as I stumbled through Istanbul trying to find my way. I have always appreciated the friendship of fellow members and the opportunity IWI has given me to continue my professional growth with a volunteer position where I, and others, can showcase our talents, learn new skills and further our professional ambitions.

contact me at Everyone has a talent that will be of great use to IWI. You may check out some of the areas where you can contribute on page 58. I look forward to working with you during the next year. Warmest Regards, Anna ILHAN IWI Chairwoman

As we embark on a new season (and for some a new school year), please know that there is a network of support in Istanbul for you. Additionally, if you would like to explore volunteer opportunities with IWI, please do not hesitate to


LALE PROGRAMMES SOCIETY ISTANBUL ORIENTATION – A NEWCOMERS INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY İstiklal to Tünel. We will discover some hidden restaurants and pass the iconic Galata tower and down the hill to SALT, the former Ottoman Bank, beautifully renovated into a cultural centre with a large public library, an English bookshop and several interesting art spaces. We will stop to buy the essential travel pass “İstanbulkart” , top it up for new users and take a ferry ride to the Asian side and the Kadıköy fish and spice market which will provide the perfect setting to sample Turkish coffee traditionally cooked in ashes and taste Turkish delight from the original producers. We finish by exploring the bustling spice market of Kadıköy to ‘shop like a local’.

Designed for newcomers to Istanbul, this is an opportunity to quickly learn the layout of the city and how to navigate around it – explore the central trendy districts, understand the public transport network, and pick up some important first words of Turkish! Our guide, Monica Fritz, is a New Yorker who has lived here for 20+ years. Well known to expats for her in-depth walking and photography tours, she is providing this tour tailored just for us. We will start in Cihangir, a pretty, bohemian neighbourhood with lively nightlife and a large expat community. Next up is Çukurcuma, a ‘must’ for antique and curiosity shop lovers. We will stop for a typical Turkish breakfast, so come hungry! - please pay for your own selections. If possible, we’ll visit a small mosque and stroll the back streets opening onto the main pedestrian street of

Monica is passionate about Istanbul, speaks fluent Turkish and can answer almost any question about living in this remarkable city. On this tour, we think you will find out why living here is a joy. Date

Tuesday, 19 September 2017




Meeting point will be at Taksim Square in front of the Marmara Hotel


Basic and Honorary members: 75 TL; Classic and Business members: 70 TL; Guests: 80 TL


Minimum: 6; Maximum: 15


Online at by Saturday, 16 September 2017


DISCOVERING CHOCOLATE you will learn about the chocolate-making process and discover the technology behind perfecting chocolate products. We’ll cover crystallization techniques, dipping and moulding, as well as an introduction to ganache and emulsion. Working in small groups and using professional equipment and Callebout Finest Belgian Chocolate, we will discover and practice three different types of chocolate-making process - Chocolate Coconut Truffles - Traditional Beyoğlu Chocolate with nuts & pistachio - Cherry Liquor Filled Chocolates. The price includes coffee on arrival, a recipe booklet, and a share of your product to take home (approx. 200gr of each type): The perfect event for anyone who has a desire to become a chocolatier, or who would just like to learn the basic skills of working with chocolate, “Discovering Chocolate” is a great workshop for beginners and those wanting to gain real mastery of handling chocolate. Dive right into working with chocolate! Under the watchful eye of Chef Ercan Egi, a chocolatier of many years’ standing, and in the professional kitchen environment of the Marriott hotel, you will enjoy 3 hours of top-class learning. This hands-on workshop will start by providing the fundamental knowledge required for working with chocolate;



Friday, 22 September 2017


11:00am – 2:00pm


Marriott hotel, Şişli


Basic and Honorary members: 160TL; Classic and Business members: 150TL; Guests: 175TL


Minimum: 7; Maximum: 12


Online at by Tuesday, 19 September 2017


LALE PROGRAMMES COFFEE AND CULTURE AT BUYUKADA Walking in Büyükada, with its beautiful buildings, and where cars are banned, you can lose yourself in an age that has passed us by. Büyükada brings history, literally, back to life. Join Mimo for an orientation walk of 1-1.5 hours, and then choose how to spend the remainder of the time available to you – there are strenuous hikes to high peaks for great views across the Sea of Marmara, the charming St George’s monastery, a fascinating little museum covering the history of the Princes Islands and their former Greek inhabitants, beaches for swimming, and some wonderful cafes and restaurants…. Delay your return to the city for as long as you can! Please see the article in the current Lale magazine for more about beautiful Büyükada. For our September Coffee and Culture tour, we’ll take a wander on the beautiful Büyükada, with our IWI member Mimo.


Tuesday, 26 September


10.30 meet on the Island – boat details will be provided to registrants

Residents of Istanbul are extremely fortunate to have their very own archipelago within the city bounds enabling us, with just a short ferry ride, to escape the mega-city atmosphere of Istanbul and be enveloped by a tranquil and slower pace of Island life. With its fragrant pine tree forests and wild olive trees not only is it amazingly peaceful and totally different from the hectic city life of Istanbul, Büyükada also has a very rich history and culture of its own.


Büyükada, Princes Islands


All members: 10 TL


Minimum: 6; Maximum: 14


Online at Saturday, 23 September



Istanbul has always attracted artists, but this is one not to be missed. Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and likely its most outspoken domestic critic. Despite challenges of censorship and battling the legal system, Ai expresses himself and organises support for protest through his art and social media. Our IWI partner Banu Küçüksubaşı, a professional Art Historian and Tour Guide, will provide an enlightening and engaging guided tour of both the permanent calligraphy collection and the Ai Weiwei special exhibition. Sakıp Sabancı began collecting Ottoman calligraphy and Ottoman art in the early republican period. Today’s museum, in the beautiful “Horse Mansion” (built in the 1920’s and named after the wonderful statue in the garden overlooking the Bosphorus), contains his private collection of around


1,000 items. It has hosted several important exhibitions of international artists since opening in 2002. We will first the permanent Ottoman calligraphy collection, seeing valuable Qurans, calligraphic panels, and fermans. Seize this rare opportunity to learn about how Islamic culture is abstract, and how two dimensional lines have much deeper meanings as they reach out into the fourth dimension. Banu will talk about calligrapher sultans, how calligraphy was also used to make pictures, and how the usage of words describes the world in place of drawing it, making comparisons with modern and contemporary art. Then on to the highlight - Ai Wei Wei’s works. Ai’s work consists of installations, videos, photos, and sculptures focusing on political matters, human rights, refugees and other subjects. We are delighted that his first solo exhibition in Istanbul will be interpreted for us by Banu. The lovely mansion, with excellent terrace café and stunning Bosphorus views, might keep you lingering all afternoon! Date

Wednesday, 27 September 2017




Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Emirgan


Basic and Honorary members: 50TL; Classic and Business members: 45TL; Guests: 60TL


Minimum: 10; Maximum: 30


Online at by Sunday, 24 September 2017



Many different cultures have left their marks here in Istanbul, and made it the cosmopolitan, intriguing city that we love. Our IWI Partner Şerif Yenen, a true expert and a Turkish gentleman, will host us in his beautiful old apartment building in Çihangir. We will be given a chance to understand the fascinating history of Turkey and Istanbul, and thereby be better able to appreciate the significance of key events. We’ll learn more of the different peoples that have left their mark here - Turkey has no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites! Interactive sessions will allow us to share our own insights and experiences, as well as to ask those questions that we never dared to raise! You will come away noticing more of the environment surrounding you, and be inspired to explore and discover more of the city and indeed wider Turkey. Topics of discussion will be:

• Understanding how Asia Minor was shaped by many migrations, and how Turkey came into being • Getting to grips with the history of Istanbul and the treasures you can see in the city today • The Turkish people – customs and behaviour, language and superstitions, mercantile practices; how to get on with your neighbours and conduct negotiations here • The ‘must-see’ places to visit in Turkey Turkish kahve (coffee) and çay (tea) will be served, as well as a delicious typical light lunch. Also included in the price, participants will receive a wonderful 1-hour CD video about Istanbul, as well as illustrated maps of both Istanbul and Turkey showing the cultural highlights. This day will delight those interested in understanding more about Istanbul, Turkey and the Turkish people, whether you are a new arrival here or you are interested in getting deeper insights from an expert. Date

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


10:00am – 2:30pm


Cihangir, details to be provided to registrants


Basic and Honorary members: 170 TL; Classic and Business members: 160 TL; Guests: 180 TL


Minimum: 10; Maximum: 30


Online at by Saturday, 30 September 2017


TURKISH COOKING AT HOME healthy and flavoursome dishes. Recipes will be provided for you to keep. • • • •

Stuffed Grape leaves in olive oil Stuffed green peppers in olive oil Cheese filled sıgara börek Smoked eggplant salad 2 ways w/ garlic yogurt and with tomatoes, onions, peppers, parsley • Green beans in olive oil • Fava (dried broad beans cooked and mashed) served with olive oil and lemon juice and dill And, time permitting, Ayşe will also demonstrate leeks in olive oil made with quince and dried plums. We will share the dishes together over lunch and enjoy discussing our morning’s discoveries. While in Istanbul, why not take the time to learn some delicious Turkish recipes which you can share with your friends and family whilst you are living here, and when you return home? Turkish cuisine is a reflection of a rich cultural and historical heritage. With an emphasis on seasonal freshness and delicately flavouring with spices, healthy Turkish food is a feast for all the senses. IWI’s very own gourmet guru, Ayşe Yücel, will once again be giving a Turkish Cooking demonstration in her inviting kitchen for those who would like to learn more about traditional Turkish cuisine and how to produce some of the unique,


Thursday, 5 October 2017


10:30am – 2:30pm


Ayşe’s home in Yeniköy (details to be provided to participants)


Basic members: 100 TL; Classic, Business and Honorary members: 90 TL; Guests: 110 TL


Minimum: 10, Maximum: 14


Online at by Monday, 2 October 2017




Join us for an evening of culture, with the wonderful opportunity to learn about Ottoman art and how it reflects the colourful history of Turkey. Our IWI partner Banu Küçüksubaşı, a professional Art Historian and Tour Guide, will provide an enlightening and engaging guided tour. Inaugurated in 2005, Pera Museum, owned by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, offers an outstanding range of high quality culture and art services. Set in historic Tepebaşı, the impressive building was originally conceived as the Bristol Hotel, and in 2003 was transformed into a modern, fully equipped museum. The masterly preservation of the façade has safeguarded an integral part of Istanbul’s architectural heritage. Today, “the Pera” has become a leading and distinguished cultural centre in one of the liveliest quarters of İstanbul.

We will tour the permanent Orientalist collection, titled “Intersecting Worlds”. Here we will witness Ottoman life from the 17th to 19th century through the eyes of ambassadors and the painters accompanying them. We will discuss how the incoming Europeans influenced the changing image of the Ottomans from the 18th to 19th century, forming the basis of Orientalism. Osman Hamdi Bey is thought of as the Renaissance gentleman who laid the foundations of Turkish art, and is now considered as the only eastern orientalist painter in art history. In a section dedicated to his works, we will view one of his masterpieces - ‘The Tortoise Trainer’ - full of symbolism, and known as one of the most important Turkish artworks. We welcome partners and friends as guests, and will ask upon registration whether you will join for supper afterwards nearby, at the charmingly restored Pera classic, Adahan Istanbul, in their Cachi Lokanta (roof terrace or inside depending on the weather). The event price is for the guided tour only, supper will be paid for separately. Museum entrance is free at this time. Date

Friday, 13 October 2017




Pera Palace Museum, Tepebaşı


Basic and Honorary members: 50TL; Classic and Business members: 45TL; Guests: 60TL


Minimum: 10; Maximum: 30


Online at by Tuesday, 10 October 2017


UNDERGROUND ISTANBUL – WHAT LIES BENEATH city are being uncovered. History is being re-written. This tour will surprise even long-time residents of İstanbul with many unknown and unexpected ruins beneath the city. In the company of Şerif Yenen, from IWI partner CIP Events, we can experience the feeling of discovery and privilege of seeing many artefacts, which millions of people living here ‘above ground’ are unfamiliar with. The program will include visits to several cisterns, palace ruins, some sub-structures, storage rooms and vaulted rooms. We will make a lunch stop (not included in the price) at a restaurant with good local food. Entrance fees, a coffee, CIP Events informative pamphlets and maps, and a tour guide audio system are all included in the price. Following excellent feedback from this tour in May, we are very pleased to be able to offer this event for those who couldn’t make it last time. Istanbul, as the capital of three great empires - the Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman - has a very diverse and rich history. One of the most unique cities in the world, we are privileged to live here and have much to discover. But over the centuries, sometimes out of ignorance or lack of appreciation, sometimes in haste or to meet urgent needs, newer buildings have been built over older ones. Today, as we go back and investigate more, and in the course of recent construction projects, new discoveries are being made constantly, and long-lost traces of previous occupants of the



Tuesday, 17 October 2017


10:00am – 3:00pm


Starting from Sultanahmet – details to be provided to registrants


Basic and Honorary members: 100TL; Classic and Business members: 90TL; Guests: 110TL


Minimum: 15; Maximum: 25


Online at by Saturday, 14 October 2017


LALE PROGRAMMES PHOTOGRAPHY WALK – ORTHODOX ISTANBUL AND LITTLE SYRIA the most conservative neighbourhood of the city, named Çarşamba after its Wednesday market, and take a detour to visit the splendid Pammakaristos church with its 12th century Byzantine mosaics. From there, we will explore the fascinating back streets of the relatively new Syrian area for lunch in one of their best local eateries. The walk will be conducted at a leisurely pace in order to notice details, and feel the atmosphere of the different areas and locals. Participants will be encouraged to stop and take photographs when they see something inspiring, and to ask questions about their photography. Lunch, coffee and local transportation are not included in the fee. Our IWI guided walks partner Monica Fritz is well known for her photography, and for this tour she will be sharing her passion and providing some great photo opportunities for us. We start with a walk through gentrified Karaköy and a visit to the Russian Orthodox church hidden away in a dilapidated apartment building. Then we’ll take a short ferry ride across the Golden Horn to Fener, and take a brief coffee break in the quaint and colourful neighbourhood. From there, we head up to the scenic hilltop looking over the old peninsula between fig trees and shacks. Down the road, we will enter the only Byzantine church that has never been converted into a mosque, Mary of the Mongols, with its lovely courtyard looking over the prominent Greek Boys school. Crossing over the street, we will enter

As added service, each participant will be invited to send Monica up to three photographs for her review and feedback! Date

Friday, 20 October 2017




Meet at Karaköy pier at 10:30


Basic and Honorary members: 75 TL; Classic and Business members : 70 TL; Guests : 80 TL


Minimum: 6, Maximum: 15


Online at by Tuesday, 17, October 2017


COFFEE AND CULTURE – ANADOLU HISARI AND KÜÇÜKSU KASRI From here, we will stroll along the seashore road, crossing the pretty bridge over Göksu stream, to circle the Anadolu Hısarı (“Asian Fortress”) - the most important early Ottoman monument in Istanbul. Built between 1390-95 as an Ottoman observation post and station for troops, it served, in 1453, an important role as the eastern end of the “throat-cutter” line created by Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror), who constructed the opposing Rumeli Hısarı (“European Fortress”) to cut off vital re-supply of Istanbul from the Black Sea. We continue by following the cobbled alleyway past an open air namazgah (prayer place) and several lovely yalıs, one of which houses a café where we’ll make a stop for refreshments. Afterwards, we’ll continue along the quayside lined with boats until we arrive back at the bridge where the walk will end. Our October Coffee and Culture walk will be led by longstanding Istanbullu and valued IWI member Lesley Tahtakılıc. We will start with a short guided tour by a caretaker of the small but interesting and impressive Küçüksu Kasrı. The Kasrı was designed by the architect of the Dolmabahçe Palace, at the behest of the cultured Abdülmecid, to replace a wooden yalı with a building that would be a miniature version of Western-style Dolmabahçe Palace. Containing no bedrooms or hamams, it was intended as a hunting lodge, or a pleasant place to stop for a picnic on excursions into the (then) countryside. The Sultan’s brother and successor, Abdülaziz, added lavish Rococo embellishment to three sides of the building that were visible from the water, as well as the intricate iron gates and staircase that greeted arrivals by boat.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017




Meeting point will be at Anadolu Hisarı pier


All members, and Guests :10 TL


Minimum: 6; Maximum: 15


Online at by Saturday, 21 October 2017





September 2017


































Asian Side European Side IWI Meet and Greet IWI Meet and Greet

Istanbul Orientation


Coffee and Culture at Büyükada

Ai Weiwei at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum

European Side Coffee



Discovering Chocolate


October 2017






















Turkish History and Culture

Asian Side Coffee

Underground Istanbul

Coffee and Culture


Turkish cooking at home



European Side Coffee















Pera Museum tour, and supper

Photography Walk





Born with a drive to create, Ana Solak has found a way to combine business with bringing people together One of the best parts of living in Istanbul is the access you to endlessly fascinating people. I recently met Serbian-born Ana Solak at one of the kombucha workshops she was hosting around Turkey. With her husband and young son supporting her from the sidelines, and another infant son literally attached to her, she informed a group of us on the benefits of kombucha and how to make our own batch. After the workshop, I wanted to write an article to share her knowledge on kombucha, but found that was just one aspect of her remarkable life.


Like many expat women, love brought Ana to Turkey and has kept her here. “I was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia. I am the youngest child of two very special people, who unfortunately are not here anymore, but I feel their presence in every step on my way, as they planted a seed of love towards people of all races, nations and different backgrounds. I spent my childhood in the centre of Belgrade called Tasmajdan, which is a Turkish word, which means ‘stone mine’. Actually, many parts of Belgrade have Turkish names and it was interesting finding out what they meant after I started learning Turkish”. “I lived in Belgrade for some time and I had a couch surfer in my home for two days. He was a Turkish guy, who had my soul instantly. He came back one month later and proposed a trip to Southeast Asia to which I said YES! I quit my job, gave away all my things, and with one backpack we started our big trip. After a few months together, we decided to get married and live in Turkey”. Solak arrived in Turkey in 2012, initially spending their first year and a half in Istanbul. They welcomed their first son there, and then they moved to Ankara where their second son was born. After living there for more than three years, they decided to move to Uşak. They haven’t decided how long they will stay there, but they are gradually getting closer to their dream of one day living in a small city or a village. “My transition to life in Turkey was not very hard, but in


some ways, I am still transitioning, especially after I visit Belgrade and then when I come back, I still go through some transitional periods, because life is in a way very different here. On the other hand, Serbian and Turkish culture are similar in many ways, as Ottomans were present for 500 years in the Balkans, and they influenced our culture a lot. For example, in the Serbian language there are around 3000 Turkish words used in everyday life (before it was 9000 words)”. Solak added, “What helped me integrate into life in Turkey was having an open mind and my feeling of love towards Turkish people. I believe that cultures around the world are one of our biggest treasures and we should let them exist without too much comparison to ‘our own’ culture. I like to observe people and try to understand them — to understand where ideas about a certain topic come from. The most lasting impression I have of Turkey is the religion, which is so lively here and incorporated into daily life. Turkish people are generally very kind and I feel very safe here. There is a hierarchy and respect towards elders in the family. Turkish people also like kids and I love raising mine here”.


Solak has an impressive background which she has leveraged into several successful ventures in Turkey. After graduating with a degree in Environmental Engineering, she worked in Belgrade for several years managing the disposal of dangerous waste. Currently, she heads up two initiatives: a website and blog titled Expat Women in Turkey, and Simply by Ana, a resource for health and wellness. She credits much of her drive and passion to her entrepreneurial parents. “My parents were entrepreneurs our whole lives and they strongly influenced me, as I am also in the process of developing my own projects now. I started working very early in a family business and it comes naturally to me to always search for new opportunities, projects and to develop new ideas”.

LALE NETWORKING As many people do, I have a strong need to contribute somehow to this world. Expat Women in Turkey was born from my own need to meet new friends and enjoy my life as an expat. When I first came to Turkey and especially after my first son was born, I was very lonely and didn’t have friends. After some time, thanks to yoga classes for moms and babies in Ankara, which was held by an amazing Ana Plisnic, I met a few women and we developed longlasting friendships. After some time, I realised there are so many lonely expat women and I didn’t want anyone to go through the same loneliness I did, so I started my blog with an aim to connect expat women across Turkey. I started with meetings in Ankara and now there is a community of women who meet every week for coffee. Meetings are open for anyone who wants to enjoy relaxing over a cup of coffee and it makes my heart so happy to see that the community is getting bigger every week. Not only do expat women join, but also Turkish women — which is great. In these meetings, we always learn so much about different cultures and have very interesting conversations. I would like to organise these kinds of meetings in many cities across Turkey. I create WhatsApp groups and we can easily decide where and when we will meet, then I post the event on Facebook, so more people can join. I also do interviews on the Expat Women in Turkey website, where people can read about different experiences of women with different backgrounds and nationalities. It also serves as a channel for expat women to talk about their projects and business, so more people can find out about them. My other project Simply by Ana was born from my love of ‘all things health’. From a very young age, I was interested in nutrition and living a healthy life, so I felt it was time to share my love and knowledge with others. I started by doing kombucha workshops across Turkey, where we learn how to brew kombucha tea at home and I provide attendees of the workshop with a kombucha homebrewing starter kit, so they can do it by themselves at home and feel the many health benefits this ancient drink provides. In the fall, I plan to continue with the workshops and anyone who would like to attend or organise a workshop can contact me. Also, I am making kombucha tea and can send it anywhere in Turkey, for the people who are too busy to do it by themselves. I believe everyone should

drink kombucha, as it can address so many different health problems. The reception to Solak’s endeavours has been overwhelmingly positive and she has been happy to see the effect that they have had on the people she meets. “It really makes me happy to see Expat Women in Turkey enjoying the meetings, relaxing and making new friends. It makes my heart full when I read messages in the Ankara WhatsApp group where women help each other with different problems, when they wish each other happy birthday and send congratulations on the births of new babies in the group. For my Simply by Ana project, I am proud of how attendees of the workshop do well with kombucha homebrewing and how it opens new doors for them in terms of new experiences and knowledge. I always hope they will pursue it and feel the health benefits kombucha brings”. “But, my biggest achievement in both ventures are the relationships I make through this work. We influence each other and it brings a richness to our lives. I meet people from different countries, with very different backgrounds and my window to the world becomes wider every time. This is the most important thing for me and I want my kids to be surrounded by these kinds of different and very special people.” While she is growing the community and outreach with her current projects, Solak is planning her next ventures. “I plan to grow the community of Expat Women in Turkey in different cities and this is an open call for anyone who would like to organise meetings in their city to contact me. I know many women would be happy to have regularlyscheduled meetings with other expats. It makes our life easier and more interesting. “I will continue with kombucha homebrewing workshops around Turkey and will brew small batch hand-crafted kombucha that will be available to order anywhere in Turkey. I also have plans — hopefully within the year — to start workshops on essential oils and natural homemade cosmetics. And, now, I am working on developing a project that can help with the refugee crisis in Turkey. I am looking for funds now and hopefully I will be able to make this project live. If anyone who reads this interview know some resources that can be helpful in finding funds for the refugees in Turkey, please contact me”.

Although Solak is humble about her accomplishments, she believes her passion to give back to people is one her strengths and key to her success. “I don’t see myself as a successful entrepreneur in terms of monetary success, but I do believe I have a passion and this strong need to do something in this life, and to influence people’s lives in a positive way. This gives me strength to set myself onto adventure and to try new things. It includes constant learning and selfimprovement”. This success also extends to her ability to maintain a work-life balance. “I try to include my family to anything they can be included in and my husband’s support means the world to me. We travel together and my kids are usually present in my workshops. My baby boy sleeps in the sling while we learn about kombucha, and my almost four-year old already knows enough about kombucha that he can easily lead part of the workshop! Also, I work on my projects during nap times and at night when they go to sleep. There isn’t much sleep for me, but thankfully we don’t have to rush anywhere in the mornings. These projects make me happy and content, and therefore, my family is happy, and it generates a dynamic aspect to our lives”. For those who may be hesitant about starting a new venture, Solak has some advice: “My number one tip is – don’t let the fear of the unknown paralyse you. Do what you are dreaming about despite that fear. Once you start, that fear will disappear and you will feel freer. You will solve any potential problems along the way. Be brave and don’t be afraid of the fall. We all learn along the way”. You can access more information on Ana at the following links: Facebook: Expat women in Turkey Simply by Ana Instagram: Websites:



2017-2018 IWI SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY GRANTEES IWI Social Responsibility Coordinator Wendy Chan reveals our 2017-2018 grantees Social responsibility is an important priority for IWI and as such, IWI directs a part of membership fees, activity fees, and event proceeds to a fund used for social responsibility initiatives. With this fund, each year IWI is able to help small, local non-profit organisations execute projects that benefit women. This past May, a committee reviewed many applications for funding from local non-profit organisations received through a Call for Proposals in April. To be considered for the 20172018 grant cycle, proposals had to fit IWI’s priorities and eligibility criteria. Priorities: 1. Women’s and Girls’ Leadership 2. Women’s and Girls’ Economic Development 3. Women’s Rights (including issues like domestic violence, gender equality, and health) 4. Childhood Development and Motherhood 5. Support for refugees and migrants


• Applications must be from non-profit organisations registered in Turkey • Applications must be for a specific project as IWI does not fund general operating expenses • Organisations must be small in size with annual operating budgets below 350.000 TL per year in order to maximise the impact of grants • The proposed project should have a clear multiplier effect such that a large number of people benefit directly and/or the project has a lasting effect and is able to reach many people over time • After careful consideration, the IWI Board selected the following five projects and the combined total of funds directed to these projects was 63.900 TL.

The projects will start and be completed between July 2017 and April 2018.

DLD Değişim Liderleri Derneği (DLD) operates a leadership development program, called Sparks, for young women in university from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants are the first in their families to go to university. As a result, they typically do not have many role models to assist with anticipating and understanding the opportunities and challenges faced in university and in their careers. Through the Sparks program, participants benefit from support networks and also gain valuable leadership and collaboration skills. They meet regularly with mentors and work on teams to identify, plan and implement a communityfocused social change project, taking turns to lead initiatives. The program supports economic and social development in Turkey by helping young women reach their fullest potential. This year, IWI is supporting DLD’s project to create several professionally produced videos that will help attract young women to participate in the program. As well, the videos will be important marketing tools for DLD to find more donors that will enable the program to grow and reach more young women. This project supports the following IWI grant-making priorities: • Women’s Leadership • Women’s Economic Development


Meme Hastalıkları Koalisyonu Derneği (Europa Donna Türkiye) is part of EUROPA DONNA, an international non-profit organisation that focuses on raising awareness of breast health and the importance of early detection and treatment. The organisation also advocates for better education, screening, treatments and research. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and in less developed regions, it is the most frequent cause of


LALE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY cancer deaths in women. The most effective ways to fight the disease are through awareness, early diagnosis and treatment.

who have experienced similar situations. Through the centre, children and parents gain knowledge and skills needed to adjust to life in Istanbul.

This year, IWI is supporting Europa Donna Türkiye’s project to raise breast health awareness and provide mammography screenings for economically disadvantaged women. The project will target women in southern Turkey, in areas where access to breast health information is limited. Awareness about the importance of breast health will be raised among women from more traditional and conservative communities where the subject is usually not discussed. Women who will benefit from this project include Turks as well as migrants from other regions in Turkey and Syria.

The centre is entirely run by volunteers. Volunteers from among the adult refugee population lead activities for the children and volunteers from Turkey, U.S, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, UK and other countries are language instructors.

This project supports the following IWI grant-making priorities: • Women’s Rights (Health) • Support for Refugees and Migrants


This year IWI is supporting Qnushyo’s Summer School project to provide both learning and recreational activities to children and their mothers over the summer. Education classes will be supplemented with excursions to help children and their mothers experience different areas of Istanbul through visits to sites including a beach, the zoo, and museums. The project supports the following IWI grant-making priorities: • Childhood Development • Support for Refugees and Migrants


SPI operates a community centre in Çapa, a neighbourhood in Fatih, Istanbul. The centre offers a safe place for migrants, primarily from Syria, to develop social connections with others, take part in educational activities and develop skills to foster greater independence. SPI’s programs include educational activities for kids, community-building initiatives, and back-to-school assistance. In addition, SPI manages a women’s craft collective, a social enterprise that trains women from the community to create handicraft products, develop skills to run a small enterprise, and identify channels to sell their products. The collective has been successful in helping women produce goods that can generate income and expand their opportunities. This year, IWI funds will help support the continued expansion of the craft collective to enable more women to participate in the enterprise. Also, the funds will enable the creation of new leadership roles in the collective for those with the interest and aptitude to learn new skills and gain greater job responsibility. The project supports the following IWI grant-making priorities: • Women’s Leadership • Women’s Economic Development • Support for Refugees and Migrants

Qnushyo is a grassroots community centre in the Yedikule area of Istanbul for migrant families. The centre provides language and other education-based activities for children and adults. Qnushyo aims to assist refugees and migrants in the local area with basic needs and help them re-structure and adapt to their new lives. This group typically suffers from psychological stress and the inclusive atmosphere of the centre helps them to develop support networks with others


LALE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY YÖRET Moving Forward: Throughout the course of the year, IWI’s Social Responsibility Committee will be keeping abreast of progress on these projects and also working on other social responsibility initiatives. The Committee welcomes new members and fresh perspectives. If you are interested in joining the Committee, please contact Wendy Chan, Social Responsibility Coordinator, at In addition, IWI is always interested in learning about small non-profit organisations that align with its funding priorities. If you think an organisation would be a good fit for IWI’s grant-making criteria, please contact Wendy Chan, Social Responsibility Coordinator, at All of this year’s grantees rely heavily, and some exclusively, on volunteer support. If you are interested in getting involved with any of these organisations with your skills, interests and enthusiasm, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to the organisations via the website URLs provided in this article.

Yüksek Öğrenimde Rehberliği Tanıtma ve Rehber Yetiştirme Vakfı (Yöret) provides training to teachers, counselors and volunteers who work with at-risk children. The aim of the organisation is to increase the psychological resilience of children in the face of adverse situations such as poverty and displacement due to war and conflict. Yöret focuses its work on economically disadvantaged children and families, including migrants. Through its programs, Yöret helps mitigate violence at home, at school, and in the streets among children and young people, by advocating gender equality, non-violent forms of communication, social inclusion and children’s rights. In this grant cycle, IWI is supporting an innovative project to focus on economically disadvantaged mothers in the Sulukule and Çapa communities in Istanbul. Yöret’s project will teach positive parenting skills to mothers including ways to keep children engaged with learning, as well as approaches to dealing with anger and frustration in children. In addition, mothers will find important peer support for themselves. Overall, the project will help both mothers and children deal with past traumatic experiences and the challenges of adjusting to life in Istanbul. The project supports the following IWI grant-making priority areas: • Childhood Development and Motherhood • Support for Refugees and Migrants



Welcoming everyone back to Istanbul this fall, Istanbul Marriott Hotel Sisli keeps hosting different chefs each month to offer delicious tastes from around the world in the comfortable and spacious setting of the Dish Room Restaurant.

The spicing will take a step forward with Indian Chefs Vivekananda Saha and Sattar Ali Gazi in October. From traditional oven baked flat breads to biryanis and tandooris, a rich variety of tasty Indian flavors will be served for lunch and dinner.

Festivities of delicious tastes from around the world continue in the fall with Mexican cuisine from 11th till 25th of September, with Indian cuisine between October 9th and 23rd and with Japanese cuisine from November 13th until 27th. Gifted Chefs of Marriott Casa Magna Cancun, Albert Marquez and Santiago Chi will spice up the fall mood in Istanbul with fresh guacamole, traditional tortilla soup, salsa and mole sauces to accompany the favorite main dishes.

With the Japanese cuisine fest in Marriott Sisli, November will be the month to enjoy authentic Japanese dishes and good sushi in Istanbul. A rich selection of all-time favorites such as noodles, tempuras and sushi will be offered with traditional Japanese sake. For more information and reservations; you can reach the hotel at 0 (212) 375 01 00, or @marriottsisli Facebook account.


I S T A N B U L S I S 17 LI



BÜYÜKADA The big island of Büyükada is a popular summer destination for thousands of Istanbullites. Mimo Khan O’Flynn shares her highlights


ooking out my apartment windows, we have a gorgeous view of Büyükada, Princes’ Islands. I have viewed Büyükada in all its beautiful and different glories. The winter sun setting between Büyükada and Heybeliada, dolphins swimming in the Marmara Sea with Büyükada as the back drop, large net fishing boats at night time, with the lights of Büyükada in the background, in perfect weather, in stormy weather and glistening, like a jewel in the night. Istanbul, with its rich, cultural, ancient and modern history and its important historical and present-day place on our world map, is made that much richer, with having at its doorstep, the Princes’ Islands. Büyükada translates as ‘Big Island’ and is the largest (at 5.4km2) of the nine, on the Marmara Sea, southeast of Istanbul. You can get to Büyükada from many of the ferry ports in Istanbul. The islands are mostly car free. Horses and carriages, donkeys, bicycles, electric scooters and your feet are the prevalent mode of transport. We, the residents of Istanbul, are extremely fortunate to have this archipelago as part of the makeup of Istanbul. Just a short ferry ride away, we can escape the mega-city atmosphere of Istanbul and be enveloped by a tranquil and slower pace of island life, with fragrant pine tree forests and wild olive trees. Not only is it amazingly peaceful and totally different from the hectic city life of Istanbul, Büyükada also has a very rich history and culture of its own. The Roman and Byzantine times were not so tantalizing for the royalty on Büyükada, as Büyükada provided refuge for the exiled and disfavoured royals and their children. Many monasteries were built at this time, to house the ostracised nobility. Then, in the rule of the Ottomans, in the 19th century,


LALE NEIGHBOURHOOD with the invention of the steamboat, Büyükada and her sister islands became popular amongst the wealthy of Istanbul. Jewish, Greek and Armenian communities were a large part of the population of the islands. The beautiful wooden houses, mansions and villas were built at this time. In 1929, Leon Trotsky lived in Büyükada for four years, after being exiled from Russia. He described the island as ‘an island of peace and forgetfulness’. Trotsky wrote his autobiography and the History of the Russian Revolution in Büyükada. He spent his time writing in a beautiful, airy, light filled villa. He was also an amateur naturalist and rowed around the coves of Büyükada with his bodyguards. Not a bad place, for this expatriate, to have been exiled. Walking in Büyükada, you are lost in an age that has passed us by. Büyükada brings this history literally back to life. The first time I set foot on Büyükada, I was mesmerised. The population of Büyükada in the winter is around 7500, in the summer this can go up to 100,000. I prefer to go to the islands in the spring and the autumn. Spring brings beautiful flowers wild and otherwise. The island has a soothing and calming feel to it. It is quiet with mostly, only, the year-round residents: people, horses, donkeys, cat, dogs and lest us not forget, the most important ones, the seagulls.

residents. You can spend a couple of hours exploring the town or spend the day there, and see the other sites, another day. The seaside houses many fish restaurants, there is a clock tower and lots of interesting shops, boutiques, bakeries, cafes, bike hire places and the horse & carriage area. The town is on the north side of the island and luckily for me, visible from my apartment. It is the more populated side of the island and where the ferry station and town are located.

Today, Büyükada is a very popular destination and is a must visit place, if you are visiting or living in Istanbul. It is a peaceful environ, with clean air and a respite from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. As you alight from the ferry, you are in another place altogether. The town is busy, busy in the summer with day trippers, overnighters and summer

The rest of Büyükada is quieter and more isolated. As you walk out of the town, the smell of fragrant pine in the air and depending on the season, other lovely, natural smells. I find myself, deeply breathing, the fragrant fresh air. Büyükada has two hills, on one hill St. George (Aya Yorgi) Church and Monastery is located. It is believed to be founded in 923 AD. It is a steep, one km uphill walk. You are generously rewarded with some spectacular views of forests, the sea and the sister islands, once you have made it to the top. There is also a café next to the church to quench your thirst and replenish your energy. The other hilltop, houses the Monastery of the Transfiguration built before 1158 in the Byzantine period. Close to the monastery stands the now empty and decrepit, falling wooden structures of the Greek orphanage. The Greek orphanage was initially built in 1898 to house a Casino. The, then Sultan, overruled this project and in 1903 a Greek widow purchased the establishment and converted it into an orphanage. It was operational until 1964 and since then, has been abandoned and is home to grazing sheep, at my last visit. As I write this article, it is a beautiful day, the sea is sparkling in the sunshine and the ferries are going to and fro. Büyükada seems an arm’s length away, across the Marmara Sea. So, whether you come to Büyükada to browse through the town and have a meal or take a horse and carriage ride, bike, walk or wander aimlessly, you will be in for a remarkable treat — one you cannot get anywhere else in the world. I hope you get to experience the island life of Istanbul. Enjoy!





Amid the mass-manufactured tourist trinkets, Catherine Salter Bayar guides us through the aisles of the Grand Bazaar where there are handmade treasures to be found

The downturn of tourism in the past two years has made the random shopper all the more vulnerable to unwanted attention. More recently the crowds have begun to return with demographic shifts, as travellers from North America


t’s not unusual for those who’ve lived in Istanbul for a time to avoid the Grand Bazaar. The world’s oldest shopping centre, with more than 400 shops and an additional 500+ selling niches, or dolaplar, will challenge anyone to lose their cool with the constant urge to wave off touts who swarm like flies. The lanes, named for the trades that once filled these shops, now seem filled with a repetitive sea of endless tourist tat. Foreign women are particular targets, walking ATM machines to be flattered, then cheated. The maze of steep narrow streets that surround the Bazaar on either side of the tram road, especially those winding down to Eminönü’s Spice Bazaar on the shore of the Golden Horn, rankle anyone who abhors crowds and chaos. Unless playing host to visitors wanting to see the sites of Sultanahmet, why bother?

and Europe remain reluctant to visit. Due to earthquakes and fire, much of the current Grand Bazaar structure only dates from the 1890s. But imagine the variety of cultures these 66 streets have seen in the years since 1461, when Mehmet the Conqueror founded the central core, the İç Bedesten. Shifts have been reflected in the vendors’ origins as well, as each generation of refugees and economic migrants arrived, bringing wares from their homeland across the Ottoman Empire and beyond to sell. The hans, large courtyard inns providing workshop space, sprawl down on either side of the hilltop main Bazaar, and have witnessed the lives and works of countless artisans and their customers, continuing to this day.



While these rambling districts can overwhelm, I’ve become addicted to discovering those treasures still contained within. Perhaps I’m a bit reckless - I did marry a carpet seller, after all. But my love for traditional arts and crafts and particularly the textiles of Istanbul and Anatolia compels me to look beyond the labyrinth of questionable merchandise to discover authentic shops that carry on the spirit of handmade. Along Yağlıkcılar Sokak, one of two long streets that endure since the markets of Roman times, is Sivas Tokat Yazmacısı Pazarı. This long narrow shop is crammed to the ceiling with a mix of traditional textiles. A claustrophobic experience perhaps, but a mini tour of woven goods from around Anatolia all in one space. Featured are block-printed cottons, produced by artisans in the Black Sea region. Ask to see the vintage oya needle lace-trimmed yazma tucked

away under their counter. These traditional headscarves are becoming increasing rare, as lace in primarily machine made these days. Tucked to the right, inside a gate that leads to the İç Cebeci Han is Old Textiles Kaftan and Ikat, purveyors of Central Asian textiles and embroideries. In the past, the ladies of the Ottoman court supported and oversaw guilds of female crafters, providing intricate floral embroideries in silk and metallic thread, in an astonishing array of tulips, carnations and trees of life. Today, such work has been pushed aside for fast fashion, but the women of Central Asia, mainly Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, have taken over this trade, modernizing the works to suit global tastes and colours. The gentlemen of this shop collect vintage kaftans, and also sell the ikat and velvet kadife silk and cotton meterage. Ask to see both vintage dowry suzanis in bright colours and the more subdued modern versions. Down another anonymous alley nearby, Turkuaz Ceramics houses a staggering variety of hand-painted Iznik and Kutahya tiles and ceramics into 4 vaulted brick rooms, well worth admiring on their own. Tarkan Bey displays a higher quality of goods than the cheap souvenirs choking the lanes outside. The shop offered custom tile work as well, a rare option in the Grand Bazaar. Global business happens out of a tiny dolap of a shop at Istanbul Oya. Beyhan Hanim and her husband retired from their modern textile business to pursue her passion: needle lace and crocheted oya. These intricate floral motifs are an eye-aching skill village women used not only to decorate their scarves, but also to convey their moods and desires to other women, in a secret language only they could understand. As lace making mechanized, this art was in danger of being lost. But as has been the case with other crafts made by women and undervalued by society, the


LALE HANDMADE custom orders of cultural outsiders, in this case Japanese and Italian designers, have generated new life and work for the many women Istanbul Oya now employs. Down the lane, sandwiched between two of the hundreds of knockoff handbag shops (though their quality is better than most), Kilim Arts takes vintage Anatolian wool kilims often too costly to repair, and turns them into well-made genuine leather trimmed shoes and bags. They also use newer silk embroideries and reproduction Ottoman brocades. These works of art make lovely wearable souvenirs. Others may make them at lower prices, but I’ve been wearing a pair of their slip-ons for two decades now, still in great shape.

imports from Florida and dries between book pages for up to 1.5 years. He combines the motifs of the three Abrahamic religions, in a unique blend of peaceful art. Every piece in the shop, itself a treasure of architecture and antique collectibles, is painted by Nick himself. How long will these shops remain in the Bazaar, with older owners and artisans whose children may not be interested or talented enough to carry on? While they endure, seeking out and supporting such work is important, and I’m happy to show anyone around if navigating the Bazaar alone is too daunting! Next issue I’ll wander the Hans in the districts that surround the Bazaar, to share the vendors that supply not just yarns, but leather, gemstones and a host of other items to create and keep handmade alive. Sivas Tokat Yazmacısı Pazarı Yağlıkcılar Sokak No. 57

In the same creative vein, Aksu in the vaulted arcade that surrounds the İç Bedesten makes an intriguing collection of silk ikat shoes. Like the ikats previously mentioned, these finely woven fabrics are an art across Asian cultures, using a technique that dyes the vertical warp threads in bold patterns before the goods are woven on long narrow portable looms. Aksu takes custom orders, even in larger sizes. On the other side of the central arcade, Derviş provides excellent hand-loomed cotton, linen and bamboo peştemal, the simple striped and patterned hamam towels. Brothers Taylan and Tayfun work with weavers to create looped Turkish towels and soft hand-dyed wool gauze scarves. Don’t miss the scented olive oil based soaps, or the case stuffed full of vintage home textiles and garments in the back of this clove-scented shop. Within the İç Bedesten, also known as the Cevahir (gem) Bedesten and now sadly full of cheap fashion jewellery, Nick Merdenyan’s Calligraphy shop showcases his unique hand-painted art. He searched the world for an ideal natural ‘canvas’, deciding on dieffenbachia leaves, which Nick


Old Textiles Kaftan and Ikat Yağlıkçılar Caddesi Cebeci Han Girişi 1 Turkuaz Ceramics Çukur Han 4 Istanbul Oya Terlikçiler Sokak 17 Kilim Arts Takkeciler Sokak 108 Aksu Bags and Shoes Terziler Sokak 18 & 23 Derviş Halicilar Sokak 51 Nick’s Calligraphy Iç Bedesten 24 Istanbul Personal Shopper

Registration for 5th Grade PREP CLASS in English or French is still open at the Çamlıca Campus!

Registration for


Turkish/English program is still open at the Dragos campus!

Çamlıca - Dragos - Erenköy - Acarkent - Sabancı - Toronto Özel Kilittaşı Okulları Preschool & Primary & Secondary School 23 +90 (216) 370 49 51



or French photographer Noémie Deveaux coming to Istanbul was love at first sight. Read more about what makes her click




or all the strides we have made in these modern times, it can be the simplest things that bring people the most pleasure. The warmth of a favourite sweater, the sound of birds chirping or the smell of freshly baked bread – all of these senses can evoke fond memories and create new ones. Using the medium of photography, Noémie Deveaux captures the milestone moments in one’s life, and puts photography back in a place of prominence for people.

Tell us about your background

I was born and raised in Lille, in the North of France. After high school, at 17, I left and spent one year in the US, thanks to a Rotary student exchange. I did another senior year over then, living with American families. Then I came back to France for my studies: two years of preparatory school in Lille and four years of business school in Rouen (Normandy). During those four years, I did a one-year internship at Coca-Cola Enterprise in Paris and I spent one semester as an Erasmus student in Cordoba, Spain. After I got my diploma, I worked for almost 10 years for a major beverage company, from the field to the marketing department, in four different cities in France.

travelling solo. I didn’t pay much attention to the technical aspects but loved creating images and thinking quite positively about the outcomes. My “luck” was an accident a few days after I returned from my first trip to Istanbul, on 30 April 2011. During a family weekend, we went for a horse-ride suited for beginners. I had a nervous and restless horse and I fell off. Two of my vertebras broke, I wore an orthopaedic corset for three months, 24/7 and I was out of work for six months. I had the time to think about life in general and about what I didn't want anymore in my life — which is easier than to find out what I actually wanted! I did go back to work yavaş yavaş but because I already didn't like my job before my accident, it seemed pointless to continue. I asked to leave the company and within three months, I was able to do so. With lots of free time and an unemployment allowance, I was ready to start over. But where would I begin and how would I do it? By chance, I found an auto-coaching book, called Do What You Like. It was a 12-chapter book for a 12-week personal journey. After answering a lot of questions, going through many experiences, and lots of introspection, I discovered my true self. What I love, what makes me tick, what my dream life looks like. I was finally able to define myself, my wills, my needs and my talents: I'm better when I work for short-term projects — if they are too long, I lose interest. I love to live in big cities but in a quiet area. I prefer

Why did you come to Istanbul? What keeps you here?

I came to Istanbul for the first time in April 2011 for five days. I really enjoy travelling by myself, to really feel the places and to be free to go wherever I want whenever I want. I loved the city, the history I could see everywhere, the kindness of Turkish people. As planned, I came back, knowing there is something very special here. I moved here in October 2013. I feel home in Istanbul. I always compare Istanbul with a man I would have fell in love with at first sight. Istanbul IS like a man: you fall in love and everything is wonderful. Then, after a while, you begin to discover things you don't really like, even things you can't stand. As with a man, Istanbul's "bad" sides can't be changed. People will always get in the metro without letting people get out first. Taxi drivers will always think they're acting in Fast & Furious. So, either you decide to deal with it, or you leave. I deal with it. I feel a lot of gratitude for Istanbul, for its vapurs, for its cats, for its kind inhabitants, for its cuisine, for its seagulls, for its music. All this keeps me here.

How did you get started in photography?

I was offered my first DSLR camera at 30, by my grandmother, my mother and my sister. I used it mainly when

to work alone, without a boss, but I need to work with people. I want to make people happy and to create beauty. All those little things now seem obvious to me but that was not the case at the time. I felt so happy and relieved to finally know myself better. Then the trick was to go from ‘who I am and what I love to do’ to ‘what professional activity will fulfil all this?’ Thanks to the guidance of the book, I did research, I read, I met people. I collected information about different jobs and how to get there. Knowing what I love, what makes me feel alive, what I'm good at, in which kind of place I'm happy, which way of working makes me feel good, I realised that there was only one way to make me happy: to become a free-lance photographer in Istanbul!


LALE INTERVIEW How did you further develop and prepare to get to where you are today?

Starting in October 2012, I began to take online-photography classes and Turkish classes. Thanks to this homeschooling process, I studied photography, practiced a lot, did homework. I was requested to do an internship, which I did with a Turkish photographer in May-June 2013. I was lucky to be in Taksim Square on 31 May with my camera, the very afternoon of the first huge demonstration of what is now called "the Gezi events" Even though I didn't have much knowledge about photojournalism, I photographed the events for more than three weeks, going to the front line (with a gas mask) and documenting those incredible days. My images were shared on some local French websites. I did learn a lot thanks to the Turkish photographer who agreed to take me as an intern. Nowadays, I still learn many things thanks to online classes and of course through experience and practice. I came back to France at the beginning of July 2013, and while the original plan was to move to Istanbul in December, I couldn't wait that long. After selling and giving away many of my belongings, I finally moved to Istanbul in October 2013. Of course, I still do self-study, keep up with photographers I admire, and remain curious about the world of photography

What is your specialty?

I photograph people during private events (like weddings or birthday parties for example) or portraits sessions (families, babies, business portraits). I love to do family portrait sessions while walking in Istanbul. According to my customers' wishes, we go to places which matter to them and I capture special family moments in beautiful Istanbul. I


also really love photographing bridal preparations; the mix of beauty, stress and impatience during those couple of hours just before saying ‘I do’. I also photograph Istanbul. I'm doing my best to catch its beauty, its magic. I'm so in love with the city, like many. I'm always very happy when someone gets in touch with me to buy one of my framed images, as a souvenir of their life here or as a farewell gift. I like to help others to understand what is inside their camera and to get the best out of it; working on composition and their 'eye'. So, I give private photography lessons. It's hard for me to point out a speciality, as I love all the different sides of my job!

LALE INTERVIEW What inspires and motivates and excites you about your job?

What motivates me is the idea that I'm building memories and images for my customers' kids and grandkids which last a lifetime. I do my very best to create everlasting precious memories of their happiest moments. I'm inspired by the diversity of people I meet, I will never get bored by doing the same thing every day because I just don't! I'm also very glad my customers trust me and give me the responsibility to create images they will cherish.

How have you addressed setbacks or challenges in your career?

This might sound naive, but I didn't realise my dream job was a business, and with that, entailed marketing, sales, communication and accounting. I thought that since it was my dream life and job, everything would fall into place. Well, many things did fall into place but not enough, and not fast enough for my tastes (and my bank account!). It took me six months before my first website was up, then it took two more years before I created the new version of it with a new logo. I worked on many things but I had not focused enough on my business tools. In December 2016, I decided to work with Tara Lutman Agacayak during a fourmonth coaching process. Coming out of that process, I had new tools, a new state of mind, new projects, new ways of working and new motivation! That's all I needed! I now manage my professional activity as a business, and I'm proud of it! I now know that I do have to invest money in myself, and on my business to make it grow and to live the life I want. And the great thing is that I still have a lot of improvements to make, so the best is yet to come!

How do you market your services and value in an environment where high quality smartphone cameras and prosumer cameras are so prevalent?

It is true that nowadays, almost everybody has a smartphone with a camera. Here in Turkey, people are using those cameras primarily for social media. Globally, smartphone photography can be high quality, especially with new technologies. But what do we do with those images except post them online? 99% of the time, nothing. As part of my job, it is my mission to explain to people what I do as a professional photographer. Photography is about "seeing" things, feelings, emotions, and capturing them in the most beautiful way, thanks to our ability to control the technical aspects of our camera. So, there is a lot of technical knowledge required to get the best out of a beautiful moment. After that comes editing (or processing). Everybody thinks that photo editing software is a magic wand which will create the beauty of the image. If the original shot is not good, editing software will not save it. Anyway, processing is the under-water part of the photography iceberg: invisible but for sure important to keep in mind, just like the film development. There is all the work of saving the "fresh" files, selecting the best images, working on the colours, the contrast, etc., the framing if necessary, on black & white versions, then saving the edited files, creating a link to send those images to my customers and a DVD to be send by cargo.

Some people think a professional camera will automatically give professional results. I always ask, does owning a professional oven automatically give you five-star-cuisine? For me, the most important thing is the value of images. Shots taken and posted on Instagram have a low and instantaneous value. This is consistent with the current way of life: fast, online, ephemeral. What I love about photography is the value that will remain for ages, either on a frame, or in a photo album you can look at, sitting with your kids on a couch.

What are your dreams for the future?

I'd love to be able to travel more often, either in Turkey or abroad. I'd really love to work for 10 months and then travel for two months. As an entrepreneur, days off are not included. The days I'm not working, I'm not earning money, and when I travel for leisure, I'm still paying rent and bills and spending for the holidays themselves. So, my goal is to create enough income to offer myself those days off.

What do you like to do when you're not working? When I'm not working, I'm having lunch with my friends, I shop a bit, I go out with my camera to photograph Istanbul. That's the sweet trap of loving what I do: it is hard to make time for myself and my social life!

Tell us about your perfect day in Istanbul

It does for sure begin with kahvaltı! Maybe in Beşiktaş for the great atmosphere, or in a place with a stunning view over the Bosphorus. Then I go for a walk or I take the vapur — not to go somewhere special — but just for the pleasure of being there, in the boat, with the sound of the seagulls and the music played by anonymous musicians. I'll grab a simit or an açma while walking around, chatting with a friend. Or, just be a witness of the life going on around me — smiling at sleeping cats. What I truly love about Istanbul is that all our senses are awakened. This makes me feel alive.

You can find more information about Noemie at: Facebook: @NoemieDeveauxPhotographer Instagram: @noemi_Deveaux_photographer Twitter: @NoemieDeveaux Website:


Ä°stanbul / Toronto Come explore with us! 28




ith cooling temperatures, autumn is a time of year to celebrate the harvest, to reflect on life, and give thanks. Here are a couple of different ways people around the world observe these ocassions Also called Mid-Autumn Festival, the Moon Festival is a harvest celebration observed by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese people. It takes place on the night of the full moon between September and October. The celebration focuses on three important concepts: gathering, thanksgiving and praying. The lantern is the symbol of the festival and is used to decorate cities and towns for the celebration. In Vietnam, children participate in parades and dress up in costumes and masks. Games relating to fortune telling, fights for the soul and spirit possession are played. On the second Sunday in October, the Amazon port city of Belém, Brazil puts on the largest annual river festival procession, Círio De Nazaré attracting people from all over Brazil and the world. The Saturday before the procession, an effigy of the Virgin of Nazaré is brought across the water from Vila de Icoaraci, guarded by a flotilla of boats. From the port, the effigy is paraded through the streets of Belém to the Cathedral (Igreja da Sé), followed by a procession. On the following morning, the procession swells to several thousand-people

following the Mary around the city, carried on a raised platform covered in flowers. Various decorated floats also follow the saint with children dressed as angels and members of the clergy. Men and women encircle the platform, walking barefoot and holding onto a long rope, representing the strong link between the saint and her people. Followers jostle to be able to touch the image of the Virgin. The celebrations continue into the night with live bands, music and dancing throughout the city. Known as “The Festival of Lights,” Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated over a period of five days, between mid-October and midNovember, as determined by the Hindu Lunisolar calendar. The main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, people dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light lamps and candles inside and outside their home, participate in family prayers typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of fertility and prosperity. Following prayers are fireworks and family feasts including sweets and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Originating from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Bonfire Night is also known as Guy Fawkes Night and is celebrated

in Great Britain. The Gunpowder Plot was a failed assassination attempt of James I by a cadre of provincial English Catholics, including Guy Fawkes. When James I survived, people lit bonfires in celebration. Parliament deemed 5 November Bonfire Night, a time for thanksgiving. In the 1600s, it was used as a platform for harassing Catholics and during the 1800s gave cause to class-based riots. Over the years, however, the focus changed and the holiday developed into something of a national bonfire. Most Bonfire Nights are supported by local charities. People dress up in various costume and parade through the street with lanterns and torches, and fireworks illuminate the sky. Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico as well as in the Mexican diaspora. The celebration takes place 31 October through 2 November, in association with Allhallowtide. Traditions associated with the holiday include building altars to remember the dead, making food offerings to the dead and caring for graves. The Catrina or female skeleton is a popular figure of Day of the Dead. The celebration is important because it honours the dead while still celebrating life. Outside of Mexico, Day of the Dead celebrations still take place, with similar ones happening in Latin America, parts of the southwestern United States, the Philippines and Spain.




The 15th edition of the Istanbul Biennial, organised by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) since 1987, will take place from 16 September to 12 November. Sponsored by Koç Holding, the 15th Istanbul Biennial brings together artworks by 55 artists from 32 countries, all addressing different notions of home, belonging and neighbourhood. The 15th Istanbul Biennial, entitled “a good neighbour”, will deal with multiple notions of home and neighbourhoods, exploring how living modes in our private spheres have changed throughout the past decades. The biennial will approach home as an indicator of diverse identities and a vehicle for self-expression, and neighbourhood as a microuniverse exemplifying some of the challenges that are faced in terms of co-existence today. The campaign will display a carefully curated selection of photographs by Lukas Wassmann. Wassmann’s photographs which capture unexpected encounters will be paired with questions asking what makes a good neighbour. The project is collaboration between the curators Elmgreen & Dragset, graphic designer Rupert Smyth, and artist Lukas Wassmann, questioning the ways in which neighbourhoods have changed all around the world.

The international billboard campaign is realised through collaborations with multiple cultural institutions worldwide. Host cities include Moscow (Russia), Sydney (Australia), Milan (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Armagh, Ballynahinch, Belfast, Downpatrick and Newry (Northern Ireland), Southhampton (UK), Calgary (Canada), Plovidv (Bulgaria), and Chicago (USA), Seoul and Gwangju (South Korea). The Home of St Patrick Festival, which is kindly supported by Tourism Ni, launched the biennial’s international billboard project in Armagh, Ballynahinch, Belfast, Downpatrick and Newry in Northern Ireland, on 27 February - 12 March. “Your neighbour might be someone who lives quite a different life from yours. And hopefully you, unlike many politicians lately, are not the one who chooses to deal with your fear of otherness by fencing yourself off. The artists in the 15th Istanbul Biennial raise questions about ideas of home, neighbourhood, belonging and co-existence from multiple perspectives. Some of the artworks examine how our domestic living conditions


and modes have changed and how our neighbourhoods have transformed, while others focus on how we cope with today’s geopolitical challenges on a micro-level. The Biennial takes its form from the invited artists’ personal or analytical statements: an engaging mixture of hopes and visions, of sadness and indignation, of history and present day.” The 15th Istanbul Biennial’s Public Programme In addition to the two-month-long exhibition, the 15th Istanbul Biennial also features a public programme coordinated by artist Zeyno Pekünlü that encompasses a variety of events and discussions related to the concept of “a good neighbour”. Without neglecting the burden of history and the immediacy of actuality, the public programme focuses on the shared questions that led to a number of important debates in recent years. During the opening and closing weeks of the Biennial, it features symposiums with thought-provoking speakers such as activist and professor Shahrzad Mojab, recognised for her research on the impact of war, displacement and violence on women’s learning and education; professor Joseph Massad, known for his criticism of liberal policies related to multiculturalism; professor of political economy Massimo de Angelis; and architect and scholar Stavros Stavrides, whose work focuses on spatial practices. With panel discussions, screenings, workshops and regular events throughout the Biennial, participants can be found cooking, reading and playing music together. Admission to all public programme events is free.

LALE CULTURE History The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts has been organising the Istanbul Biennial since 1987. The biennial aims to create a meeting point in İstanbul in the field of visual arts between artists from diverse cultures and the audience. The 14 biennials İKSV has organised up to now have enabled the formation of an international cultural network between local and international art circles, artists, curators and art critics by bringing together new trends in contemporary art every two years.

Prize, Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2000 and won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin in 2002. In 2012, Elmgreen & Dragset were selected for London’s Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square. They were awarded honorary doctorates at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2015.


Considered as one of the most prestigious biennials alongside Venice, Sao Paolo and Sydney, the Istanbul Biennial prefers an exhibition model which enables a dialogue between artists and the audience through the work of the artists instead of a national representation model. The curator, appointed by an international advisory board, develops a conceptual framework according to which a variety of artists and projects are invited to the exhibition. The most comprehensive international art exhibition organised both in Turkey and throughout the geographical sphere we are in, the Istanbul Biennial plays an important role in the promotion of contemporary artists not only from Turkey but from a number of different countries in the international arena. Bringing together a variety of artworks dealing with different notions of home and neighbourhood, the 15th Istanbul Biennial exhibitions will take place in the heart of Istanbul, and can be visited free of charge at six nearby venues within walking distance: Istanbul Modern, Galata Greek Primary School, Ark Kültür, Pera Museum, an artist collective’s studio, and Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam. Istanbul Modern Address: Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Meclis-i Mebusan Cd., 34433 Beyoğlu-İstanbul The opportunity to follow developments and discussions in the art world, and therefore a complimentary educational program is provided both for students and viewers of art through the exhibitions and simultaneously translated panel discussions, conferences and workshops organised within the scope of the exhibitions. After the first two biennials realised under the general coordination of Beral Madra in 1987 and 1989, İKSV decided to adapt a single curator system following the İstanbul Biennial directed by Vasıf Kortun in 1992. The biennial was organised under the curatorship of René Block in 1995, Rosa Martínez in 1997, Paolo Colombo in 1999, Yuko Hasegawa in 2001, Dan Cameron in 2003, Charles Esche and Vasıf Kortun in 2005, Hou Hanru in 2007 and What, How & for Whom / WHW in 2009, Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann in 2011 and by Fulya Erdemci in 2013. Held in 2015, the 14th Istanbul Biennial was drafted by Carolyn-Christov Bakargiev. This year, the Istanbul Biennal will be curated by Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen, dr.h.c. and Ingar Dragset, dr.h.c.) are an artist duo who have worked together since 1995. Their artistic practice spans many genres, including installation, sculpture, performance, and theater. Their work has been included in the Istanbul (2013, 2011, 2001), Liverpool (2012), Singapore (2011), Moscow (2011, 2007), Venice (2009, 2003), Gwangju (2006, 2002), São Paulo (2002), and Berlin (1998) biennials. The artists were shortlisted for the Hugo Boss

Istanbul Modern, one of the main venues of this year’s Biennial, is a former cargo warehouse that gained the status of a modern art museum following its initial use as a space for contemporary art at the 8th Istanbul Biennial in 2003. Situated in the area referred to as the Port of Istanbul, along the Bosporus coast and formerly known as Antrepo No. 4, the current building was designed by architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem between 1957 and 1958. After undergoing renovation, the warehouse was opened as the internationally renowned Istanbul Modern in 2004. Currently, the harbour area around Istanbul Modern is under substantial transformation, and issues around transforming neighbourhoods will be reflected upon in several of the selected artworks to be displayed in the museum.




During the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Modern will display a number of multinational artistic positions in an open plan architecture. The works will be large-scale sculptures and installations as well as historical artworks. As a long-standing partner of the Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Modern symbolises the continuity, experience and expertise of the exhibition. Galata Greek Primary School Address: Kemeraltı Cad. No: 49, 34425 Galata, Beyoğluİstanbul Galata Greek Primary School, located in Karaköy and in close proximity to Istanbul Modern, was built in the neo-classical architectural style in the late 19th century. The school was one of the main educational locations for children of Greek descent in Istanbul for over a century. Due to a decrease in the Greek population of Istanbul in the second half of the 20th century, the school officially closed its doors in 2007.

The 15th Istanbul Biennial will take place on the top three floors of the five-floor museum, with Biennial works interspersed with the museum’s Orientalist Painting collection. Artist Collective’s Studio Address: Asmalımescit neighbourhood As part of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, a participating local artist collective will be redesigning their studio, which is an apartment in Beyoğlu. This venue will welcome smaller crowds on a fixed viewing schedule to explore a new and immersive installation developed by the collective specifically for the Biennial.

Along with being a recurring venue of the Istanbul Biennial, the building has a special atmosphere due to its legacy as a school, a place for learning and knowledge and a key institution in any residential neighbourhood.

Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam Address: Yavuz Sultan Selim Mahallesi, 34083 Fatih-İstanbul

Ark Kültür Address: Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Batarya Sk. No:2, 34430 Beyoğlu-İstanbul Ark Kültür, located close to Istanbul Modern and Galata Greek Primary School, was originally built as a family home. The two-storey Bauhaus-style house was inhabited by different families throughout the decades. After going through a change in its physical appearance under the ownership of a single male – an Italian antique dealer who changed the building to an eclectic living space – the house was restored back to its original state in 2008 by architect Gülfem Köseoğlu, the last owner who converted the building to exhibition and cultural space. For the 15th Istanbul Biennial, the space will yet again be inhabited, this time by a fictive character. Thus, the venue will be transformed into a domestic setting, a “house museum”, in which visitors can engage in layered narratives. Pera Museum Address: Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:65, 34430 Beyoğlu-İstanbul Pera Museum was originally built by architect Achille Manoussos as Hotel Bristol in 1893. Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation founded the Pera Museum after the neo-classical building’s renovation in 2005. Located just off İstiklal Caddesi, this private foundation museum has three large collections: Orientalist Paintings, Anatolian Weights and Measures, and Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics. The first two floors house selected works from these collections.


Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam is located in the Fatih neighbourhood across the Golden Horn. While it is the site furthest away from the other venues, it still remains within walking distance. Constructed in 1477, the hammam is one of the oldest Turkish baths in Istanbul and beautifully portrays the traditional social structures of the Ottoman period. Both the male and the female sections of the hammam will be used for the Biennial, the latter will be used as an exhibition space for the first time. A female artistic position will occupy the male section and a male artistic position will occupy the female section. Thus, this venue will engage with the traditional infrastructure of the spaces by challenging its traditional gender separation – and as such, the perception of codices of identity such as masculinity and femininity, as well as patriarchal and maternal structures. For more details on the 15th Istanbul Biennial’s Public Programme can be accessed at

e r ’ u o Invited


Join the International Women of Istanbul at one of our “Meet & Greets” in September

This is a great opportunity to learn more about IWI, meet other members, register for events and signup or renew your membership. European Side

Asian Side

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 10:00 - 13:00

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 11:00 - 13:00

eOfis, Pol Center Büyükdere Cad. Ecza Sk. No:4 Floor: -2 Şişli/İstanbul

Zamane Kahvesi Suadiye Mahallesi, Bağdat Cd. No:403 Floor: 1 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Learn more or sign-up for membership at




travels, she connects the dots between the evolution of Turkish art and history and today’s contemporary art scene. In particular, she has great interest in the period when Turkey was converted into a republic, ensuing revolutions and how the republic has changed over time. “I usually take my groups to art museums to cover Turkish Art History from the beginning. I follow the history, politics, economy, zeitgeist, incidents of the world leading up to today, in order to provide context to the audience. Over time, after having covered the permanent exhibitions of museums we go on with temporary exhibits, galleries, art institutes for contemporary art. I also cover the important foreign artists and exhibitions taking place at the moment”. “A work of art is not just a piece of material but includes ideals, feelings, thoughts, customs, propaganda and intentions. By reading art pieces we understand Ottomans, Turks, yesterday and today. To many foreigners there were the Ottomans, now there are modern Turks, and what happened in between is unclear”.

BANU KÜÇÜKSUBAŞI IWI welcomes our newest IWI programme partner, Art Consultant and Historian Banu Küçüksubaşı

For Küçüksubaşı, art is a way of building bridges of familiarity – and that excites her the most about her job. “To my native Turkish groups who are missing the content and context of a work of art, I help them build an awareness of art as a form of communication. For my foreign clients, I help them get to know Turkey and Turkish culture better and work to dispel any prejudices and misunderstandings they might have been”.

As we head into Fall, you will see a new face in our roster of programmes. With a focus in Turkish as well as contemporary art, Banu Küçüksubaşı has been organising tours of art museums, galleries, and studios around Istanbul, as well as seminars and tailor-made programs for groups such as IWI since 2012.

Outside of the art scene, Küçüksubaşı enjoys sports, and recently became a yoga teacher, and has been spending her time improving her practice. When she isn’t working – her perfect day would be away from the crowds – sailing to the Princes’ Islands on a weekday, and enjoying rakı-balık or a nice wine. She recommends visiting the many fisherman villages around Istanbul for a non-tourist and non-oriental locale to understand today’s Istanbul.

Born in Ankara and raised in Istanbul, Küçüksubaşı studied Tour Guiding in Marmara University, Art History in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and has a masters degree in Art Management from Yeditepe University.

For upcoming IWI events hosted by Banu, refer to, or check out the calendar on page xx. You can follow her at: Facebook: /banu.Kucuksubasi Instagram: @banukucuksubasi

With an extensive network of artists, collectors, art professionals, institutions, media in conjunction with her




RUNNING LIKE THE WIND If you are looking to kick up your running game a notch, or just want to get off the couch and start, there are several running and walking groups that can help you reach your goals, and also provide some camaraderie The running scene has exploded in the last several years, and thanks to several running and fitness groups in the city, you can burn some calories and make new friends in the process. New York City native Hope Gross Mandel, was motivated to stay active, and after some searching found the Bal Kaymak group. It is a running/walking club that was started by an expat, Marty Charters, who has since left Istanbul. “I discovered it about a year after I moved here. There is an email list and FB group. Every week, a spreadsheet goes out for drivers and riders. They meet Saturday mornings at 8:45 am at the Levent Carşı Metro. We arrive at the forest by 9:20 am, and then people do their own thing – they walk or run – some people do one or two laps, and meet back in one to one and a half hours. Then everyone usually goes to breakfast in Bahçeköy. In the summers, they may meet at one of the outdoor restaurants in Kilyos or go to Burç Beach. My first year, I had a lot of Turkish friends, but didn’t have a lot of stuff to do, so for me to find this was amazing”. If you are committed to improving your technique and pace, there are other training groups to help you focus your efforts. One of those is Adım Adım – Turkey’s largest charity running organization which has branches all over the country. They typically meet around 4.Levent around 7:15 am on Saturday and carpool to Belgrade Forest for an 8:00 am start. A typical training day would start with a 700m run, pull off into the woods, do warm-up exercises, and then runners would break off into groups – rookies, rookies plus, regulars, regulars plus, and advanced runners. There are a lot of drills and games, and there are volunteer trainers who can coach you on your technique. “Adım Adım is really good at engaging the rookies – when I first saw them, I was intimidated – you will see them at all the running events with their t-shirts. But they are very warm and welcoming. They have a Facebook page with information, their trainers speak perfect English, and after our runs, we all bring breakfast items and eat together I started doing that because I didn’t know anything about running. I started out as a walker, and after I left my job and started walking every day, my legs got stronger, and I thought ‘why don’t I run for a couple minutes’? and it progressed from there”, Mandel noted. In order to get you to practice under race conditions, the group holds a “race” in the forest the first Saturday of every month. More notably, Adım Adım raises a significant amount of money for charity, and as a thank you, the charities show their gratitude to the runners, by sponsoring picnics in the forest for them.

“Running has gotten more popular, there are many more races than there used to be, there are even multiple races on one weekend. I have embraced doing races in other parts of the country to see other parts of Turkey. About three years ago I did a race in Kars – the 50K race started in Ani, and I spent a week in that part of that country. I did a race in Cappadocia – which was four days and 21 K as part of a fourperson Bilgi University team. We walked through that part of the country, on the salt lake, and the other typical parts of Cappadocia, Mandel said. Another popular running group is the Istanbul Expat Runners group. “Istanbul Expat Runners was started with the intention of informing foreigners living in Istanbul of the running scene here and to give news of races in English, said Philip West, the group administrator. “Over the years a number of us have trained together at weekends and attended races. The very nature of work for foreigners means that our "active" group has changed a few times as some people leave to pursue their lives elsewhere and others arrive. “I adore the Belgrad Forest, and I know that there are dams there that used to supply water to the city. Quite a few races pass by these individually, but I put it in my head to arrange a run that would visit as many of them as possible and I give a little information about them. I have arranged the run twice now - the first went to 6 of these Dams and was 23km which some people found a little too long - so I changed the last dam (we do 6 out of the main 7) and the course is now 15km. The 6 Dams course is fabulous, but it is simply one of many tracks that we run together on Sunday mornings”! The group typically meets around 7:30 am Sunday morning and amongst their regular routes in the Belgrad Forest is one area called Neşet Suyu, which you can enter from Bahçeköy. It has a 6K crushed brick trail around a lake and has all different terrain. The other area is Ayvad Bendi from the TEM, you can access it from the Kemerburgaz entrance, and there are more dirt road trails. For more information about where these groups meet or events they are holding, you can visit the following: Facebook: Bal Kaymak Runner & Walkers Istanbul Expat Runners Adım Adım Koşu (or visit their website at Both the Facebook page and website are in Turkish




Talented French chef pâtissière, Sylvie Giaquinto is tantalising taste buds in Istanbul If you are lucky enough to snag a coveted spot in Master Baker Sylvie Giaquinto’s popular classes, there will be food, and more food! Aside from learning the techniques for quintessential French classics such as canelés, Paris Brest and brioche, you will leave with a full belly: she’ll spoil you with homemade cookies to nibble on during class and feed you a savoury lunch of quiche and salad. What is not to love?


he warm and bubbly founder of Symphonie by Sylvie is sharing her special brand of desserts from her native France, including tarts, cakes, bakery items, breads, wedding and birthday cakes, to enthusiastic epicureans in Istanbul. From an early age, Giaquinto had two passions: baking and art. However, the practical side of her prevailed and since she also liked the business world, she decided to apply her master’s degree in Marketing Management to earn money and keep the other interests as hobbies. With her flair for languages, her work took her around the world, from France, to Singapore, Italy, and the United States. She met her husband in Paris, and after the birth of their first child, they started a new chapter in their expat journey as a family, and moved to Russia. For anyone who spends a significant time in the kitchen, they usually fall squarely in one of two camps: cook, or baker. It was only when she moved, did she realise that she only knew how to bake – not how to cook! Luckily, her husband, who was born in the U.S. and raised in Italy loves cooking so they complement each other nicely. “If you ask my husband, even baking a chicken is difficult for me. I am extremely precise – I could spend hours on my cakes – but I don’t have the patience for cooking. Especially with the expat community you throw a lot of dinner parties – so each time we hosted, I would do the starters and desserts, and he would always do the main course. I never complained about it!” While in Russia, Giaquinto’s professional aspirations were still focused on how she would spend her time in a corporate setting. She still worked for her company when they moved to Russia, delivering e-learning for the World Bank and teaching ministers, she had a stint with the American school in Moscow as a substitute teacher, and then found a job in her field, in Human Resources. She discovered she was pregnant with her second child, and the moment she was supposed to give birth, they were told they were moving to Poland. She returned to France, delivered her son, and within two months, they were on the move again and arrived in Poland. In her area in Poland, she noticed there was a void in terms of boutiques and clothes shopping, so she created trunk shows where she brought back clothes from France every couple of months, and opened up her house to shoppers. While customers shopped, she offered them loads of homemade desserts and cookies, salad and quiche. “That was the first time I was sharing food with customers. This was really appreciated by the expat community in Poland, so I did that on a regular basis”. After their time in Poland, they moved to Thailand, where, she started to work in a Greek restaurant doing starters, quiches and desserts again. “I was helping a friend who was making jewelry and selling it at events, and to thank one of the event hosts, I brought some cakes to share with the participants. She happened to be the owner of


the restaurant, and after tasting them said my desserts were amazing and asked me if I wanted to work with her! What was great about this restaurant is they had their regular weekly specials, but I liked to create and try new things, so each week customers had something new to try, and all the expats would come and enjoy it. After we left Thailand, we went to Ukraine. I didn’t have much product to make desserts. For example, I had to make fondant myself using sugar and honey. It was a lengthy process to make everything from scratch, so when I baked, it was to share with my friends and not for business”. Their next move brought the family to Istanbul, which is where Giaquinto’s professional baking career got a kickstart. “Usually when you move countries, it takes about a year to settle down, and think about what you want to do. The same day school started, I went to school to see the head of the Parent Teacher Association, and I asked her if she would be interested in baking classes, and she said ‘yes!’ straightaway. She put me on the school newsletter and that is how my classes started. On that very same day, I went to an Italian pizza restaurant on the Asian side and my husband knew the owner very well. He mentioned that I loved to bake, so the owner and I exchanged some tips about cooking and pizza,

LALE GOURMET and desserts and then all of a sudden, they mentioned ‘we are having a wedding – would you like to do our cake?’ From my heart, I said ‘yes’! But, it was my first wedding cake! I was enthusiastic, but then panic set in ‘would I be able to make a cake for 120 people? How would I organise this?” I am lucky because I have some baking chef friends in France. I called one and asked for advice and they reassured me that I would be able to pull it off”.

Her first challenge was to find the appropriate size pans for a layered wedding cake. Unfortunately, these are not always readily available in the city, and because she happened to be traveling to Italy soon, she found a small baking shop with the help of her mother-in-law, and bought all the necessary items to make the cake. Next, she had to retro-plan, and determined it would take a week to complete. “You start with the decorations because they have to dry, then the cream has to be done one to two days before and refrigerated, then you have to do the genoise (cake), and then for the bottom layer of the cake, I needed a 70 cm diameter fondant to cover it. It was such a lengthy process. My arms were in so much pain – baking is very physical – almost like doing one week of gym training along with stress and exhaustion leading up to the day of the wedding. Then, it was not easy to access the wedding reception venue – it was on the Asian side, through pedestrian streets lined with cobblestones. So, you transport the pieces of the cake separately, and I assembled it layer by layer, only 10 minutes before we presented the cake. They didn’t know it would be my gift to them – and they were so happy – of course because it was their wedding they would never forget, but it was the cherry on top for them. So, the first day of school was really the start of my baking career”. The baking classes came out of regular get-togethers with the Istanbul French community and through a chance meeting with IWI Programmes Team member Ayşe Yücel.

“She had heard about me through someone else, and asked to organise some classes for IWI. I always try to teach at least three different things – I have to prepare a day in advance. I show everyone how to do it – and continue by using what I have prepared ahead of time. With some items like brioche or bread, you would have to wait several hours for the dough to rise, and you would lose time, so you have to be wellorganised. Hosting classes forces me to write down the recipes, and now I have my recipes in French and English and my aim is to write a book”. Down the road, she would like to open a patisserie. “I remember in high school – our aim was to open a French patisserie with tea, coffee, quiche for lunch and afternoon cakes. That is something I would love to do”.

Creating the perfect recipe is no easy feat, and Giaquinto spends countless hours on research and taste-testing. Just for the shortcrust she uses for both sweet and salty items, she tested 20-30 recipes, before arriving at her nofail version; it has the right elasticity, it will not break, and is easy to shape. As baked items can be temperamental, a critical factor in baking is having the ideal climate and instruments. “After my classes, you still need to try a couple of times before you have the ‘perfect’ recipe. Most baking needs to happen in a very quiet environment – ideally where the outside temperatures is not more than 25-26 degrees, otherwise, you will have to refrigerate items. If it is humid, things will cook slower. If you are unsure about cooking time or how hot your oven gets, it is better to bake an item longer on a lower temperature, than to burn it and have an undercooked item. Most baking is done around 180 degrees”.


LALE GOURMET While everything Giaquinto makes is delicious, she has her favourites when she wants to indulge. As her top choice, she mentioned Tarte au Citron Meringuée– which has a buttery, crumbly shortbread crust, meringue and a luscious lemony curd filling as her first choice. She listed Paris Brest – a choux pastry with vanilla and praline-flavoured cream filling – as her second choice. “The third is a recipe I haven’t shared yet, but is my signature item. I bake a biscuit together with almond crème, and on top, I put dark chocolate crème, and cacao and lime on top. It is something that people would die for!”

Oat cookies Ingredients: • • • • • •

120 gr of oat flakes 240 gr of flour 2 eggs 1 pack of dry yeast 1 pack of vanilla sugar 120 gr of chocolate chips (optional) or any type of nuts • 150 gr brown sugar • 75g softened butter • 75 g margarine or butter Preheat oven to 180 ° C. Mix flakes, flour and sugar (vanilla and brown sugar), then mix gently with eggs, yeast, sugar and butter / margarine, then add the flakes, plus chocolate or nuts. Put small flattened balls of dough on a baking tray covered with baking foil, spaced well apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, no more, as it continues to cook after coming out of the oven. Once hardened place on a dish and serve.

Giaquinto has a list of delicacies she wants to tackle next. “I would like to perfect macarons because my kids love them. I have only made a very simple vanilla macaron recipe with lemon curd crème inside. But I would like to test many different flavours and colours. The same for éclairs – I do chocolate, vanilla and coffee, but I would like to vary that a bit.” Another goal of hers is to work with caramel and perfect chocolate decorations, as long as the humid Istanbul weather relents. For Giaquinto, the beauty of what she does is in the sharing – whether it is her own creations- or what her international friends share of their culture. “I love sharing with others – for me, there is such joy, and when you see me in my class – it is my kind of meditation!” For more information about Sylvie’s classes, or to inquire about special occasion cakes, tarts, boulangerie or bakery items, you can contact her at: Email: Facebook: /symphonie.bysylvie Instagram: symphoniebysylvie Twitter: SymponieChef


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Sunday, 3 December 2017 Istanbul Marriott Hotel ĹžiĹ&#x;li 10:00 - 17:00







ach year with the long hot summer stretching ahead we choose two books: one substantial tome and one shorter, lighter ‘deckchair reading’, as the minimum to carry us through to late September and our first meeting of the book club year. A Fine Balance by Indian novelist Rohan Mistry is this summer’s tome, while our deckchair book is The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain. I have read both books but as we will not be discussing either of these novels until September the following remarks are necessarily my own. I read The Gustav Sonata several weeks ago and looking back at the notes I took at the time the first thing I notice is that they are very brief. Obviously, I did not have a lot to say about this novel at the time and now weeks later I have only a very sketchy idea of the book. Set in Switzerland before, during and after World War II, it tells the life story of an impoverished Swiss boy, Gustav, and his friendship with a wealthy Jewish boy. It covers a period of 65 years with flashbacks to his parents’ marriage and flash forwards to the middle-aged Gustav in the late 20th century. At its centre is wartime Switzerland. My notes tell me that I was disappointed at first in the writing, which seemed ‘simple, almost childish’, but that it ‘improved noticeably’ as the story went on. Although much of the subject matter is dark, this was in fact an easy, quick read. Our summer tome is a completely different kettle of fish. At over 600 pages this is a major work with its panoramic coverage of 20th century Indian history as a backdrop to the stories of four ordinary citizens. The lives of a young male student, a widow and two tailors become entwined during the ‘State of Emergency’ at a time of political turmoil in India. Chapter by chapter, singly and together, each protagonist’s struggles to find a home, make a life, survive are vividly evoked in poetic prose. The very first words of the text neatly illustrate Rohinton’s writing style: ‘The morning express bloated with passengers slowed to a crawl, then lurched forward suddenly, as though to resume full speed. The train’s brief deception jolted its riders. The bulge of humans hanging out of the doorway distended perilously, like a soap bubble at its limit’. The prose is beautiful, but the life experiences of the various characters are far from beautiful, even tragic. Some people who visit India are profoundly changed by the experience. Reading this novel, I can quite understand why. I found it an extremely well-written, gripping read, fascinating but ultimately sad and disturbing. Luckily, Jane Austin’s comic novel, Emma, rescued me from the sombre mood induced by A Fine Balance. Lesley Tahtakılıç






the western part of Germany based on democracy and rule of law, Soviet Forces take control of the eastern zone, establishing an entirely new nation governed by autocratic communist ideology. The vast differences in ideologies polarise the two world powers and split the globe into two distinct camps setting the stage for a battle of philosophies and a test of wills, marking the beginning of a new period in worldwide tensions, the Cold War. Over the next 40 years, the two superpowers go head to head in proxy conflicts around the world, in a dangerous game that borders at times on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Little is known about East Germany but it becomes the center of attention for several reasons, one of which is due to its geographical location as the westernmost frontier of communism during the Cold War. Ruled by a hard-lined dictator and controlled by a ruthless secret police, East Germany builds a massive concrete wall fortified by a “death strip”, and holds its 18,000,000 citizens hostage. A personal look at a tenuous era that divided a city and a nation, and continues to haunt us, Forty Autumns is an intimate and beautifully written story of courage, resilience, and love—of five women whose spirits could not be broken, and who fought to preserve what matters most: family



irst-time author Nina Willner is getting rave reviews for her book Forty Autumns, a personal tale of a family separated by the Iron Curtain and their four- decade struggle to sustain family ties. She spoke to us about her experience writing the book Recently, we had the pleasure of meeting Nina Willner to discuss her book Forty Autumns. She spent a Saturday morning with a group of women in a local cafe to discuss the book, talk about discovering her family history through the research process, navigating the world of publishing, and how she went from someone whose writing history comprised of intelligence cables and letters home to mother to getting a book deal with a major publishing house. Book Synopsis Twenty-five years after the fall of communism in Europe comes a true, inspiring story and a testament to the spirit of family bond in a story of five women in one family caught up in a Cold War drama: Sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, separated by the Iron Curtain and a brutal regime that kept them apart. Against a historical backdrop, this is their story about their lives, their struggles and their unwavering efforts to sustain family ties in an environment that was anything but normal. In 1945, the United States, Soviet Union and their allies defeat Nazi Germany in World War II. Germany is split into two separate zones. While the U.S. begins to help rebuild

The book is a story about Willner’s family during the Cold War at the end of 1945, when the Soviets came in and took over Eastern Germany all the way until 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell. It starts with her mother’s escape at the age of 20, where she leaves her entire family behind. Willner’s mother had tried to escape for the first time at the age of 17, but was fired upon by Soviet border guards. As the rebellious one in the family, she persisted, and finally made it out at the age of 20. She eventually came to America and started a family. Willner initially struggled with how to open the book, “It is a very serious subject, but a very inspiring story because my family prevailed. I went around and around and decided the book should open with innocence. I opened it as a five-year old girl wondering where my family is. My father was the only one to make it out alive from the camps in WWII, so I didn’t have any relatives on my father’s side. But I wondered where my mother’s relatives were, because all my friends had relatives. They said, ‘we have people but they are behind the Iron Curtain so you can’t see them’. That opened my eyes as a kid”. During her childhood, Willner and her family couldn’t get information other than from people who fled or people who were exiled and came to the West. Then in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and they got to see these people for the first time after 40 years – which is why the book is called Forty Autumns – for the four decades her family was separated. “You can imagine what living under an authoritarian, secret police regime does to a person, and how they have to adapt to life once they are set free. So, we didn’t talk about it,


LALE BOOKS even though we were curious about their lives”. Eventually family members started to open up and answer Willner’s questions. “We realised that we had a pretty amazing story – with a lot of drama– and it was a story that had to be told, because people haven’t heard this story of East Germany. I had to start on this long road of research because I had the family story, but for the reader, they had to know the story of what East and West Germany was”. Regarding her family’s personal story, Willner’s family had contact with their relatives in East Germany via letters, but it was limited since the Stasi secret police was listening in on conversations and reading mail. Luckily, she had all those letters from family, and she had names of her relatives as a starting point. She was also able to build a nice relationship with the director of the Stasi secret archives, and through tireless research, was able to find actual photos of the Stasi secret police taking pictures of Willner and her unit. With much persistence, she was also able to uncover documents of her stay and her East German family. Although the fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall was in the recent past, a lot of people either don’t remember or know about the Cold War, so Willner wanted to cement the story during that era. To accurately capture the historical context, she worked with a pre-eminent historian in the United States – one of the first to get into Russian archives – and she was able to uncover a lot of information. For her, it was important


to have access to anything should could find, and immerse herself in the place and times of the events that were happening. For readers who don’t know the story of the Cold War, they will learn it reading the book, and high schools and colleges are now picking it up to teach. As she delved into the past, Willner had access to first-time declassified and translated documents which included transcripts of conversations between Soviet leader Nikita Kruschchev and the East German leader Erich Honecker. Amongst the interesting discoveries was a record of conversation spanning six months where Honecker is pleading with Kruschchev to build a wall because people were fleeing the country in droves, and the Soviet leader responding with ‘we can’t do that – what will it look like to the rest of the world that we can’t contain our people?’ Everybody in the West believes that it was the Soviets who said they had to build the wall, but that wasn’t the case! While this and much of the other research she found didn’t make it into the book, it helped to corroborate other events that had taken place in history. The book introduces a wide range of characters and their experiences. There is Willner’s mother who escapes, Willner herself, her grandmother who stays behind to protect the family under those circumstances, her grandfather, a teacher whose job went from teaching altruistically to teaching propaganda. Though it pained him, he made sure his nine kids toed the line, but he was defiant to the point that he ended up

getting kicked out of the Communist party. One of Willner’s aunts did not join the Communist party and she learned what she had to deal with and the stifled life she had to live. There were some surprise findings as well. Before her mother left her favourite sibling before became a powerful Communist teacher, and almost made it to the top but didn’t make it because of his connection to Willner’s mother. Another uncle was a border guard at the Berlin Wall. An interesting coincidence was discovering that while Willner was conducting intelligence operations in East Berlin, her cousin, an Olympic athlete, was just one mile away practicing with the East German women’s cycling team. She knew nothing of this until the fall of the wall and had to piece the whole story together.


In 2005, Willner was living in Moscow, and it occurred to her to document her family’s story as a record for her children. The more she started writing, and incorporating her mother’s escape and her own story, she realised she had a book in the making. She started research when she returned to the U.S. in 2009 and published in 2016. Willner had the story, but not the experience or connections in publishing to reach the masses. “I made myself familiar with the industry and terminology and the first thing I did was write a query letter to an agent. I sent my first one to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code agent – and she answered within 12 minutes. She said, ‘sounds

LALE BOOKS fascinating – let me have your proposal.’ Instead of asking ‘what is a proposal?’, I looked it up and said ‘the proposal is coming’, and she was fine with that. A proposal is a marketing tool; you have to offer sample chapters, and it details chapter by chapter what you will have in the book and how you will get involved in marketing and promotion, so your manuscript and proposal have to be ready to go. I turned in an outline of a proposal and she asked for more. When I was querying, I had not written the entire book. I had my manuscript in first draft form and it was very loose. About six months later, I turned it into Dan Brown’s agent again, but I had burned that bridge – they don’t wait”. “The lesson there is, the proposal should be solid, intriguing and comprehensive, and the manuscript has to be ready to go. In preparation, have other people look at your work because they will see things you won’t. Once you are done on the computer – print it off and read it because it really looks different on paper and you’ll see big mistakes in content or flow or substance”. “My personal process was to go out to several agents with the manuscript. People generally don’t respond, and if they do, it is with a form letter, and they might take another step and give you one line ‘good story, writing is nowhere near publication’. I never saw those as rejections, I saw those as little nuggets of wisdom that I could work on. One time I had an agent in Washington D.C. who asked for a meeting, to see the proposal and was going to read the manuscript over the weekend. However, on Monday, she wrote back and said she didn’t think I wanted to travel in just to hear bad news”. Not willing to take no for an answer, Willner followed up and asked for five minutes of the agent’s time. “You can’t just lay down and die – the worst that she could say was ‘no’”. The agent eventually wrote back and agreed to meet. I went there and asked what she would suggest I do. She told me that the writing really has to be good – and if that if you aren’t a writer, there are people I could give it to for $10,000-$20,000. She was suggesting I put my manuscript in someone else’s hands – I realised that doesn’t work for me. There were a couple of agents who said ‘I will take you on if you put your story about your intel work up front’, and I refused to do that. The integrity of the whole story was the point, and I wasn’t willing to make myself the star of the show, so I lost a couple of top agents by refusing”.

As for the writing process, Willner said that getting into a writing group was critical to her success. “You would bring your chapter, people would come back to the next meeting having critiqued your work. They were people who wrote all different types of things and they were brutal — which is great. Tip-toeing around doesn’t work. During those reviews, I remember somebody asking a question along the lines of ‘was it called East Germany during the Cold War, because I don’t remember it ever being called that’. It may seem like a simple question, but if she is asking – other people may ask that too, and it makes you think about how you address those issues in the book”. “Finally, I went with a young, hungry agent who seemed to know my story better than I did. She worked to get the story ready for auction to the publishing houses. In my case – it never made it to auction, because Harper Collins made an offer”.

perspective, I thought ‘he’s having a moment here, he hasn’t see this much variety he is thinking this is incredible, this is the dream he’s been waiting for!’ I thought I knew what was going on in his head, but I found out later from talking to him that he wasn’t happy about it. He had grown up at a time where they had to stand in line for everything. Maybe there would be apples at the front, maybe they would have some form of decay, or maybe people bought the apples that had decay and now there was nothing left. So, he didn’t know if he could go from that life to this new reality. I spent years trying to change my mindset and get in their heads. I sent the German draft to my cousin to read it and to get feedback to get it right. And, I had managed to capture it – to get it right from the Western and Eastern German perspective”.

The book is sold in about 20 countries and has been translated into several languages. She has been touring Europe and the United States discussing the book, talking to groups, giving keynote addresses, and has also recorded a podcast for Harper Collins Academic to promote the book to colleges and universities. Willner has received a lot of fan mail from readers expressing their gratitude that someone has written their story. A lot of people are focused on the family history and how people pull together to get through this. There has been some chatter beyond the book, but Willner is clear that if people want to make this into a film, she would need to be written into the contract as a consultant to make sure they get the story right. “When you consider what some of these people in the East went through, it is very touchy and I can’t just willy-nilly put it out there”. Willner recalled a story where she thought she was getting it, but found her assumptions had to be challenged. The wall had recently come down, and her uncle had come from the former East Germany for a visit. They went to a supermarket to get groceries for dinner and Willner made a beeline to the seafood section, looked back and realised her uncle wasn’t there. He was still at the entrance where the produce was, and his jaw had dropped, and he was crying, standing in front of these perfect pyramids of red, green and yellow apples. “With my American

Incidentally, the IWI Book Club 2 will be reading her book for the December book club meeting. Please contact Mary Akgüner at mary.akguner@gmail. com if you would like more details on the event. For more information about Nina and her book, visit http:// Nina Willner is a former US Army intelligence officer who served in Berlin during the Cold War. Following a career in intelligence, Nina worked in Moscow, Minsk and Prague promoting human rights, children’s causes and the rule of law for the US Government, non-profit organisations and a variety of charities. She currently lives in Washington, DC and Istanbul, Turkey. Forty Autumns is her first book.




REMINISCING ROMANTIC ROMANIA Izmir-based expat and travel writer Catie Funk takes a road-trip through Romania

Bucharest, once known as the little Paris of Romania, set an example for its outlying villages, like Braşov. Following suit, they look like small Parisian villages with their crepe stands and cafes making a boulevard down main street. Often overlooked on the regular European tourist trail, Romania remains an eminently worthy travel destination in its own right. Romania is a great country for those who’ve seen all the major European cities and want to get away from the overcrowded tourists hot spots. I found that Romania offers plenty of tourist attractions without the craziness of tourist groups, lines, and prices. In June, my husband and I met up with some of our expat friends, Ben and Marie, in Romania for a five-day reunion. Our traveling group consisted of four adults and two babies. Our friends, coming from Dubai, wanted to escape the boiling, brown desert for cooler green, lush forests. We just wanted to enjoy some European foods not readily available in Izmir and more reasonably priced than Paris or London, for example. And we both hoped to escape our towering apartments for a few hours via a road trip through the mountainous central area of Romania.


Romania’s 20 million people are spread over 240,000 sq km, perfect for a road-trip-meets-city type adventure. After meeting our friends at Bucharest International Airport, we picked up our rental car, purchased SIM cards with 3G data for 40 lei (€8.5), and headed north on the 2.5-hour drive to Braşov. The Romanian roads are easy to navigate and having a sim card helped with GPS directions and finding restaurants. Lying in the centre of the renowned Carpathian Mountains of Dracula fame, is a city in Romania’s Transylvania region. Established by the Teutonic Knights in 1211, and later occupied by the Saxons, Brasov was a walled citadel during the medieval times, for protection against invaders. Today the city is still surrounded by those medieval Saxon stone walls. For centuries, the city’s central location has given it a strong political influence in the region, especially during the Ottoman Empire dynasty, while also providing a trading doorway into western Europe. Brasov's German and Latin names mean “Crown City”. Its coat of arms bears a crown with oak roots, and can be seen on walls and buildings throughout the city.

LALE TRAVEL BUCHAREST Bucharest started from a humble beginning; founded by a shepherd in the Transylvania area named Bucur, or joy. The area was name after the shepherd and the river named after his wife, Dambovita. From these humble beginnings grew a thriving city. Ironically enough, the Ottomans officially wrote about Bucharest when their dynasty was under occupation by Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Dracula, of Bram Stoker’s iconic vampire novel. Bucharest, by now the nation’s capital city, was an important stop along the Silk Road. Living in Turkey gives me an instant connection to Romania’s long forgotten history.

The city centre is lined with romantic cobblestone roads. The inelegant looking, yet stunning, Gothic-style Black Church (named for the fire that turned its walls black) peeks from behind colourful baroque houses that shield the Council Square of Piaţa Sfatului, and the former town hall, Casa Sfatului. Just beyond the city, towering mountains clad with thick forests cover the countryside. One of our favourite tourist activities in Brasov was riding the gondola to the top of Mount Tampa. For 17 lei a person (€3.7), you can purchase a roundtrip ticket, and it’s a great way to see panoramic views of the city. Or if you like hiking, and the weather permits, 10 lei (€2) will get you a one-way ticket either direction. For the history lovers, the free Braşov walking tour is ideal. This interesting two-hour tour covers 800 years of the city’s history. You’ll hear stories about the citadel and Dracula while walking through one of the narrowest streets in Eastern Europe. The tours cover the history of the Black Church, the Council Square, Rope Street, St. Nicholas Church, the Citadel’s Walls, the Schei Quarter and Ecaterina’s (Catherine’s) Gate. The tour runs daily at 18:00 in all weather (sun, rain or snow!). It meets at the Piata Sfatului (the Town Hall Square next to the fountains). While the tour is free, the guides work from tips. We suggest tipping at least €5 per person, and we felt it was well worth it.

In the 1900s, Bucharest earned the name of "Little Paris" for its European architecture and tree-lined boulevards. But since then, World War II, earthquakes, and 45 years of communist rule, have taken their toll on the city’s former majestic beauty. However, today you can still find plenty of these majestic buildings and architecture like major boulevards, the Palace of the Parliament, and the Transfagarasan, considered by many to be the most beautiful road in Europe. Nowadays, 25 years after the Romanian revolution against the Communism, Bucharest is once again starting to resemble its former title of "Little Paris" as an urban location, full of culture and life. A visit to Bucharest will never leave you bored. It offers more than 50 museums, 12 theatres, 29 sites, and one Arc de Triumph. While I can't vouch for any of the museums, I can tell you that the pedestrian area around Old Town provides plenty of walking-only historical sites, lined with international food options. The same company, Bucharest Walkabout Tours, offers free Bucharest walking tour of the Old Town. The two-hour tour covers a 500-year span of history, with stories about the life and times of Vlad the Impaler through to the 1989 Revolution, and how that has affected modern-day Romania.

Braşov is a unique location. Even with its small-town, quiet feel in the middle of the mountains, restaurants and activities remains plentiful. Braşov offers much to explore within, and around, the city. The nearby city of Bran is home to Bran Castle, a.k.a. the famous Dracula's Castle! A quick 30-minute drive from Braşov, the castle is easy enough to find. Castle tickets are 30 lei (€8) per adult. The uphill walk to the castle takes 10 minutes. While the attraction is kid-friendly, the castle itself with its many stairs and turns is not strollerfriendly. The village of Bran offers tempting strolls along the streets, lined with local shopping goods and souvenirs, and plenty of places to eat along the way. Other surrounding villages offer the same atmosphere usually with fortified churches or castles. Three days are sufficient to explore all that Braşov has to offer, but if you want to see more of Transylvania, you can easily add a few more nights! On our return from Braşov to Bucharest, we found the well-maintained Peles Castle, and the nearby city Sinaia, provided a cosy half-way stop.


LALE TRAVEL You’ll also hear about Romania under the “Golden Era” of communism. This tour runs daily at 10:30 am and 18:00 pm, in all weather (sun, rain or snow!). It meets at the Unirii Square Park in front of the Clock (next to the fountains). While the tour is free, these guides also work from tips.

Victoriei including the monument to the revolution called Piata Revolutiei, the eloquent French architecture of the Atheneum and Athenee Palace Hilton hotel, and the National Museum of Art (once the Former Royal Palace). The Former Central Committee Building and the Revolution Memorial—which locals call ‘an olive on a stick’—are also found

Ceauceșcu’s utilitarian rule, the building is today a testament to Romanian history, and the country’s recovery from his iron rule. The Palace of the Parliament, known by the locals as ‘Ceauceșcu’s Palace’, with 1,100 rooms and 12 stories, can be seen from space. Its construction took 13 years to finish! Depending on what you want to see, tickets can be purchased to see a certain number of chambers, the basement, and the main balcony. Ticket prices range between 25-45 lei (€5-10). For children and students (with student ID card), entrance is free. If you want to see more than the Old Town and the Palace of Parliament, the popular Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour sells 24-hour tickets and covers a 10-mile route. This bus also takes you past the 27meter high Arc de Triumph and the 462-acre Herăstrău Park, built around a natural lake.

Since 1692, Calea Victoriei has been one of Bucharest’s most famous streets. Lined with fine houses, palaces, churches, and hotels, you’ll also find upmarket shops and museums along its length. From the Brancovenesque houses at the northern end to the art-deco, 1920s apartment blocks further south, the vast number of architectural styles is an impressive sight. Several major attractions are found on Calea


along the Calea Victoriei. If you start your walking tour at the northern end, and explore the full length of the street, you can then end up relaxing in one of the cafes of Old Town. Our days were filled with strolling past buildings of Belarus architecture, and resting on benches along shaded treelined boulevards lined with fountains. Bucharest’s mammoth Palace of Parliament is the second largest building in the world. Once a symbol of

Be sure to visit the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, Bucharest’s largest, open-air museum which showcases the diversity and charm of Romanian traditional village architecture. It boasts 300 houses, farms, windmills, and churches imported from all regions of Romania. Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tickets for adults are 25 lei (€5), children (ages from seven to 14) are 10 lei (€2) and children under seven travel free. My favourite part about Romania is that neither Bucharest nor Braşov made us feel rushed. Instead, our first visit to Romania made us feel like we lived there like the locals, and not like tourists. Travel should always feel like that.

LALE TRAVEL Trattoria Pocol – Stylish pizzeria but still kid friendly La Vatra Ardealului – Bakery near the Black Church Posada Cernica – Dinner stop on our way up to Braşov Bucharest Caru' Cu Bere –- Romanian food for lunch in Old Town Emilia Cremeria – Personal favourite ice cream shop in Old Town Chinese Garden – Chinese Food El Toritos – Mexican food we ordered online and they delivered!

The rich history and sights in Romania's capital city of Bucharest and the soon-to-be major tourist destination of Braşov in the Transylvania region made for a perfect week-long getaway. SIDE BAR: From Bucharest to Brasov, we stopped about one hour outside of Braşov in a little railroad town of Posada for supper and let the children take a break from the car seats. Enjoy a traditional Romanian dish such as cabbage rolls or smoked sausages with a side of corn meal with salty cheese and sour cream at the restaurant called Cernica.

WHERE TO STAY Because our group was six people (four adults and two kids) we opted for a more family style lodging and stayed in Airbnb apartment-style housing. Before deciding to go the Airbnb route, below are a couple of hotels we had looked at booking: Hotel Coroana in Braşov Chic Apartments in nearby Sibiu Sarah & David Studios in Bucharest WHERE TO EAT Braşov La Republique – Laid-back breakfast crepes in town centre

WHAT TO DO Bran Castle – Braşov Gondola or Tampa Cable Car (Telecabina Tampa) – Tel: 0268 478.657 Braşov Walking Tour – https://brasov. Bucharest Walking Tour – http:// Bucharest Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour - eng.html Catie Funk is a travel writer, part time language learner, and co-host to The FunkTravels Podcast. Before moving to Izmir with her American husband, Catie coordinated university study abroad programs to multiple international locations, and she has lived five years between Turkey and Afghanistan. She shares her expat lifestyle, local events, and travel with others through her website, funktravels. com, and via social media @funktravels.

HOW TO GET THERE: From Istanbul, Pegasus Airlines has direct flights to Bucharest via the Sabiha Gokcen Airport at around $150 roundtrip. As we live in Izmir, we had a short, 1.5-hour layover between our Izmir to Istanbul then Istanbul to Bucharest airports. Turkish Airlines has a few more locations available besides Bucharest in Romania via Cluj-Napoca and Constanta. IN COUNTRY TRANSPORTATION: Because we wanted flexibility in our travels, our group decided to rent a car via the Pegasus's car rental section of their website. The free shuttle provided by the car rental company took us from the airport to their company only 5 minutes away. If driving in another country is not your cup of tea, taxis, buses, and even trains between cities are easy to use and inexpensive as well.





SICILY ON A WHIM In planning my new series of Sicilian photo walks, I invited a group of Istanbul expat ladies to join me on a test run. We arrived in the eloquent city of Catania at the foot of Mount Etna, for the grand festival of Sant’Agata This ancient festival took us by surprise. The sense of honor and emotion that took over a city, was overwhelming. The devotion and love for their saint with a touch of humour and Italian style was wonderful to witness and be a part of. and everyone woke up to celebrate. The white night shirt is worn in remembrance of this night. Contact me for coming up trips here /Anadol travel – MONICA FRITZ Monica Fritz is a professional photographer who has lived in Italy 13 years and in Istanbul 20 years. Her popular photo tours are listed in Lonely Planet's "Top Choice" list.

And the fest begins!

A proud horseman with medals of Sant’Agata


Lovely Nonita posing with a Carabinieri

The carriage with St. Agata’s silver casket illuminated by candles


Floats representing the different trades of the times and the devotion of the craftsmen

The Felliniesque vision. A tribute to the Sant’Agata, a beautiful and wealthy young virgin who died in 251 after refusing advances of a Pagan Prefect who then jailed her and forcibly had her breasts removed. Legend has that her severed breasts were miraculously healed by Saint Peter during her incarceration. She was later burned to death.

A final shot with the Mayor of Catania

St. Agata’s body was lost and later found in Constantinople in 1126. On her return to Catania, they blew a whistle and everyone awoke to celebrate. The white night shirt is worn in remembrance of this night.

A devotee of the Saint, and sweetness rules

A day trip to the splendid Taormina,with Etna in the background, the place was ours!




SPICE UP YOUR SKINCARE Look no further than your kitchen to add some zest to your beauty routine. Cristina Negoita Çetinkaya shares how to make the most of the herbs and spices on hand to brighten and improve your complexion


ould you have ever thought that the spices that you use almost every single day to flavour the food you cook could be successfully used as cosmetic ingredients for your own beauty and wellness too? Spices, which are rich in antioxidants and other active ingredients, can treat your minor complexion flaws and clean your skin of the tiniest particles of dust and makeup. Here are a few handy and easy-to-use recipes, where spices are the key ingredient to improve or maintain your complexion:


Don’t let a last-minute breakout before a major event ruin your day. To tame any blemishes on your face, use the following combination: mix a teaspoon of honey with half teaspoon of ground cinnamon and apply directly on the pimple and wait until the next day. If the pimple does not go away within a day, you can repeat the same treatment once more. Cinnamon contains active substances which have been touted as anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon can also supposedly slow down the aging process and can be used as follows: combine one teaspoon of cinnamon, one teaspoon of lemon juice, three teaspoons of olive oil and one teaspoon of brown sugar. Mix these ingredients, apply it on your clean face and leave it on for 15 minutes, then wash it with warm water and apply your daily face cream. Repeat and apply weekly.



In case your complexion suffers from breakouts and acne, and you are fed up with expensive and ineffective products, you can always make your own natural face mask. Turmeric is an ancient spice native to southern Asia, full of antibacterial properties. It can help you reduce the ugly aspect of your acne. You can apply this mask every other day, using the following natural ingredients: one teaspoon of turmeric and as much lemon juice that is needed to form a paste. You can apply this paste on your acne zone and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash it off with warm water, apply your usual toning lotion and daily moisturizer. If you are starting to see wrinkles, turmeric can help decrease the appearance of fine lines. All you have to do is mix a few grams of turmeric with one spoon of yogurt, apply it on your cleaned face and leave it on for 20 minutes.


Black pepper is a spice commonly found in kitchens around the world, but did you know that it also has beneficial beauty properties? Face masks containing black pepper are revolutionary treatments in the beauty sector and can be easily used by anyone who battles problems with their complexion. Below are some examples of face masks made with pepper. Exfoliating face mask: Mix one teaspoon of ground black pepper with two teaspoons of yogurt. Apply the freshly-made paste on your clean face and massage it in a circular motion for a few minutes. Rinse it off with cold water. This exfoliating mask cleanses the skin, makes it brighter, and reduces the appearance of scars and pigmentation. Another face mask to combat acne is made from black pepper and honey. For this you need half a teaspoon of


ground black pepper, one teaspoon of honey and the white of an egg. Mix these ingredients, apply it to a clean face and leave it for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. This face mask cleanses the pimples and brightens your complexion.


This herb has a reputation for helping invigorate dull skin by stimulating circulation. A natural astringent, rosemary can help remove excess oil without stripping your skin. Rosemary is a powerful aromatic that can help energise you and boost brain power. Use it as part of your morning routine. Boil some water into which you add some fresh rosemary. Remove the infusion from heat and leave it covered for a few minutes. Remove the cover, position your face over the warm water without touching it, and drape a towel over your head and the infusion. Stay there for five minutes. Your skin will appear refreshed and rejuvenated. Don’t use this method if you have rosacea. Instead, you can use the rosemary water as a toning lotion after cleaning your face.


Ginger, as we know, has many antiaging properties. It is also helpful to eat when we have digestive problems or a cold, and even if we want to lose some weight. But, did you know that you can also put it on your face to make your complexion cleaner and softer? You just cut two thin slices of ginger and

dab them on your face. Don’t rub it in, as this can cause irritation. Wait for 20 minutes and then rinse your face with cold water. Ginger can also be used as a hair mask if you want to prevent hair loss: you’ll need a spoon of grated ginger and a spoon of olive or jojoba oil. Mix these two simple ingredients and apply it on your wet hair rubbing it on the hair roots for at least 15 minutes, which will stimulate the blood flow in that area. First, you’ll feel a little bit of warmth on your hair roots — this means that the ginger is doing its job. Wait for another five minutes and then rinse your hair with warm water. You can use this treatment every other day for one month. You will see that in time your hair will become stronger and your dandruff will disappear.

Age, pollution, lack of sleep and diet are all culprits when it comes to puffiness and dark, under-eye circles. A natural way to combat this is to use mint. Mint contains menthol which improves circulation, and evens out skin tone. It is also a natural astringent which constricts blood vessels around the eyes, thereby diminishing the bluish tint and making eyes appear brighter. For a natural remedy, boil one mug of water into which you add a handful of fresh mint. Cover the mug with a lid and leave the water to cool down. When cold, strain the water into a glass bottle. Each time you want to refresh your eyes and get rid of dark circles, you dip two cotton pads into this water and put it under your eyes. In as little as 10 minutes, you’ll have fresh and bright eyes! There are many formulas which use natural spices and ingredients for cosmetic use. I wrote about just a few of them, and I hope they are helpful. If this interests you, do your research and start making your own cosmetic products at home. In time, you may reduce your reliance on expensive products and treatments that are full of chemicals. Believe me, you will be surprised at the results!

The content in this article is not intended as a substitute for medical counselling. Consult your health care professional prior to the start of any regimen to determine if it is right for your needs.


Take a little break from the ongoing digital revolution and step into a world where you’ll come face-to-face with drawing and art Istanbul Comics & Art Festival will be held for the first time this year at St. Joseph Social Club in Kadıköy. The festival will take place from 23-25 September 23rd, 2017 and will feature the most prominent cartoonists, comic books, animations, illustrations, graffiti artists, and alternative performing arts.

Comic Books Discover the old and new values of the world of illustration from the city’s best comic book stores and publishers, as well as collectors’ special selections. Workshops & Seminars Let professionals teach you about anything that piques your curiosity in comic book workshops, paper sculpture art, 3D printing, and all other things regarding illustrative arts. Animation Set yourself free in the colours and images of the animation world at the Poolside Animation Night Zone where there will be a selection of Turkish and international animation works. Music For those who love trying something different, top up your energy with all-day-long hip-hop, funk, and R&B performances on the ICAF stage. One-day or multi-day tickets can be purchased through Biletix. For more information, visit: Facebook: /ICAF Instagram: @istcaf Website:





Most people would agree the pursuit of happiness is a priority in their lives, yet it is a difficult concept to define. Irene Draisma examines the notion of happiness and its complex philosophical and psychological underpinning


ecently, a friend of mine asked me ‘Are you happy’? And although it sounds like a simple question and I could easily have said ‘Yes!’, I thought about the question instead of the answer. As most magazines nowadays focus on the causes of happiness or the ways to achieve it, I think it is important to first have a better understanding of the concept itself. What is it we are striving for and why?


During my first job as a psychologist, we treated people who suffered from chronic, medically unexplained pain and ailments using a holistic approach that drew from teachings as diverse as Buddhism, to ancient philosophy to modern science. One of the perspectives we integrated came from Mahayana Buddhism, in which the paramitas play an important role. By learning about six different states of perfection you reach enlightenment —a state where there is no suffering, but consciousness and infinite enthusiasm. According to Mahayana Buddhism, this is our true nature. If it does not seem to be, these perfections are obscured by delusion, anger, greed and fear. The first state is generosity; giving (materially or immaterially) without any expectations. The second is morality; thinking about the effects of your behaviour and trying to do good. The third is patience; staying calm no matter what happens. The fourth is energy, always refining the drive within to make the best out of your life. The fifth is meditation; empowering your attention. And the sixth is wisdom; a clear understanding, which comes from nourishing the other five. When you cultivate one of these virtues, it effects the other five, though the order in which it is done is significant.

These ideas are similar to other philosophies about ethics in regard to having a connection with everything, your own responsibility and meaning in life.



According to the Aristotelians, happiness is more than doing and getting the things you desire. It is also about doing good to experience satisfaction. They believe well-being (Eudaimonia) to consist of a life of virtuous activity. They define happiness as the fulfilment of our human capacities. Like in other ‘objective list theories’, wellbeing is more about doing well than getting the things you want.


Kabir Helminski, a well-known practitioner of the Mevlevi tradition of Sufism, originally grew up in a working-class, Catholic family. He was interested in consciousness and human development and in his university years started to study far-eastern teachings. He was most touched by a Sufi sheik from the Mevlana tradition. He came to the conclusion that for him, the most important reality in life is the sense of the heart, because the heart adds value to the perception by our other senses. He calls it love. He states that the heart is the instrument to experience a connection with the universe. And when we cultivate our heart, we become more present, more engaged in relationships and finally we become independent of the longing for the love of others, because we are in contact with the essence or love itself. Because we are holistic creatures, all human beings have this innate capacity to experience the infinite. We need to strengthen our hearts to experience the purposefulness of existence. The commonalities with other ideas include the focus on feelings, connectedness, meaning and holism.


Taking a look at the concept of happiness in my own life, I feel like I can say I have been and am still happy most of the time. I can see it as satisfaction about my life and the things I have done, being completely in the present, or the longing for more life to live, to learn and to discover. Until I was about 18 years old I was not really aware of being happy or not — I just was. After an extended period of feeling

LALE WELLNESS down, I started to distinguish my emotions consciously and evaluate them. As a student, I was pretty optimistic and the circumstances of my life were almost perfect. I liked my studies; I loved my parents and brother; I had great friends and a boyfriend; I travelled; did sports, and loved to dance on the weekends. When I started to work, I lost some of my freedom, and had to treat patients who had gone through very traumatic experiences, who had been abused or were suffering from their own criminal or addiction history. Everyday that I went to my work, I was fairly positive and my colleagues were great, but when I came home I felt down, and the memories of people’s stories came back to me. After four months working in my first job as a psychologist, my mother died by suicide. She suffered from severe depression her whole life, but at other times she was a very passionate, responsible, loving and lively woman, mother and teacher. I was completely shocked. I knew she had been in a prolonged state of depression and nothing seemed to help, but I never expected this. It was too painful to imagine. It felt like there was a big hole inside my body in place of my heart. I thought I would never be truly happy again. I felt miserable and I cried almost every day. But at the same time, I kept going to my work, and I didn’t tell my patients anything about what really happened because I did not want them to see me suffering. However, there were also special moments that came out of this incident. My father, brother and I became closer, and we met more often to share quality time together and to remember my mother. After some time, the situation also gave me a lot of energy to live life to the fullest, to break with things or relations that were not important to me, and to focus on meeting special people and to do everything I wanted – which mostly meant traveling. I met people whose relationships I treasured, and had extraordinary experiences. I believe happiness embodies many things: having different experiences, knowing yourself, feeling what you are able to, sharing love with others, special moments, suffering, laughing, creativity, ideas, learning, nature, movement and change. Happiness exists in many ways, but consciousness and openness are important as well. In my opinion, happiness occurs over time as a result of personal development, life experiences and having a sense of meaning —that you offer something to the universe. At the same time, there can be exceptional moments and special unexpected coincidences in which you feel that your soul is connected to the universe.

I found that circumstances can help you to feel good, but like my patients, I learned that ‘doing good’ is independent of circumstances, and so happiness is always there.


I asked 10 men and women who spanned different ages, their recommendations on reaching happiness. Below is a list of their suggestions: • Don't pursue happiness – find a purpose and pursue meaning • Do the things you find interesting but that are also a little scary in order to overcome your fears • Let go more often then you feel like • Stop comparing yourself to others • Take good care of yourself physically and emotionally • Make decisions: whether you fail or succeed in your choice, you learn confidence in yourself • Embrace change: change keeps you alive, because challenges help you to develop • Stop pleasing others and do what you find interesting • Nurture your relationships and stay in touch with the people you love • Help others and offer something of yourself, whether it be love, lessons, plans, design, art, ideas, care, humour, listening, etc. • Commune with nature • Be conscious of your existence, thoughts and environment • Don’t be afraid of suffering • Know that happiness is always within reach

Irene Draisma MSc. Psychology has a master’s degree in clinical neuropsychology from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. She has worked as a psychologist in both public and private practice. Prior to moving to Istanbul, she ran her own business, Pscyhologist International NL.




RELIEVING THE BACK TO SCHOOL BLUES Even the most composed kids can feel anxious about starting a new school year. Rachel Smith Bahadir discusses ways to help calm those fears

Psychology experts at John Hopkins also warn that “anxiety symptoms that persist beyond the first few weeks of school may require consultation with an expert”.

still remember my first day of fifth grade at a new school. I didn’t know anyone in my class. I had ridden a bus to school by myself for the first time without my older brother and it was one of the last buses to arrive before the school day began. I walked into my classroom which was full of kids all seated quietly at their desk. I walked up to the teacher and introduced myself. She quickly told me, without ever looking up from whatever she was reading, to find the desk with my name written on it and sit down. I slowly walked through the aisles making my way to the few desks which were still empty and none of them had my name. Not knowing what to do I made my way back up to the teacher. At this point all eyes were on me, the new kid, except for the teacher’s. She was still looking straight down, reading. I had always been taught to never interrupt an adult when they were talking or reading (yes, I’m from a different generation where smart phones, to my knowledge, did not exist). After standing there patiently in my tight rolled jeans in front of the whole class for what felt like eternity my heart beginning to beat faster, my teacher finally looked up and said “why are you standing here?, I told you to find your desk and sit down”. At this point I started to hear sniggers, again ALL EYES at on me. Then as I proceeded to say, ”but I don’t see my name”, smiles broke out on faces of the entire class followed by a roar of laugher. And, my face turned red. If you are wondering what happened next the teacher soon realised because I was new my name had not yet been added to her class roster. I’ve had many first days since then but that’s the one most anxiety full first day I can remember.

HANDLING STRESS & ANXIETY DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR During the school year yoga can be a good tool, helping children to deal with stress and anxiety in healthy ways which include breathing, mediation, mindfulness, yoga poses as well as lessons in compassion, understanding and dealing with anger.


Beginning a new school year or a new school can be very stressful for kids. Expat children are often more experienced at starting new schools, meeting new teachers, making new friends and settling into new homes; therefore, it may be a little easier for them. However, no matter how experienced your kids are, they almost always face a little anxiety on that first day or week(s) of school. PREPARING KIDS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL There are many things parents can do to make their kids more comfortable. We all know the basics: Make sure your kids have a good night’s sleep, feed them a good breakfast, make sure they have all their school supplies, review their afterschool routine and give them words of encouragement. Psychology experts from the John Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA have a few more tips to share: 1. Arrange a play date with class peers before the school year starts. We all know what it’s like to be the new kid (as children & adults). It’s always nice to show up to work, school or any event and see someone you know. Familiarity usually relieves some anxiety. 2. Start the transition a week or more before school begins for example set realistic bedtimes and selecting clothing the night before turning it into a routine. 3. If possible, visit the school before the school year begins locate and spend time in the classroom(s) and playground if possible. Come up with a prize or a rewarding activity that the child can earn for separating from mom or dad to attend school; 4. Validate the child’s worry by acknowledging, like any new activity, starting school can be hard but (with some hard work) soon it becomes easy and fun.


According to Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, Contributing Editor for Harvard Medical School Health Publications, yoga and mindfulness have been shown to improve both physical and mental health in school-age children (ages 6 to 12). Yoga and mindfulness offer psychological benefits for children as well. A growing body of research has already shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behaviour and can even reduce anxiety and stress in children. As a yoga teacher myself, I have some advice on how parents can use yoga to benefit their kids: 1. Teach them to BREATH. ***** When faced with anxiety, fear, anger or nervousness taking deep breaths (in through the nose & out through the month) can make a big difference; and, give kids a chance to process their thoughts more clearly, as well as calm their minds and bodies. 2. Teach them to meditate. YES, kids can meditate and there are many methods for teaching meditation (look it up on you tube or come to one of my classes); 3. Teach them a simple sun salutation using calming yoga poses (for example: reaching up then down into forward fold, down dog, up dog, child’s pose, down dog, forward fold & back up); 4. Teach them some empowering standing pose that they can practice on the playground (for example: Warrior II and Tree pose); and last but not least 5. Teach them to relax! I hope everyone has a smooth transition back into the 20172018 school year. I know I’m looking forward to teaching yoga to a new group of kids and adults. If you have additional questions please check out the links below. And, if you are interested in enrolling your kids in a yoga class please feel free to contact me. wellbeing/5-tips-to-ease-back-to-school-anxiety Rachel Smith-Bahdair: Is an International Yoga Teacher based in Istanbul, specializing in kids’ yoga, kids’ yoga teacher trainings, chakra balancing classes & guided meditations for adults (including seniors, prenatal & postnatal). Find out more at Balancing Life Yoga, KAY with Rachel , KiddingAroundYoga. com or contact her directly at



THE FOUNDATION OF A HEALTHY SOCIETY STARTS IN THE WOMB At Annezen, their philosophy is healthy individuals will form healthy societies, and raising healthy individuals starts by making conscious choices in birth and parenting. Lyubov Gürler spoke with founder Ayca Yılmaz about the centre


nnezen was established as a holistic organisation to support and develop natural approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting. With the belief that the first steps towards becoming an individual begin in the womb, they offer a variety of classes aimed to support the mother and child, including: yoga classes, birth preparation training, doula / birth support, breastfeeding counselling, massage, aromatherapy, natural products, bowel therapy, craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, and other parental support activities. Tell me about yourself and why you chose your profession I was born in Ankara in 1975. After graduating from Ankara Atatürk Anatolian High School, I studied Statistics at METU. Then in 1998, I moved to İstanbul to work as a fund manager in the finance sector. Over the years, I discovered yoga which heartfully affected my vision and I completed my first teacher training. After working in Finance for 11 years, I give birth to my son, I quit my job and started giving yoga classes, with a focus on prenatal yoga. This is how I started — with love. I see my job as a mirror of myself. How did you get the idea to start the company? Why was this important to you? We started the company in October 2013. I love supporting myself and I support myself through supporting people and families. I support myself through adding beauty to one’s life. Pregnancy and birth is an important milestone in one’s life. If you can have a kind, compassionate birth, it empowers women and families. Having a peaceful birth can change the world; anger may turn into love through the birth experience, as a mother and as a baby. What is your biggest challenge in this role? I think the biggest challenge is to balance my working time with my son’s free time. I sometimes need to work in the evenings and weekends to offer classes for working mothers. What types of activities do you offer, and for which age groups? • For pregnant women, we offer Hypnobirthing and IDA Childbirth education courses, doula services, pregnancy and mom-baby yoga classes. • For everyone we offer Kundalini yoga, qi gong and Pilates classes • For kids, we have kids’ yoga and body percussion classes • We also have experts who focus on alternative therapies like Cranio Sacral Therapy, Bowen Therapy (targets certain points on the body with gentle rolling movements to help it balance, repair and reset itself), and Osteopathy For more information, visit: Facebook: /annezendogumyoganefes Website:

Do you have any special programs for expats, people who can’t speak Turkish? What can someone attending expect? Yes, most of these classes are open to expats. All of our teachers are bilingual and we give classes in both English and Turkish when we have expats in the class.

Can you tell me more about Hypnobirthing? Hypnobirthing, or the Mongan Method, is an amazing way of preparing for birth. We work with the subconscious mind to see the fears, anxieties about birth and refocus to prepare our mind for a peaceful birth. We learn to trust that our bodies know how to bring our babies into the world in a calm and gentle way as nature intended. It is a process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Who delivers these classes and programs? I give Childbirth education (CBE) courses and doula services. Besides me there are other teachers who deliver yoga classes and therapists for alternative therapies —all are wellknown experts in their areas. What is your greatest achievement in life so far? My greatest achievement in life is to be able to get in a close and open relationship with myself! What type of feedback have you gotten? What have you learned in the initial stages of your company and how has that helped improve what you do? It is a warm welcoming and supportive place where people make new friendships. People have told me that ‘’Annezen feels like home”. What I learn is that boundaries protect the people and the company. So today I have set policies and boundaries according to needs which make everyone clearer. What does your perfect day look like to you? Having a satisfying work day, good relations with people around me, feeling satisfied about mothering and having some time for myself! Wow - this is a full, lovely day! What are your plans for the company? I want to grow my business but still keep the cosiness.



MEETINGS AND PLAYGROUPS IWI has weekly playgroups organised according to children’s ages. These are usually hosted by our members at their homes, meet-ups at parks or walks along the Bosphorus coast IWI GROUPS These playgroups are free of charge for IWI members. This is an opportunity to meet other parents of infants or toddlers, as well as share the joys and trials of motherhood while creating a support network. Please contact the Mums ‘n Kids Coordinator Lyubov Gürler at if you have any questions or suggestions. The coordinators will add you to the group’s mailing list to keep you updated about future events. Pregnant and infants (0-12 months) Coordinator: Ayşe Walkers – Younger Toddlers (1-2 years) Coordinator: Merle Toddlers (2+) Coordinator: Joanna Asian Side Playgroup (for all ages) Coordinator: Aida

PLAYGROUPS AT SCHOOLS Bosphorus International PreSchool, Emirgan Teacher-organised activity, song and circle time, garden play (weatherpermitting). Coffee, tea, milk and cookies provided. When: Fridays Time: 10am-11:30am Cost: FREE Age group: 0-3 years Please contact Ms Collette LaffanPersembe at or telephone at 0212 277 8444. *Note: please call on Thursdays to reserve. There are only 10 openings every week. Please only ONE known adult per child.


British International School, Zekeriyaköy

Eden’s Garden International Preschool, Yeniköy, Istanbul

Indoor and outdoor play (weatherpermitting), followed by snack and music time. A known adult must stay and supervise the child.

Baby Playgroup for Boys and Girls

Zekeriyaköy (Tuesdays and Fridays) / Etiler (Wednesdays and Fridays) Time: 9am-11am (both campuses) Cost: 10TL per session Age: 0-2.5 years of age Please contact Mrs Amanda Ilhan, Preschool and Primary Deputy Director at or telephone at 0212 202 7027 ext 116

When: Thursdays Time: 9:30am-11:30am Cost: 50TL per session, (no blockbooking required) Age: 0-3 years Where: Ballet Studio, Eden’s Garden International Preschool, Güzelce Ali Paşa Cad. No. 50, Yeniköy, İstanbul Bring: Soft slippers for little feet Please contact Karen Holyoak Çiftçi, Director at director@ or telephone 0212 262 4302

MUMS ’N KIDS Woodsview International Nursery and Preschool, Tarabya, Istanbul Mother and Toddler Music and Movement Class. Parents and guardians can come along for fun singing and dancing with their little ones. When: Tuesdays and Thursdays Time: 9:30-12:00 Cost: 30TL per class or 50TL for two classes per week Age: 6-23 months Where: Woodsview International Nursery and Preschool, Sumer Korusu, Altuncu Sk, No 5, Tarabya, Istanbul Please contact Maresa Shahnooshi, Teacher and Preschool Coordinator at or by telephone on 0212 299 3906.

Kindermusik at Play to Learn Pre-School

KidsAloud British Culture International Preschool

On the European side in Akatlar, Nişantaşı and Koç University Rumelifeneri Campus and on the Asian side in Ataşehir, offering different music classes.

Summer School Age 2-6 and playgroup activitiıes Emirgan, Istanbul, www. ingilizceanaokulu/sariyer Song & Circle Time, Daytime Activities (art, dance, drama, sport, outdoor play) An adult to stay and supervise child

My Time Programme: 18-30 months ABC, Music and Me Programme: 2-4 years of age Please contact Ms Ozlem Hun at info@ or telephone at 0212 352 3031 or 0532 237 2272.

Time: 10:30am - 12:00pm Wednesdays Cost: FREE for IWI members Bring: soft slippers Where: Kids Aloud British Culture Preschool, Emirgan Mah. Şirin Sok. No. 32, Emirgan, Istanbul Please contact Mrs Sevgi Doğan or Carroll Ibramihov Tan Telephone: 0532 361 4427 / 212 229 3776, or *Note: please call on Fridays or Mondays to reserve (within the quota) We offer a 50% discount for IWI members for the summer school and 2016 September term. www.ingilizceanaokulu/sariyer

The Mums ’n Kids Team is a volunteer group that organises activities for you and your children to enjoy. Please take responsibility for your own child’s safety. IWI is not liable for any injury or loss incurred

OTHER ACTIVITIES AND PROVIDERS Fotini Café - Arnavutkoy, Besiktas

Full Circle Healing Doula List

IWI members enjoy a waiver on the 8TL entrance fee to the playroom. Please present your IWI membership card to claim your discount. Please contact Lena at or telephone 0533 093 9992. Francalaci Cd. No.26, Arnavutkoy, 34345 Istanbul, Turkey


Gymboree Play and Music

LOLA (Lots of Lovely Art)

Gymboree Play and Music has been fostering creativity and confidence in children aged 0-5 for over 30 years. Today there are over 550 locations in 30 countries, making Gymboree the global leader in early childhood development programmes. Designed by experts, the age-appropriate activities help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play. The programmes are also recognised for their unique approach to parent involvement, which encourages participation in and understanding of each child’s development. Cost: 1,020TL for 12 classes (after IWI discount applied) Gymboree members can also enjoy complimentary free-play times during the week. For non-Gymboree members, IWI members these cost 30TL per hour. School Skills programme (drop-off) for the 2-3 year olds or 3-4 year olds. 10% discount on full-year School Skills programme for IWI members. Music and Art classes are also available. Limited offer for IWI members: 12 classes for the price of eight. Birthday parties for 1-7 year olds (20% discount for weekday bookings) Please contact Esra Taşar at or telephone 212 275 8787.

Our House

A café with a playroom dedicated to babies and toddlers up to three years old, Fotini Café is located along the Bosphorus coast and offers a comfortable area for you and your child to unwind and have fun at the same time.

15% discount for IWI members on Play and Learn classes in the Ortaköy branch. Please present your IWI membership card to claim your discount.

Hotpot Café - Şişli, Istanbul

Merkez Mah. Perihan Sk. Erbil Apt. No 71-73B, Şişli – Istanbul Located centrally in Şişli, with just a short walk from the metro station, Hotpot café offers playgroups (baby/toddler), yoga (prenatal, yoga, adults), dance and drama classes and other fun activities for both kids and mums. There is a 10% discount for IWI members. Please present your IWI membership card to claim. Please contact Melissa at or telephone 0212 343 5353.

There are doulas on both the European and Asian side. Doulas may be willing to travel to your location. For more detailed information about each doula, and on how a doula can support you, visit Specialising in pregnancy and childbirth, providing education and counselling services to expecting parents and bringing together experts who believe in a natural approach. After-school workshops, toddler art, kinder art, weekend workshops, holiday camps, themed birthday parties. Our House is located in Cihangir as a center for children and families. The aim of the organisation is to generate curiosity, creativity ad awareness for children at all stages of development.

Atölye Hippo - Your Art Studio in Yenikoy

A brand new kids’ space in Yeniköy – Istanbul! Arts & crafts workshops (ages 6-14), walk-in studio alternatives, mommy & me groups, play groups, movies nights, karaoke parties, Go sessions, Zumba dance… At Atölye Hippo, we want your kids to spend quality time, discovering, creating and designing. Whether you want to exploit those after school idle times, or schedule your weekends with exciting countless workshop alternatives, Atölye Hippo is the right place. Alternatively, Atölye Hippo workshops may also be offered at your premises, be it a special corporate event, a compound gathering, special parties, birthdays or celebrations at your homes… We are proud to announce that, we very recently started going to schools as an after-school may run into us at your school:) Contacts us at: 0542 521 21 30



s ’ t e L Work Together SPECIAL EVENTS COORDINATOR Every year IWI organises special events such as the annual Winter Festival for our members and the community. IWI Needs: an organised energetic woman (or women) to lead a dynamic team of volunteers. ADVERTISING COORDINATOR The Lale is a lifestyle magazine for IWI members and the community; and advertising is as important as the content itself. IWI Needs: an administratively strong women to work with the Lale Editor in engaging with current advertisers and attracting new ones. LOCAL AREA ADMINISTRATORS IWI has local area administrators that organise social activities for IWI Members in their area. This is a great way to meet new friends and support other women in your community. The IWI Mums ‘N Kids Group also has area administrators that organise activities and play groups for children of various ages. IWI Needs: women interested in leading local area activities.


The International Women of Istanbul provides her members with the opportunity to continue their professional growth in a volunteer position. This allows our members to showcase their talents, learn new skills and further their professional ambitions. Please email for more information. ART DIRECTOR Images are messages; and visually distinctive and engaging imagery is important to IWI. The Lale Magazine, website, and newsletter should project a common message of support. IWI Needs: a creative woman, preferably with the design, visual communication or publishing experience, to create a strong message throughout all of our media channels. ONLINE MARKETING COORDINATOR Social media is an important part of today’s society; and an excellent way to reach out to our members and community. IWI Needs: a digitally savvy woman who can lead a team of social media and website administrators in reaching IWI members online. MUM’S ‘N KIDS COORDINATOR IWI organises regular play groups and family activities for IWI members with children. IWI Needs: a vibrant woman to lead the area team members and collaborate with the IWI Programs Team in organising larger family oriented events.

t e g s ’ Let



Your Neighbourhood Community Meetup (NCM) administrator organizes meet-ups and activities in your area. This is a great opportunity to connect with other women and discover what IWI has to offer. Unsure what area you are in and who to contact? Ask Maria Eroğlu at

MACENTA (Beşıktaş, Levent) Leen Saket,

PEMBE (Bebek)

Olga Treve,

SARI (Sarıyer)

Szilvia Nagy,

BEYAZ (Ortaköy)


MOR (Nişantaşı, Beyoğlu) Vacancy,

TURKUAZ (İstinye)

MAVİ (Göktürk)

Anke Tamer,

YEŞİL (Yesilköy, Bakirköy) Lida Rowhani,

TURUNCU (Çengelköy)

Gaye Hiçdönmez,


Skaidrite Dzene,

KIRMIZI (Kadıköy, Üsküdar) Gabriele Sailer,

Szilvia Nagy,

New To Istanbul? Every month we hold Newcomer Coffee Mornings where you can learn more about IWI and Istanbul. Contact us to find out more. EUROPEAN SIDE Ayşe Yücel,

ASAIN SIDE Gabriele Sailer, 59


Have a particular passion or want to learn one? There are IWI social clubs and other associations to get involved with in Istanbul. It is a great way to expand your community, make new friends and find support!

BOOK CLUB For details, contact Mary Akgüner:

MAHJONG CLUB Mahjong group meets every Monday at 10:30 - 16:00. No previous experience required! For details, contact BRIDGE GROUP Tuya Cooke: tcooke2006@yahoo. Bridge group meets on Fridays at com or 0(538) 555 15 28 10:30. All levels welcome! For details, ROLLER-BLADE & BIKE GROUP contact Sandra: 0 (532) 483 5319. This is an Asian-side meet-up. Bikes CRAFT GROUP can be rented, but bring your own For details, contact Gaye Hiçdönrollerblades. It’s lots of fun. mez: or For details, contact Gabriele Sailer: 0 (532) 700 0693 ART CULTURE


RUNNING GROUP Running Group is a monthly membership. Thursdays 19:00 & Sundays 8:00, Caddebostan sahil. Contact Marina Khonina: marina.khonina@ or 0 (534) 982 83 07 TENNIS GROUP Tennis Group takes place at Istanbul Tennis Academy (ISTA) in Istinye. All levels are welcome! For details, contact IWI Sports Coordinator, Olga:

FRIENDS OF ARIT ISTANBUL Friends of ARIT, was established to support the ARIT (American Research Institute of Turkey) in Turkey; and runs a year-round programme of tours and lectures for members and guests. Membership is open to all interested residents of Istanbul. Contact: 0 (212) 257 81 11.

PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB The photo club, a group of international members of varying skill levels (basic to semi-professional), and share the common desire to capture the world in a photograph and explore Istanbul while doing so. Contact Katherine Baker:

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY International Women’s Bible Study group meets Tuesdays from 10:00 until 12:30. Contact Vicki Günay: 0 (532) 314 1134.

UNION CHURCH OF ISTANBUL Union Church of Istanbul is an international, interdenominational church that offers services in English. Contact:

GIRL SCOUTS Girl Scouts is dedicated to helping girls build leadership skills through the development of strong values, social conscience and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. Girls ages five and up are welcome. Contact Kat Bekham: 0 (542) 300 24 92 or

SPEECH BUBBLES Speech Bubbles Theatre, is a drama group composed of amateur and professional dancers, singers/musicians from the international community; which also runs a part-time school of performing arts for children and adults on Saturday mornings. Contact:

AMERICAN WOMEN OF ISTANBUL AWI is a social network open to Americans, Canadians and spouses of US or Canadian citizens in Istanbul. Contact Monisha Kar or Sia Israfil:

BELGIUM FRIENDS OF ISTANBUL The Belgian Friends of Istanbul gather every month for social (such as drinks, brunch, or dinner) and cultural activities. Contact:


BOY SCOUTS Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts of America are youth programmes for character development and leadership training. All boys holding a foreign passport are welcome. Cub Scouts: boys ages 6-10. Boy Scouts: boy ages 11- 18. Contact Vicki Günay: 0 (532) 314 11 34 or NATIONAL

ASIAN LADIES OF ISTANBUL The Asian Ladies of Istanbul is a nonprofit social group for ladies from East Asia living in Istanbul. Contact Kim Cakirkaya: kim.cakirkaya@gmail. com or 0 (533) 463 69 30



National Continued

CHICAS (Spanish Women of Istanbul) CHICAS unite Latin Americans, Spaniards and others Spanish speakers to socialise and help from each other in a friendly environment. Contact:

CIRCOLO ROMA (Comunità italiana) The Italian Association organises social activities, Italian/Turkish conversation classes, and much more. Visit our website for more information:

DIE BRÜCKE Die Brücke, a platform for the German-speaking community, organises social activities and provides information on education and immigration.

DNSI (Dutch School of Istanbul) DNSI provides Dutch language and cultural lessons to students (3-16 years old); and a one-week Dutch summer school. Visit our website for more information:

FRIENDS OF INDIA ASSOCIATION Friends of India Association (FOIA) connects Indians in Istanbul through various social events. Contact Jugnu Saglik: or Diya:

ISTANBUL ACCUEIL Istanbul Accueil provides the French speaking community in Istanbul information on events and activities. Contact: or Website:

NVI (Dutch Community of Istanbul) Dutch Club Istanbul keeps typical Dutch festivities alive and organises activities for Dutch-speaking community. Contact Lisette Ruygrok:

SWEA (Swedish Women Edu.. Assoc.) SWEA, a world-wide network for Swedish-speaking women, organises events and activities; and welcomes everyone who speaks Swedish. Contact:

LUSO BRASILEIRO Portuguese speaking group. Isabel Ponte Gulpan: 0 (532) 274 16 53

PAWI (Profn’l American Women of Ist.) PAWI is a network of American and Canadian women living in Istanbul that strives to empower and support members by promoting personal and professional growth. Contact:

TOASTMASTERS INT’L ISTANBUL The English-speaking Istanbul Toastmasters Club helps members improve their communication and leadership skills in a supportive environment. Contact:

OTTOMAN RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB Players of all ages (17+) and all levels of fitness are welcome. We practise Saturday 16:00-18:00, except on game days.

iTEAM An Expat Football Community of amateurs who enjoy playing and learning football. Ages, skills and experience welcome. Facebook: @iTeamFootball

C@RMA C@rma is a social initiative promoting dialogue between professionals and NGOs. We have volunteer opportuniALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS ties that require various skill set on & AL-ANON our platform,, and For more information and a full listing also organise events where NGOs of all English-speaking AA meetings present their projects and brainstorm in Turkey with local contacts can be with other professionals. found on the AA Europe website: For more information, contact

FRANSIZ FAKIRHANESI LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR Contact Mother Mary:. psdptr@gmail. com or 0 (212) 296 46 08

SOUTH AFRICANS IN ISTANBUL For information please contact:


INTERNATIONS InterNations is where globally minded people have the opportunity to network and exchange valuable tips and topics regarding expatriate subjects. For information visit our website: SPORTS INTERNATION RUGBY CENTER Rugby Club in Istanbul has coaching for children and teenagers. Turkish, English, French and Spanish are spoken.


SUPPORT GROUP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WIT SPECIAL NEEDS Looking for the support of other parents of children with special needs; and additional resources for your child? Contact Carol Crous: 0 (533) 730 71 48



Prıvate Dental Practice Dr. Gülfem Bascher General & Esthetic Dentistry Implantology Orthodontics POYRACIK SK. No:35/3 Nisantası - Istanbul 0212 296 66 09 0532 748 70 40


I can come to your house... Pregnancy massage, cellulite massage, relaxing massage, full body massage, osho rebalancing, massage or wax. Call me for more information: Hatice Yildrim Tirli 0532 260 4118 or 0542 434 1932.


Queenie Canal Umali is 32 years old and from the Philippines. She has a work permit for Turkey. Queenie is dependable, honest and reliable. Tele: 05530489852. References available on request.


Private lessons for kids 4+ years and adults One-to-one and group lessons for ages 3 and 3,5 to develop piano playing skills with songs, rhythm games and fun activities Lessons in English or Turkish Lessons either in teacher’s (Ulus/Ortakoy area) or student’s house Piano recital at the end of school year Preparation for London College of Music piano exams upon request Sandra: 05324220413


Rachel Smith-Bahadir, with Kidding Around Yoga is training people to become Certified KIDS YOGA Teachers. No yoga experience required. It will be two days of life changing fun Sunday, September 17, 9:30 am-5:30 pm and Sunday, September 24, 9:30 am-5:30 pm at +HIÇ in Karaköy, Istanbul. RSVP:


Sunday, September 24, 2017, 2:00-3:00 pm Rachel Smith-Bahadir, with Kidding Around Yoga will lead a FREE FAMILY Yoga Class at +HIÇ in Karaköy, Istanbul. Bring a mat for this interactive class for children & family members (or care givers), we will learn yoga poses, breathing, meditation & relaxation. RSVP:


Interested in the Dutch language or culture? I offer individual classes at home or location of preference. I can also provide you with advice if you are about to move to the Netherlands. I was born in Amsterdam and moved to Istanbul in 2016. Irene Draisma, Msc. Psychology +90 5449369610




is pleased to offer her members special discounts on services and products through our partners.

Please make sure that you have your IWI Membership Card with you. ADA SUITES IWI Member Discount: 20% discount (Code: IWIADA20) Ada Suites believes that each guest has unique needs and expectations; and we know our hospitality will make you feel special. Located in the heart of Nişantaşı, and minutes away from the hippest luxury shopping; best restaurants and cafes; and major health centres like Acıbadem and American Hospital.

ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY LANGUAGE CENTER IWI Member Discount: a discount on language lessons Istanbul University Language Center (IULC) is a department of Istanbul University offering foreign languages education (English, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese) in addition to Turkish as a Foreign Language, with modern education techniques and the academic background of Istanbul University. 0 (212) 243 67 29

C.C.C. - CHRISTINE COTTON CLUB IWI Members Discount: 10% discount (valid at Kadıköy, Profilo AVM & Bağdat Cd. stores) C.C.C. is the premier PLUS SIZE BRAND for women in Turkey since 1985. Please check our website for our latest collection:

MARRİOTT ŞİŞLİ SPA & HEALTH CLUB IWI Member Discount: 20% discount Indulge in a day of relaxation and pampering at our luxury spa. We offer a wide range of massage and beauty treatments, guaranteed to refresh and renew you. Appointments are required. Please call 0 (212) 375 01 00 ext. 3695

CHILL OUT SPA NIŞANTAŞI IWI Members Discount: 15% discount on all treatments and package programs Chill Out Spa is a small boutique spa using quality products from Decleor and the latest in technology. LPG body treatments and reflexology are just some of the treatments available. For more information, please contact British salon owner, Ann Marie Sabuncu at 0 (212) 231 11 59. CONCEPT LANGUAGES IWI Members Discount: free Turkish conversation classes that take place twice a month between 14:30-15:30 Located in the heart of Etiler, please contact: Başak Toksoy for information and reservations 0 (212) 351 18 40 or DENTIST BURÇIN GOFF IWI Members Discount: 25% discount on all treatments Located in Çengelköy - Anatolian Side. Albay Hüsamettin Ertürk Cad. No: 4 D: 23, Çengelköy-Üsküdar. Tel: 0 (536) 357 98 08. Email: bhtgoff@

MOMMA ZEN/ANNEZEN IWI Member Discount: 20% discount on full price prenatal yoga and birthing classes, workshops, massages and mother-baby yoga classes Momma Zen & Annezen is a centre which specialises in yoga, massage and aromatherapy; offering many services, classes and workshops for all women, especially expecting mothers, babies and children. Kordon Yolu Sokak 8/1, Kordon Apt, Kalamiş, Istanbul. Tel: 0 (216) 345 08 66. PRIVATE TENNIS LESSONS IWI Member Discount: 20% discount For kids and adults, we specialize in coaching all skill levels. We’ve got you covered. Our classes focus on rapid development while being affordable and fun. Mert Ozgenc: Certified tennis trainer with more than 12 years coaching experience. Mobile: 0 (532) 602 38 83, Email:

SWISS CENTERDENT DENTAL ZORLU CENTER IWI Member Discount: 20% discount on all services Swiss Centerdent Dental Clinic, located in Zorlu Center, offers you Swiss excellence and standards in dental health care. Our clinic offers the entire spectrum of dentistry services, using state of the art technology. HILTON ISTANBUL BOSPHORUS SPECIAL OFFERS IWI Member Discount: 15% discount at restaurants, High Zorlu Center, Teras Evler, T0, Daire 35, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, 0 (212) 353 63 83 Tea and spa treatments FOTINI CAFÉ IWI Members Discount: 10% discount. Francalacı Cd. 26/1, Arnavutköy. Tel: 0 (533) 093 99 92

Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus has several gourmet restaurants, lounges and a Spa. They also offer family-friendly packages with special access to children’s pools and playgrounds including special weekend activities. Tel: 0 (212) 315 60 00 Email:

TIME OUT SUBSCRIPTIONS IWI Member Discount: 25% discount on subscriptions Make Time Out your monthly go-to guide for the city. Get your free issue by contacting: Omer Karanis,


IWI POLICIES Membership Directory Membership information is only available online in the members only area of the website at present, but depending on sponsorship availability, may again be printed in the future as it was in the past. Whether online or in print, any and all member information is provided to IWI members in strictest confidentiality. Provision of member information to third parties contravenes IWI policy


Membership is open to all women who hold a Non-Turkish passport. For application details, please visit our website Membership registration is also available at our Newcomers meetings, held each month on both the European and Asian sides. Please refer to the Newcomers page in this Lale magazine for details of timing and location. Changing Address? Don’t forget to give us your new address (postal and/or e-mail) to avoid delays to the delivery of Lale magazine or for up-to-date IWI member information. Contact our Membership Coordinator by e-mail at

If your Lale magazine doesn’t arrive, please contact the Membership Coordinator


To place an advertisement please contact us at Advertisements must be confirmed through signed contract before any payment is accepted. Classified ads: Restricted to 50 words. Member cost: 1-3 FREE in our online publications (Non-Commercial Ads) Non-Member cost: $60 plus 18% VAT. All advertising costs are payable by bank transfer. No cash payments accepted. A copy of the payment transfer (dekont) should be sent via email: Only paid advertisements can be included in Lale.

DISCLAIMER Lale Content The IWI as an organisation and the IWI Board members act within the laws of Turkey pertaining to publishing but they do not accept any liability regarding the accuracy or content of the contributions supplied by our advertisers or members’ articles. In order to comply with these laws or publishing standards the IWI reserve the right to reject or edit any submission to Lale. Furthermore, the IWI does not accept any responsibility for any of the services rendered by any of our advertisers. Programmes Cancellation of a programme reservation after the deadline remains fully payable. Please refer to our website for up to date details, last minute additions or programme changes. The IWI reserves the right to cancel programmes due to insufficient numbers. You are responsible for both you and your child’s safety and the IWI cannot accept responsibility for injury or extra cost incurred during any activity organised by the IWI, or advertised in Lale.


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