Lale January February 2018

Page 1




New Year, New You

Breaking Bad Habits

Common Threads

Reviving traditional weaving with a modern twist





4 IWI NEWS Highlights from the Winter Festival 8 BUSINESS NETWORKING Running a business from


10 SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Promoting a cleaner environment


14 SUSTAINABILITY Defining sustainability; Applying sustainable practices in your life




18 NEIGHBOURHOOD Explorinng Sarıyer 26 INTERVIEW A chat with Chikirina co-founder Janelle


34 CULTURE Reviving traditional weaving in Turkey 38 HANDMADE Getting hands-on with handmade craft 48 MUMS ‘N KIDS Speaking in tongues


22 WELLNESS Changing habits 24 FITNESS Starting an exercise regimen 30 BOOKS Istanbul-based writer Suzy Hansen’s Notes on

a Foreign Country

33 BOOK CLUB A Tale for the Time Being 40 MUSIC Listening across borders 42 GOURMET Dining with the Chairwoman at Meze 44 TRAVEL The dream-like landscape of Cappadocia in

34 16




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

Vice Chairwoman



Advertising Coordinator

Business Networking Coordinator

Yayını Yapan / Publisher: IWI International Women of İstanbul, Dernek Kod: 34-64/027

Communications Coordinator

Community Coordinator

İrtibat Adresi / Address: Esentepe Mahallesi, Büyükdere Caddesi, Ecza Sokak. Pol Center No: 4/1, Levent, Istanbul – TURKEY

Events Coordinator

Lale Editor

Membership Coordinator

Mums N Kids Coordinator

Newcomers Coordinator (Asian Side)

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: 24.12.2017 Sayı: 91 Official Facebook page: Instagram account @iwistanbul


Newcomers Coordinator (European Side) Online Marketing Coordinator

Programs Coordinator

Social Responsibility Coordinator

Sponsor Support Administrator

Sponsorship Coordinator

Venue Administrator

Volunteers Coordinator




t’s the start of another year, and that means another opportunity to embark on new resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are characteristically unpleasant for most people because they typically focus on changing so-called ‘negative’ behaviours. So, how to put a different spin on this tradition? I was listening to my favourite podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and prompted by a listener, they suggested creating an ‘18 in 2018’ list whereby you focus on completing fun and enriching activities which could be anything from learning to cook something complex, to taking a special trip to throwing a party. It is a different way to set goals and see yourself grow in the process. On that note, the theme of our issue is renewal and the different forms that concept embodies. Whether you are looking to start an exercise routine, or look stylish doing it, you can take some cues from our Fitness column (page 24) that will help motivate you to find creative ways to sweat it out in the city. Our Interview column on page 26 focuses on Janelle Bereberoğlu,who just a couple of years ago started the popular athleisure line Chikirina with her cousin. They are now selling to Amazon US and UK-based! Renewal also means replenishment, restoration and repair. We are excited to introduce a Sustainability section, and two new contributors to the magazine. Haro Cumbusyan and Jodie Harburt are passionate about the subject, and each have their own take and approach to what living a sustainable life means. You can read more starting on page 12. Turning to culture, Jennifer’s Hamam is a business that exemplifies renewal: Her story is about a quest to save the vanishing art form of traditional Turkish weaving. Jennifer pulled artisans from the brink of bankruptcy eight years ago and established a business model that has enabled traditional weavers to thrive in their profession once again. All her raw materials and products are sourced in Turkey, and the textiles she sells are made with natural fibres and dyes, including GOTS certified organic cotton. As usual we have a great line-up of programmes to help you explore art, culture and food in the city. I hope you enjoy the content we’ve pulled together, and wish you a year of adventure and growth! MONISHA KAR Lale Editor



new year often brings with it the idea of ‘change’. Isn’t that why we have New Year’s Resolution? Because we want ‘change’; or is it that we have a ‘need’ to improve?

For me, in 2018 I need to improve my Turkish. I also need to focus more on my health, balancing my commitments with a healthy lifestyle and managing time for things that really matter to me. For the International Women of Istanbul (IWI), we need to continue with the improvements we have made over the past couple of years. We need to understand what is important to our members; and how to get more women involved with the organisation. IWI offers her members so many opportunities, from volunteering to learning to social interactions. One of the largest opportunity that IWI has is offering her members the chance to learn new skills or improve upon current ones. Being an active team member allows us to shape and improve the organisation. It also provides job experience for your CV and LinkedIn profile. IWI provides reference letters. Everyone has a talent to share. So, I encourage you to get involved and help make IWI even better; because, IWI needs you. Warmest Regards, Anna Ilhan IWI Chairwoman



he IWI 2017 Winter Festival has drawn to a close; and the Event Organisers are very pleased with the results. We thought it was a hugely enjoyable day, and we hope you did too.

Below are some statistics of the event that might interest you. All net proceeds raised go directly to the IWI Social Responsibility Fund, which supports selected charities through our grant process that happens every April & May. Please visit our Social Responsibility web page for more details Reading these statistics, we think you will agree that a lot of effort went into this event from a lot of people, with a lot of supporters. We thank each and every person, company and organisation who made a contribution.


The Outcome 73,000 TL net proceeds raised 2,100 tickets sold The Team 10 dedicated women on the Event Team (of 7 nationalities) 12 weeks of preparation Approximately 2000 women-hours (that’s 1 year’s effort by the team) 1 Santa on a Scooter (with a little yellow bird as a sidekick) The Volunteers 86 Volunteers (of 18 Nationalities) 308 Hours of volunteering The Stallholders 13 Food Court Companies 74 Commercial Stalls (100 tables) 17 Community Tables (7 charities) 5 Children’s Corner Activities The Sponsorship 4 Event Sponsors 68 lottery prizes 2,900 Giveaways 290 Santa Gifts The Entertainment 4 different performances 3 hours of enjoyment 3 Santas (but don’t tell your children!) 1 Loud Children’s Corner



Thanks from IWI THANKS FROM IWI TO OUR for the SPONSORS AND DONORS Lottery donations

In Addition : Studio Mandy Guerin, Wearable Art Point 7




When Shadi Kafaielotfi moved to Turkey from Iran, she started sowing the seeds for her own company. Now, two and a half years later, she has a thriving business selling fertilizer to Iranian farmers


t was 2015 and Shadi Kafaielotfi was in transition. She and her husband had decided to relocate from Iran to Turkey. She had gone to the top university in Iran, received a masters degree in agriculture engineering, and over a period of nine years, had built her career in the sector. Naturally such a big shift was met with hesitation; “I knew no Turkish, had no work permit, what could I do?” Kafaielotfi recalled. She assessed her background, what she knew and where she had an edge – and she determined she could leverage her relationships in Turkey and Iran and open her own business. Since she knew the Iranian agricultural market well, as well as the rules and regulations, she decided to incorporate her business in Iran. With the help of an old friend who invested her money as shareholder in the business, Kafaielotfi started providing services from Turkey to her Iranian customers. Currently, her business – Shali Zarin Bahar – focuses on selling Turkish-manufactured mineral, chemical and organic fertilizer for large-scale commercial agriculture, including greenhouses and orchards. It is sold to wholesalers who then sell them directly to farmers in Iran. Setting up in Iran and operating out of Turkey has proved advantageous on several fronts. Knowing the language,


LALE NETWORKING culture, rules and regulations in Iran makes it easier to import and operate into the country. And, since Turkey and Iran share a border, it makes transport cost-effective and relatively quick in comparison to retailers from the EU. In addition, she can supply high-quality product at a cheaper rate. Since she is managing her business virtually, it is critical that she builds and develops relationships with her producers, distributors and farmers, so she travels often to Antalya to visit the fertilizer manufacturer, and she travels to Iran every two months for 10 days. When discussing how she manages her business remotely, Kafaielotfi says “I am able to grow the business, but it is difficult – if I was in Iran, I could grow the business at a much faster rate”. “I keep close contact with customers, and my team meets with customers to ask what they need — so there is continuous feedback. We have an engineer check up on the farmers, and give them a full nutrition program for a season according to, their climate, the plants they grow, and storage – so we teach them how to use the fertilizer in the most efficient way by understanding the technical elements involved”, Kafaielotfi noted. This hands-on education and high-touch service allows the farmer to become more familiar with her company’s brand and products. “In more traditional areas, farmers keep the bag of the product they use, and they may go into the shop or to the distributor and ask for the specific item according to the bag’s packaging, so we make sure that we keep the product packaging quality high”, she added.

restrictions on water-intensive crops such as corn. This means less cultivation in certain areas, lower yields, and that affects business. This also meant that farming shifted to less water-resistant crops. Another important aspect to her business is working with reliable and trustworthy manufacturers and customers and establishing a good working relationship with them. When she first started her business, she traveled around Turkey and met different producers to get to know their product and facilities. At the same time, she started to look for Iranian customers. She was able to get samples of different products and got her customers to agree to use them, and from there her business grew. Feedback up and down the chain is key to keeping the relationships healthy — whether it is working with the producer to tweak a formulation, or keeping the farmer’s expectations in check or making sure that the distributors are promoting her products to potential customers. In the two years that she has been running the business, she can proudly say that she has had no complaints about her product quality. Looking ahead, she plans to start adding seed sales to her product mix. While fertilizer is an optional product, all Iranian farmers are required to buy seed, and they buy in cash, so that will potentially have a positive effect on her cash flow, and help her business continue to flourish.

Shadi Kafaielotfi recently joined the IWI board as the Business Networking Coordinator. You can meet her at one of our upcoming events

Just as important as the relationships with the end users, is developing relationships with the wholesalers. Kafaielotfi makes sure that wholesalers also know her company and the brand so that they can promote it to farmers as well. To that end, she invites wholesalers to conferences and exhibitions to network and to enjoy some down-time. As with any start-up, there are inherent challenges; there was initial resistance from her husband and colleagues, namely because they thought she would have trouble managing operations from afar. Competition is particularly stiff in this sector, and then you have to account for smugglers who bring in product illegally and sell it for less than market prices. Although the numbers of women working in the agricultural sector in Turkey and Iran is on the rise, it can still be difficult to contend in a male-dominated industry. Whereas men could take many of these things for granted, some of the ways in which Kafaielotfi builds credibility is wearing clothing suitable for the field — demonstrating that she doesn’t mind getting muddy or dirty; and talking to her customers in language they understand —which also includes being up-to-date on the latest industry research and trends. Despite these issues, Kafaielotfi and her business prevail. She credits her hard work, focus and learning orientation as keys to her success. Especially because she is managing her business from Turkey, strategic planning as well as tactical day-to-day planning is vital. She has a home office which allows her the space and flexibility to run the business and also attend to personal matters, but she acknowledges that she has to be careful not to let distractions hijack her efforts. In the agriculture industry, when everything is highly dependent on the seasons and weather, and being able to anticipate climate changes, being on time with shipments and warehousing is key, as well as being able to pivot quickly. Recently in Iran, there has been a lack of rain and loss of water resources, therefore, the government placed




Çöpüne Sahip Çık is on a mission to encourage citizens and institutions to foster a cleaner environment in Turkey. Wendy Chan reports “Bin your waste, keep our environment clean”. This is the tagline for Çöpüne Sahip Çık Vakfı, or the Mind Your Waste Foundation in English, a civil society organisation established in 2015 to help foster a cleaner environment in Turkey.



Habits are often difficult to change though, so Çöpüne Sahip Çık is using a range of media to reach people across the country. Their methods include public service ads on television, billboard posters at bus and ferry stations, and social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are also partnerships with municipalities, schools, universities and other stakeholders to promote positive change.

Instead, Çöpüne Sahip Çık focuses on putting together pilot projects that are simple and easily replicated. For example, they make their anti-littering signage and billboard messaging available for anyone to print and post from their website.

While Çöpüne Sahip Çık believes it is important to use a range of media to reach a wide audience of people, lately it has been targeting social media platforms. Currently, the organisation’s Facebook page has over 31,000 followers, and pictures and videos are regularly posted online through YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Çöpüne Sahip Çık’s own website.

öpüne Sahip Çık’s objective is to change behaviours around waste disposal by raising awareness about the negative impact of littering to our shared environment, drawing attention to the importance of minimizing waste, as well as promoting recycling in Turkey. The organisation does not get involved with physically collecting garbage or coordinating recycling programmes.

As well, recently in Üsküdar municipality the organisation developed a game to curb the littering of cigarette butts. Bins to collect the cigarette butts were placed around the municipality in prominent locations. The bins themselves had a question asking people what they thought was the most recycled type of items, and the bin was segmented with receptacles under each choice. People were encouraged, in a fun and creative way, to vote with their cigarette butts by putting them into the receptacle under the answer they chose.

In addition, Çöpüne Sahip Çık is making use of innovative new Turkish start-up technologies. For example, in 2017 Çöpüne Sahip Çık released an upbeat jingle about binning waste. Through Scorp, a popular new tech start-up in Turkey that lets users upload 15-second videos on any topic, Çöpüne Sahip Çık launched a campaign that resulted in over 400 video submissions from people singing their own versions of the catchy jingle.


A priority of Çöpüne Sahip Çık is to identify the underlying



motivations of people when they litter as well as some of the challenges encountered by municipalities in collecting garbage. To do so, Çöpüne Sahip Çık speaks regularly with garbage collection professionals and surveys the public for their perspectives. Also, to quickly canvas feedback, Çöpüne Sahip Çık is using a new online polling platform developed in Turkey called to learn about what drives people’s habits. Motivations are diverse. For some people, lack of convenient garbage bins immediately around them results in tossing of waste on the ground. Others feel that they would be depriving sanitation workers from employment if they do not litter. Still others feel that because they pay taxes, they are entitled to do as they wish. What’s more, Çöpüne Sahip Çık has learned that there is a strong socio-psychological effect when it comes to littering; people are apt to follow the habits and examples of others around them. If there is a pile of garbage sitting next to a tree on the street, for instance, other people will place their garbage there as well.


Using insights from surveys and prior projects, Çöpüne Sahip Çık is developing awareness campaigns that use positive messaging and employ games and competitions as tools to engage the public. While raising awareness is important for changing behaviour, government regulations will also help. New legislation in Turkey is being developed to combat the negative effect of plastic bags on the environment; because plastic bags take a very long time to decompose, they create eyesores when discarded and pose a threat to sea life when they get into waterways. According to pending new legislation in Turkey, all retail stores will be required to sell plastic bags to customers, rather than give them away for free, to encourage the public to use and discard fewer plastics. And to complement this initiative, Çöpüne Sahip Çık is developing a range of reusable tote bags in various sizes to help people prepare for the upcoming changes. As well, government sponsored initiatives will soon bring additional recycling and used battery collection to neighbourhood schools, markets, and shopping malls to make it easier for the public to access collection points. By working together with public and private institutions, using a diverse range of offline and online tools, Çöpüne Sahip Çık is playing an important role in raising awareness and influencing government policy to foster a cleaner environment for everyone to enjoy.

But this peer-influenced behaviour indicates there is much to be optimistic about as well. Instilling good habits around waste in a few people can act as the catalyst to changing the behaviour of their friends, family, and neighbours. And this is how Çöpüne Sahip Çık hopes to effect wider societal change.

For more information about Çöpüne Sahip Çık, you can visit: Facebook: Instagram:copunesahipcik Website (Turkish) Website (English)




We’re introducing a multi-part series on sustainability this year. Haro Cumbuysan helps define it for us and take action


t’s a new year, it’s a new beginning! When we look back in December, will we be satisfied with what we’ve done to make 2018 a good year? There are certainly too many variables that are not within our control; but does that mean pushing hard on the variables that we do control won’t have any impact? I guess it depends… Mainly, it depends on how many other people are pushing in the same direction. These days, we hear a lot of talk about sustainability. It feels that a critical mass is forming that’s already taking action on that front, or is ready to do so. And it so happens that this is a column on sustainability. So, guess what? I’ll suggest that, while it’s still early in the year, we all start making some changes in our lives to promote sustainability, and encourage others around us to do the same. We may actually get somewhere by the end of the year; even if we don’t solve all


the issues around the subject, we may see that we’ve the ability to move the needle. But first, we need to discuss what we mean by sustainability. The good news is that we don’t necessarily need to agree on a single definition; we may have different interpretations of the general concept. In my view, sustainability is not about maintaining the status quo forever. But it’s about accepting the fact that the environment is not a free resource that we’ll be able to use as we wish for ever and ever. It’s about embracing the ethics that being the most powerful creatures on earth doesn’t give us — humans — the right to abuse all other living beings, and to cause many to go extinct before even noticing their existence. It’s about making choices now that don’t limit our options in the future, or the options of the next generations. The difficulty is that we’re making most of the choices in our everyday lives without understanding their true

consequences. One reason for that is because prices don’t reflect the real cost and benefit of the goods and services we consume. I know this is a heavy subject, and I apologize for dropping such a bombshell in the middle of this peaceful column, but I can’t start talking about tactics of sustainability, such as Reduce/Reuse/ Recycle, before dwelling on why the sustainability of our economic system is questionable in the first place. The one-word answer is: externalities. Those who have studied Economics would (maybe) remember this as a topic covered in introductory textbooks in a few pages under the heading Market Failure, and treated as a term that students should be familiar with, but one that’s of no significant practical importance. There’re two opposing types of externalities: positive and negative. When we choose to buy locally grown vegetables, we get fresh produce that’s harvested at the right time, and delivered to us with lower transportation costs and no

LALE SUSTAINABILITY need for preservatives. Those are all ‘private’ benefits we receive that we’d presumably be happy to pay for. There are also positive externalities arising from our choice: Lower CO2 emissions, more income for the local economy, job creation, richer social fabric as producers and consumers live closer together…These are ‘social’ benefits that we may all welcome, but who will pay for them?And as land and labour are expensive around big cities, would the private benefits alone be sufficient to cover the price?Otherwise, some of us may look for cheaper produce from markets further away; and then we can’t sustain the local growers. Negative externalities are much more common as they’re embedded in profit maximizing mandate of businesses in our capitalist societies. A fast food chain tries to minimize its costs to be able to make a profit while selling as many burgers as possible. Its private costs are the ingredients of the burger, the packaging, the labour, and the other typical expenses like rent, utilities, depreciation, SG&A, etc. But who pays for the social costs of reversing the environmental damage caused by the industrial livestock producers where the beef is sourced from, or providing healthcare to people with a diet consisting of too many of those burgers and fries, or cleaning up the packaging that’s not compostable and will survive for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years in a landfill, or the social problems caused by the poverty of its minimum-wage earning workforce with no benefits? Shifting those costs to society, and expecting a portion of it to be covered by current and next generations of taxpayers, and the rest to be paid as a loss of options to choose from in the future, sounds unfair to put it politely. However, maybe the more untenable situation this restaurant creates by not reflecting those social costs in the price of its burgers is selling too many of them.At the artificially low price, the demand ends up significantly higher than it’d be otherwise; we end up stuffing ourselves with burgers that’re bad for our health, bad for the environment, bad for society, and bad for future generations. Basically, we’re overconsuming products (and services) that have high social cost relative to their price—the exact opposite of what we should be doing if we’re aiming for sustainability… Externalities, presented as almost a nuisance in mainstream Economics

textbooks--relatively easily curable through bargaining or taxation--are in fact, systemic and pervasive in our market-driven societies. And the price distortions they cause seriously hinder our ability to make sustainable

learning centre, in the next issue of this magazine, I’ll write about potential ways of addressing externalities from a business perspective. But from a consumer perspective, I’d like to bring this column to a close hoping that we’d all start paying a bit more attention to possible externalities caused by our own choices. When taking a taxi or booking a flight, buying out-of-season tomatoes or another pair of designer jeans, let’s consider what kind of social costs and social benefits these goods and services carry, and whether the price makes sense when we take those into account. In many cases, we’ll realize that we (not only as the decision-maker of our own ego, but also as the representative of society at large, the environment, and the future generations) actually can’t afford those purchases.

production and consumption decisions. (The German-American economist Karl William Kapp was one of the early thinkers who wrote about this issue over half a century ago, and Ecological Economics as an active academic field of research has been producing analyses of related topics since the 1980s. Still, in our growth-obsessed, consumerist societies, this notion that we’re consuming in the wrong section of the demand curve because of incorrect prices hasn’t taken hold in the mainstream thinking.)

Hopefully, that’d lead us to consume fewer, but higher-quality products and services—quality, of course, measured by net private and social benefits. (Maybe not too surprisingly, that’d automatically address a primary goal in typical sustainability discussions, which is reducing waste…)

Based on my experience of running a social enterprise in Istanbul called EK BİÇ YE İÇ, which is an urban farm/soup & salad bar/community

Let sustainability not become a marketing buzzword, a hollowedout cliché used to greenwash profit maximizing corporations. Once we start seeing the externalities in our choices, we can find the variables that we can push to make sustainability an attainable goal. And it certainly would be a worthy effort.




MANIFESTO FOR ONE How do you initiate change? One step at a time. Jodie Harburt shares her journey about the power of the individual to make a positive impact in protecting our environment for current and future generations


remember, when I was 12, looking up at the black, night sky scattered with stars and being overwhelmed by the hugeness of everything and my absolute insignificance. It was scary at the time but also exhilarating. Looking to the future now prompts a similar feeling, but I came to realise that our isolation in space is what connects and unifies us as a species and with our planet. I'm bringing together ideas that I find scattered around and I'm trying to present them in accessible ways. We are all bombarded with data through dialogue with friends and colleagues and through news and social media to the point that it becomes challenging to differentiate fact from fiction and pinpoint the bias that we are subjected to. I've also found that it's hard to wade through endless discourse to find that which does more than just underline our predicament and point blame. Many articles resonate with powerful truths but after reading I often find myself simply asking... now what? This seems to me to be the elementary question and one, that if properly answered, will dictate the nature of our future. Here are some of the questions I have pondered upon: Whose job is it to fix stuff? For many people in the world informed debate and choice are inaccessible luxuries so I believe it is the responsibility of the rest of us to create a positive network that extends beyond our familiar boundaries. When we do something (rather than just talk about it) we become a part of a solution and inspire others far and wide. It's not possible for one person or one solution to cure the ills of our beautiful world, but each one of us can carry a tiny bit of responsibility, and in this we can initiate change. This is our job; one of existing and of ongoing conscious evolution. Being useful and nurturing is an antidote to the poison of hopelessness and together we are a Multitude of Ones. Conscious Evolution may sound farfetched, but it is small, accumulative actions that affect how we evolve. Our reality is made up of what we perceive, imagine, think about and do. Therefore, we can make a conscious decision about how our future will look. ​ So, are you saying that we have to create the future ourselves? Ordinary people implement whatever the future holds, yet most feel disenfranchised from any kind of solution and worse still, we feel disassociated from the problems that our very actions (or lack of) are inadvertently causing, we choose ignorance rather than enlightenment and we are in the dark about the impact of even the most mundane daily choices we make. We assume that we are powerless and we believe we have the right to live as best we can within the parameters of our distorted realities. The politicians, the rich, the big business and the academics are often too elevated or self-serving to see the little picture and we can't see that we are contributors to the big picture. Yet it is our daily choices to buy, consume, remain in passive stance or our misguided negative actions that perpetuate the situation that has become unsustainable and has long been intolerable for many (habitats, creatures and people alike). Improvement is entirely reliant upon our will and actions. How can we deal with something so big?​ Facing and dealing with reality is often excruciatingly painful, but our tendency to become overburdened by the enormity of


issues can be counteracted by chipping away at things from the bottom, that is not to say that the we should not swoop down from above and extinguish disaster or provide relief if it is within our capability, but let us not desist from each of us doing the best we can on any scale. If each person implements a list of things that he or she can do, I call it a 'Manifesto for One', the accumulation will add up to something big. Every human has the capacity to be proactive today. What kind of 'action' are we talking about? Does it have a name, leader or affiliations? Imagine a self-compiled rule book that we can make up to suit ourselves. When we gain a sense of alignment and satisfaction with the actions that emerge through our own evolving manifesto we will become a part of the true and defining emergent, we won't need a leader and we can merge with bigger parallel groups.


Each one of us can be affiliated with others yet retain individual definition and dynamic, never losing identity and free choice. A new paradigm with no name, no owner, no book and no rules, a multitude of singularly designed yet multilaterally instigated actions that allow for infinite diversity and evolution. Can this be worldwide?​ Historic and enduring disputes cripple dialogue at the outset. By starting with our own individual actions, we negate prejudice and proceed without hitting the impassable wall of irreconcilable stories. We are each the product of the culture that we and our ancestors have absorbed, but we can decide what will define us from now on through the creation of new stories. The very fact that we walk upon the same world is unity enough and mutual regard for each other means the scale of any one of our actions is automatically worldwide. It is within our ability to share our individual intent and to create a huge wave of inspired action.​​ Countless success stories exist all over the world, humans doing jobs of magnitude on every scale, small initiatives, international summits and acts of bravery, sacrifice, charity, compassion and collaboration; the media thrives upon and the human mind is stimulated by bad news, but there is a whole lot of good news that needs to be headlined and emulated. War is waged upon threats to the present system using multibillion-dollar social media attacks and crippling misinformation. Polarization is a weapon of choice. The good news is that we are not a group, we can't be divided seeing as we don't affiliate with each other specifically, there are no bonds or handshakes, no flags or titles, nothing links us except the fact that we will have all stopped being passive. Is humankind capable of this? Collaboration and compassion are at our core and we can learn to allow our nurturance capability to take front stage. There is a presiding idea that we are selfish, individualistic and the worst thing that ever happened to our world, indeed it is easy to despair, but we were born dependent and our societies evolved in a permanent state of mutual dependence and benefit. With the essential mechanism of nurturance culture our actions will prove that we can do so much better.

Deep levels of invested interest defy progress and for many it seems that the first step should be radical castration of the elite, the corporations and the political bodies that exploit the world’s people, natural resources and each other. However, such an approach will not facilitate cooperation or pave the way to a healthy result. We have to be patient yet proactive, believing in the possibilities and in the power shift that could emerge. Are we all responsible? Let's all look in the mirror and rephrase some questions that we ask: • What is the world coming to? = What am I doing to help the world? • Why are they doing this? = What am I doing that is harmful? • Don't they know better? = Don't I know better? • Why are they (governments, corporations etc) so greedy, corrupt and stupid? = Is my behaviour greedy, corrupt or stupid? • Who really cares about anything anymore? = Do I care? It's hard to face up to one’s own hypocrisy, but we must be kind even when blaming ourselves and then try and shake off our fear, repression and inertia by empowering ourselves through action. How can good emerge from the mess we are in?​ There are 7.6 billion of us. Imagine if we all just did one less crappy thing and did one more good thing today that's a whole lot of worldwide improvement. Call me over simplistic if you will, but there is something (at least one thing) that we can each decide to do and in the very doing we can become part of the cure. Of course, if only one of us pulls his/her weight than the balance won't be tipped, (there are already many people doing so), but if enough of us feel inspired enough to put in some effort we will be motivated by each other, connected and more importantly our actions will promote change in every realm. ​ Do we have to make changes? Will this make us happy? Various forms of change are imminent and we don't know if they'll come hard, fast and radically, or whether there will be slow transitions. We have the option to either wait it out and let it hit us any which way it comes, or we can become an active part of the change process, we can help define it


LALE SUSTAINABILITY while figuring out how to navigate it and we will have given ourselves a chance to adapt. Improvement and empowerment are incentive and gratification. As the future unfolds the sense of belonging and useful contribution will grow exponentially. Positive results will be shared (as the success of the whole, not the lone achievement of inaccessible icons) and action points will overlap creating collaboration which will propagate the seeds to further success and happiness.

What is the real goal here? To enable a nurtured, worldwide society to evolve in a conscious, self-initiating, empowering and sustainable manner. Meaning this: We look after each other, we take care of the world and we live long and prosper as a species. And we have fun while we are doing it. (And if the apocalypse comes we go down with dignity knowing we gave it our best shot!) What should be the essence of any Manifesto for One? Everyone has his/her own priorities and inspiration. However the Basic Rights can be considered a backbone to the infinite contributions that are possible. These do NOT just belong to humans; they are the rights of every inhabitant upon the Earth and of the Earth itself: Shelter (protection from elements and in the case of the Earth protection from humans). Water (clean). Food (real food). Safety (freedom from war, exploitation, discrimination, oppression) It’s necessary to research the connections; between someone’s right to clean water being denied and your use of disposable plastic bags for example. That sounds very hard to achieve! Where do we start? A good starting point is to review one of our most powerful tools: Consumerism. We can take control of what we buy and how much we spend. It's a major turning of the tide when we take consumerism and make it ours (after it has been used to hold us captive and to benefit only the few). Our conscious choices regarding what we do or do not consume can become our power. What's wrong with what we are consuming? The words ‘need’ and ‘wealth’ are most ambiguously used. The common understanding is that anything you ‘want’ is something you ‘need’ and that owning lots of property, money and stuff makes you ‘wealthy’. The decades of brain washing will take time to eradicate and for our poor half poisoned and glutted out consumer selves to wise up. Irrational and ignorant spending creates waste, obesity and severe detrimental effect on the habitat. We have no right to allow ignorance to be an excuse anymore. Intelligent and informed choices on everything from cosmetics and cleaning products, to garment and electronics will free us from this most toxic of our obsessions and is a pivot point in the history of humankind and this planet. The words ‘wealth’ and ‘need’ will have been reconceptualised.

But what can I do? I mean I'm broke/ stressed/ over worked/ under-qualified.... and what is the point while everyone else does what they like? Once we drop the excuses each of us can decide what we can do. It's not hard to shop sensibly, avoid creating waste and to learn about the world from other's view points when you try. ​You might feel alone to start with but people are inclined to follow good example so we should be loud enough to spread the word. What if I have a great, original idea and everyone copies it? Then wow! Be proud, you are the creator of the new emerging trend in human behaviour, make sure it’s something you are deeply proud of and enjoy watching it grow.


So, enough talk and on to the action! Below is a list of some possible 'Manifesto for One' Action Points that are at least partially achievable here in Turkey. If you want to join me in being One of a Multitude then pick at least one from the Action Prep section and one from the Action Points section, but do more if you can. Add new Action Points over time and maintain them.

LALE SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PREP: Self-development. • Read more about Nurturance, Conscious Evolution • Get outside • Learn (about the food we eat, gardening ... philosophy...) • Ask any person simply what matters to them, listen, don't comment • Look after One (exercise, meditate and spend time in nature)

ACTION POINTS ​Food • Stop buying any palm oil products. (learn why palm oil is top of this list!) • Make your own: Food, peanut butter, cakes, cookies.... and share • Stop or limit eating beef (and all red meat) especially imported • Buy green/ free trade/free range/organic, seasonal and preferably local fruit and vegetables, eggs, milk, chicken etc • Stop/limit buying sugar (it is one of the worst offenders for loss of biodiversity and habitat destruction) • Stop eating fast, packaged, processed foods. • Create edible garden (even in urban settings) Packaging and products • Avoid all plastic (bottled water, packaging) Use reusable shopping bags. • Support businesses that don't use packaging • Only buy ecological cleaning products (or learn how to make your own) • Don't buy anything that's wrapped in non-reusable packaging (hand soaps and shampoo included) Find stuff you can buy in bulk or that refills or is wrapped in paper (or make your own) Recycling and waste • Give away and upcycle everything not needed: furniture, books, clothes, electronics, kitchen ware... • Fix stuff rather than chuck stuff • Don't use disposable plates, straws etc. Refuse the straw at the restaurant (you really need a straw?!) Tell a server in a restaurant that you don't want the straw in advance and say it loudly. • Recycle along with the local initiatives and help instigate more Energy • Wear a sweater in the house rather than turn the heat up. • Use public transport. Bicycle and walk • Share car rides and shopping trips (and bulk buy with neighbours to minimize packaging) • Buy an electric car (when the infrastructure is here in Turkey and you win the lottery) • Limit international travel or flights in general (This is a tough one for us foreigners living abroad) • If you are a scientist develop an ecologically sound airplane fuel (please!) • Minimize electric and water consumption (retro fit grey water usage system, consider a composting toilet) Install solar or wind turbine, consider sharing within the community

Teach Kids and Adults • That they don't need an egg surprise or a new toy or another pointless wrapped thing • How to grow real food, even just one tomato plant on a balcony. • To consume responsibly and to nurture - set the example. • To not compete against but to collaborate with their friends. • People don't want to be lectured, but they might listen if making a small change has made you happier/healthier/more productive etc Nature • Develop an urban garden and plant pollinators so bees hang out • Bicycle or walk in nature often Money • Donate to, create or join a good initiative • Only buy what you 'need' • Spend on quality organic living and shared experiences Specific skill based action points • Use career and skills to good use for your community and beyond. Activism • Sign campaigns and join or start activities that promote change • Use social media to share this or any thing that inspires you • Do volunteer work and collaborative enterprise. Sharing: • If you bake for example, share with your neighbours • Share garden produce with neighbours and encourage them to plant edible gardens • Share positive energy. • Become actively involved with anyone who shares the Manifesto for One idea!

And many more possibilities that are yours to manifest; you can copy or adapt these or invent your own. Maintain any of the Action Points you choose indefinitely, they should not be short lived but become a lifestyle. Have long term ambitions too, but don't let future intentions delay starting something today.

Tiny drops in the ocean? .... "It is the drops that make the lake" (Translated from a Turkish proverb - "Damlaya, damlaya göl olur") I hope you feel inspired to go off and make a manifesto for yourself. It really makes you think and wonder about what you can do when you write it all down. Let it grow and shine out of you. I'd love to hear how it goes. Jodie Harburt *





f you follow the Bosphorus to its northernmost European point, just as it starts to curve west towards the Black Sea, you’ll happen upon the Sarıyer district. The Photo Club of Istanbul spent a day exploring the coast and back streets starting from the Sarıyer Iskele. The name of the district has evolved over time; from Simas to Skletrinas, later to Mezarburnu, Altınyer, Sarıyar and finally arriving at Sarıyer. The first name ‘Simas’ is known to mean ‘Holy Mother’ however it is also known as ‘Blessed Water’ according to some sources. According to legend, since gold and copper was mined in the area for years, it gave the cliffs a yellow appearance around the Maden and Şifa Suyu districts. Another legend says the name Sarıyer is taken from a person name Sarıbaba whose tomb is in the area. Sarıyer's Bosphorus villages, backed by steep hills, were once rural fishing communities. They later became retreats for the city's wealthy. In the Ottoman period the sultans came to these villages for picnics and excursions. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the coast was lined with summer residences of the wealthy foreign traders of Pera and Galata. Many foreign embassies built summer residences in this period. Since the construction of the coast road, these villages, and increasingly the hillsides behind them, house many expensive villas owned by İstanbul's rich businessmen, actors and musicians, attracted by the coastline and the lush forest behind. As with many of the villages along the Bosphorus, the coast road running through Sarıyer is lined with fish restaurants of all kinds, ranging from the most elegant to equally delicious small restaurants, many of which were formerly housed in boats moored by the sea wall.











Changing habits can be tough, and Irene Draisma tells us how to break the bad habit loop and make positive behaviours a reality


aturally, the topic of changing habits is one of the most popular in psychology because it is about behaviour itself — the cause, interactions with other people and the environment, our thought processes and the consequences of our behaviour. Many of the clients that have come to me were suffering from their own behavioural issues. Sometimes they were totally unaware of them, sometimes they knew quite well what they had to change in order to feel better, but were not able to change their behaviour. Mostly this was because they were doing things in a way, they did for many years. So it became very tough/persistent behaviour not susceptive for change. On the other hand, they did not know the cause and triggers of the behaviour, which I think are necessary ingredients for change. Most people intrinsically did not want to change, because the positive effects of the behaviour outweighed the negative ones, so the change would be seen as hard and unattractive. And most people were unable to make a clear plan which included incremental steps and actions to take. Since the new year is here, I will focus on changing habits, as I have already heard many people talking about changes they want to make. And, as I know from experience, many changes will not be made or adhered to. I hope I can offer some insight how you can make the change and make it stick. The transition period between the end of one year and the beginning of the next is always a good moment for reflection and preparation for change. Smoking; Drinking less alcohol; Doing more exercise; Eating more healthily; spending less time on electronical devices; waking up late, always running late, interrupting others, losing temper, procrastination, etc. These are just some of the behaviours many people want to change.


Mostly people tend to focus on the bad behaviour itself; they know it is not good and they need to stop it. They are vulnerable to diets, electronic cigarettes, or other things that companies exploit and capitalize on. But the solution lays in the cause. We have to clearly understand, what are we doing, why and what triggers are involved. We have to write this down before we take the next step. And: We make a plan. Every person is different, and for everyone there is a unique approach, so create your own solution A habit stays a habit because it was structured in the brain, there is a whole neural pathway in the older parts of the brain that are responsible for automatic behaviour. And it is triggered by our thoughts, feelings and the environment. So, to make our plan we need to know what these thoughts and feelings are. Most of our behaviour leads to (short term and sometimes even long term) reward. If we know this reward, we might be able to search for other solutions to gain this reward. Also, we need to look closely at the triggers. These are not the cause, but circumstances, that feed the behaviour, as being tired, feeling hungry, etc. If we have clarity on all of this information, we can take the necessary steps that lead to other behaviour modification. Personally, I would recommend taking even one more step in between each step you outlined, because I believe in a holistic approach. This step is also nice for the rest of your life.

LALE WELLNESS Ask yourself the following questions: • Who am I? • What do I expect from life? • What kind of person do I want to be and what is my main goal in life?

If these questions drive you crazy, please skip them! However, I think they make you more aware of your motivations and your goals in life. And, the new behaviour should fit within your whole philosophy. For example: My highest goal is to be a super woman who inspires others and makes them aware, so that they treat themselves, others and the world in a better way. What is a superwoman to me? A super woman is a wise woman, who has knowledge about different topics, is experienced, had self-respect and knows what she wants. She is active, healthy, curious, inspiring, creative, a little crazy, warm, full of love, spicy and independent. In order to reach this state, I should wake up early, eat healthy, do sports, visit friends and family and search for a payed job. Now that I have identified the major categories within the overall goal, I then have to break them down into much smaller and specific steps. For example: I want to be fit and healthy. I would then formulate smaller goals such as: I will eat healthy food and I will do sports. I would define them even more discretely and indicate that I would buy only healthy food and cook on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As far as doing more sport, I would go to a specific sports program on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It is useful to make small steps, measure the positive behaviour and directly reward yourself (this could be a compliment to yourself). Now let’s look at the reasons for not doing the above; being tired; not wanting to miss social; having no structure. Whatever the reasons are that prevent you from taking the necessary steps towards building positive behaviour, search

for solutions, such as adhering to a set sleep routine, and planning or integrating social activities into your meal prep or sports activities. As far as addressing triggers, you need to eradicate them after you understand and document them. For example, if you feel hungry, plan to eat regularly and pack little snacks. You can create new, positive reinforcements, such as playing nice music to help you wake up early, or place visual triggers like a yoga mat within your view. Open windows, surround yourself with plants, or place candles around the house if your goal is to relax more often. Block the elevator to your apartment and put good walking shoes in front of the door if your goal is to be more fit. Above all, you can stimulate your new or true behaviour by giving yourself extra reinforcements after success. You can reward yourself with a good book, a movie, a sauna or massage. Do not reward yourself with the behaviour you want to get rid of! And the last important thing is to keep on. The longer you are practising a kind of behaviour, the more the path of neurons will be shaped in a functional way, what makes the new behaviour automatic. There might be people who are able to just change their bad habits at once. But most people do not. As you see it takes time to be aware of who you are and who you really want to be(come). As a psychologist, I think you can learn from experience and trial and error, but if you spend conscious time on your thoughts and behaviour, you can have a better understanding of the processes and this gives you more power to change!




COMMIT TO BE FIT A new year means new resolutions, and one of the most common is to focus on fitness. Aislyn Griffith tells us how to kickstart an exercise routine After a long day at work and a traffic nightmare commute from Beykoz to Beşiktaş, lacing up my running shoes is not exactly at the top of my evening wish list. Where to look for motivation…. Eyes closed, visualize….the Bosphorus Bridge, as the lights reflect off of the wet pavement. Just after the 7K mark. That’s when the runner’s high hits! Ok, I can do this. So tired. Just need to hit my pace and it’s smooth sailing from there.


hat was how most weeknight evenings went for me. Life in Istanbul is stressful, to say the very least, especially as a foreign woman. Every day we battle the crowds, traffic, and urban madness that is living in a huge city. We’ll take anyway to unwind we can! But giving into alcohol or junk food as a means to relax takes a harsh toll on health and can actually make everything worse. That’s why I made fitness a priority when I moved to this hectic wonderland over nine years ago. A healthy body has a much better chance to succeed that one feeling tired, sluggish, and with kilos piling on. But how can we make fitness such a priority here? And where? And what about language skills? And those overpriced luxury gyms?! So many questions! Let’s break them down into easy to manage chunks. First, you are probably very tired after long working hours and commuting in Istanbul’s infamous traffic. How can one possibly consider exercising after that?! Or worse yet, get up even earlier in the morning?! Did you know that you don’t need to spend one-two hours per day in a gym to be fit? Even smaller bits of exercise twice a day can give the same benefits. I swear by High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This really gives you the most bang for your fitness buck. Maximum effort, minimal time — great results! Completing a 15 or 20-minute HIIT in the morning, another in the evening a couple of times a week can make a big difference. Still, if that’s not your style and you DO enjoy longer workout sessions, I find that visualizations and proper planning are the keys to sticking to those routines. In my case as a distance runner, visualizing my favourite city sight (the Bridge all lit up as I pass under it) helped me get there. As for my energy level, sure I was exhausted and that first kilometre would be killer, but then came my stride and that endorphin rush! After working out I always felt more relaxed and more energized. Not to mention regular exercise can help improve sleep. A good night sleep makes a huge difference! Keeping these things in mind help me over that sluggish hump to get out the door. Ok, we’ve found the time and motivation. Now where to go? Istanbul’s fitness sector is relatively new when compared to Western countries, so in some cases it can be seen as more of a luxury. The result is massive fitness centres luring prospective customers in with hamam and spa services, Play Station/Xbox game rooms, cafes, etc. The price tags can be a bit shocking and thus unattractive for someone just looking


for a good workout. While these centres are more visible, they aren’t the only option. Lots of neighbourhoods have small local gyms that, while lacking the luxury offers, are more likely to offer smaller memberships and maybe even a discount. It’s worth a try to check them out and have a chat. Paying in cash for big things such as fitness memberships almost always comes with a discount. Another great option, especially if finances are an issue, is taking your workout outside. Istanbul is a major city but there are still great places to get a good workout and fresh air! Many neighbourhoods even have small exercise parks, that while seemingly useless and confusing still can be modified for things such as pull ups, tricep dips, push-ups, and more. Do a search around your home or work to see what's accessible at your preferred time of day. But before heading out, ask around to make sure if a safe place. While there is no guarantee that something can or can't happen, it's always best to find out beforehand if it's a suitable area commonly used for fitness. Some commonly used areas for fitness are Belgrad Forest (Europe) Maçka Park (Europe), Bebek Seaside

LALE FITNESS (Europe), anywhere along the seaside from Moda to Bostancı (Asia), and Özgürlük Park (Asia). Speaking of safety, if you plan to exercise outdoors, please prepare yourself. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you're being as safe as possible: • Wear brightly coloured and/or reflective clothing so cars can see you • Let someone know you'll be outside for an estimated amount of time • Make sure your phone has a full battery charge • Learn some key Turkish phrases to respond to any unwanted behaviour or in case of emergency • Have a few lira or an Istanbul Kart on you should you need to get home fast • If you listen to music, keep the volume low so you can hear what's happening around you • Unfortunately, people will stare. Use your best judgement when dealing with these people. More often than not (especially for runners) gazers will watch you pass and nothing more. But if you feel uncomfortable by any behaviour, seek help. If you suspect you may be followed, duck into a bakal or shop and say you just need to stay there a minute. Very often local shop owners will be happy and willing to help

different sports and fitness options popping up. Each year I notice more and more 5-10-15K races popping up around the city, as well as bicycle tours. These come with little to no entrance fee, a free t-shirt, and great community spirit! Try as many as you can and you are likely to find your niche. And remember to go easy on yourself starting out. Routines aren’t made overnight. Some days you’ll be all-in, some days you might not be in the mood. Be flexible around city issues and people cancelling last minute. If you are truly too tired, take a rest. But if you really try to stick to your new fitness routine as best you can, then yavaş yavaş you’ll have a new healthy lifestyle, and stronger stamina to face this wild expat life!

My end mark is just up there. Oh man! I don’t want to stop tonight! A few more steps and…..done. Deep breath. I feel completely refreshed! İt’s like all that stress and frustration from the day never even happened. These stretches are so soothing. Now I’m ready for a hot shower, a light dinner, and enjoying a peaceful evening at home. How wonderful to feel so relaxed, at peace, and just plain GOOD in such a hectic city. And no need to go at any of this alone! Get some friends or colleagues to join you. Not only will this increase your safety, but having workout buddies will also keep you motivated and accountable. If you need a buddy to vent about expat frustrations, find another foreigner. If you are looking to improve your Turkish language skills, having a native speaker join you will give you time to practice plus keep you motivated. Regardless of who you ask you join, having workout friends can improve your health as well as broaden your social circle in a healthier way than late night drinking. For example, my Turkish improved the most when I joined a gym with very few English speakers. I feel most confident while working out, which means I am less shy about my language skills with non-English speaking coaches and friends. The most important aspect of creating a regular fitness routine is to find something you really enjoy. The more you enjoy something, the more likely it is that you will stick with it. We make enjoyable activities a top priority. Give everything a try! Attend as many free trial sessions as you can. Social media is a great place to find out what is going on. Following fitness pages and people in your area will give you access to all the events around town. Many are free to try, or you can ask to just observe (if the chance of a sale is there, they are likely to say yes). We live in such a diverse city with so many



BOOM CHIKA-BOOM! One of the first athleisure lines in Turkey, Chikirina is designed for life on the move. Caitlin Diebler talks to the founders of this small business that is making big waves in functional fashion




itting on a chic, blue velvet couch at Soho House, I spotted Janelle Berberoğlu with her phone on the wooden table and MacBook nearby, while simultaneously chatting with friends over coffee. By 11 in the morning, the multitasker had already been to the gym and finished a fair amount of work at Soho’s Allis Bar & Café, her remote office of choice on Thursdays. “One of the values that our brand encompasses is balance. The corporate grind and nine-to-five at the office just isn’t our thing, but that doesn’t mean we work less”. Chikirina’s co-founder most certainly does not “work less”. The mere 26-year-old is the brand’s manager, accountant, designer, buyer, marketer, creative director and more. “Starting out a small business, you have to wear every hat”. But juggling a busy schedule and undertaking big responsibilities isn’t new for Janelle. While studying at Santa Clara University, she worked as a marketing director for a fashion mobile app.

get our hands on available, high quality stock fabric was really our push to start the business”. A family partnership seems to be of benefit to the relatives. Committed to reaching their business goals, the two rely on one another for confidence and boldness. Their similarities and loyalty to one another make it possible to take potential risks and leaps they wouldn’t otherwise jump alone. “We’re so lucky. It’s been fantastic. Our personalities are such a match. We have a 10-year age gap but as cousins we grew up together. What Fulya and I are able to do really well is, turn into completely work people in the office. We focus and get things done, then when we go out for lunch during the day we can turn that work hat off and switch our mode, we’ll talk about different things. We are true partners in every sense of the word. Being like-minded makes us a successful team”.

In August 2013, the half-Turk moved to Istanbul to connect with her heritage. “My father is Turkish. I spent every summer growing up in Turkey, but I always came as a tourist. Upon graduation, I was craving something authentic”. That first year, Janelle worked at a Pilates studio, studied Turkish and travelled. “I watched the market of Pilates and Yoga really grow here, but I noticed there weren’t any local sportswear brands. I just saw Nike, Adidas and other big international companies”. As a true businesswoman would, Janelle saw a consumer demand and provided a supply. “I decided to partner with my cousin, Fulya (Müftüoğlu) and open up a little boutique shop our Pilates studios. We imported different brands from the states to see what would sell. We got an idea of what women would buy here and what they wouldn’t”. Janelle acted as the buyer and her Turkish cousin, then fashion designer at Koton, worked as the consultant. “Through the success of those boutiques, we saw that a local active wear brand would really have great potential here”. Go-getters from the start, the cousins ambitiously bought plane tickets to Hong Kong to attend a trade show, an event where various products and services are showcased. Hong Kong was where the first stiches of their brand’s fabric were sewn. “We met a manufacturer at the trade show who happened to have stock fabric. Really high-quality stock fabric, too. The manufacturer said if we wanted to do something, they could produce a collection for us in six months, which is unheard of. Normally when you go to create a collection, you have to invest in the fabrics first, and it’s also a much longer process. The fact that we could quickly



As Janelle and I sipped our coffees, we discussed how modern women aren’t just one thing. In today’s world, women aim to juggle their personal life, social life, work life, family life, and attempt to perform each sector of their lives at the highest level. It’s that kind of woman, that is the inspiration for the Chikirina brand. “We’re a brand built around the go-getter woman. Our mantra is, ‘work hard, play hard’. As an active wear brand, we prioritize health and fitness but recognize women have so many other things going on in their day. Our products are created to get women through every part of their life”. Multifunctional apparel designed for life on the move, is the motto of the company that recognizes women are on the go now more than ever. From the studio to the street, Chikirina markets an array of active wear: jackets, leggings, sports bras and tank tops that are the perfect complement to a busy day. The outfit combinations are practical enough for your workout, and cute enough for a run to the bank or store. Chikirina shines at designing athleisure threads, but this idea of workout wear turned every day wear, isn’t an original notion anymore. “I can truly say we were one of the first local sports wear brands in Turkey. When we first started, I didn’t know of anybody, now there are a few that have come up”. Voracious innovators, Janelle and Fulya continue to revolutionize their customers closets. “We started out with athletic apparel but swim wear is now a part of our brand’s staple. We designed sports bra inspired tops using swim fabrics but they still have that supportive feeling of a bra. It’s an interesting concept because it allows you to do so much with it. You can work out in it, go to the beach and swim. Many of our styles are lingerie influenced and you can even wear it for a night out; pair it with a blazer or jacket on top. This concept is unique and something that we will continue to build the brand around”. The bodysuit trend is now signature to Chikirina as well. “They’re basically one-piece swim suits that have the support that you could do Pilates in it, but at the same time wear it with jeans. Our ‘getaway one piece’ from the last collection


is reversible, one side black and one side print. I’ve seen girls wearing the black side with jeans and sneakers and it’s super cute. We’re continuing to evolve into a direction that’s unique”. Success hasn’t been attained without setback for the threeyear-old brand. Establishing a business as a foreigner proves tough. “If I had advice, it would be to understand the system. The market in Turkey is so different from the market in the States. But you have curiosity on your side, Turkish people are particularly curious about people and brands abroad”. Janelle emphasized that confidence is key in starting a small business. “That’s been my biggest lesson. You have to have the confidence to push, push, push. Let your ego go out the window as you pursue next steps. Put yourself out there in uncomfortable situations. Also, don’t take rejection personally. We created this brand as a reflection of ourselves but you have to separate yourself from the business”. The ambition of Chikirina is to enhance the modern woman’s hustle. “We are a female run and operated business, supporting women and supporting the mission of women”. Janelle spoke of Chikirina with evident spirit. “Our customers are versatile, go-getters, and have a vibrant glow to them while balancing their way through life”. Successful businesses are built from passion and authenticity and in the end, this brand truly reflects the founders. As Chikirina’s declares, “I am a woman. What is your superpower? Shop Chikirina in their Teşvikiye showroom or visit their website for other various locations throughout Istanbul and Turkey. recently launched on Amazon U.S. with 2-day shipping, and have an upcoming launch on U.K.’s in January. Follow them on Instagram (@chikirina) and Facebook.



NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL Previously, Cristina Negoita Çetinkaya shared her tips for using herbs and spices to enhance your complexion. In this instalment, she shares even more do-it-yourself (DIY) recipes using everyday products that you probably already have in your home

Before indulging in the latest miracle cream that promises to maintain a youthful glow, beware some of the unsightly side effects. While many other products that we use on a regular basis are highly regulated for healthy and safety, cosmetics and personal care products often contain harmful chemicals that can cause serious health issues. The skin represents the largest organ in the body and anything applied on it is later absorbed into the blood. we might want to be more careful about what we use on our skin. An inexpensive and safer alternative can be found in homemade cosmetics. Making our own beauty products gives us control into the ingredients we use, and at the same time, we can also take pleasure and fun in the process! The following recipes can be made in your very own kitchen, with natural ingredients readily found in local stores.


The first DIY product is very simple to make yet an effective make-up remover that contains only two key ingredients: olive oil and rose water. These natural ingredients are used in equal proportions. You can put the make-up remover into a glass jar with a lid, or spray nozzle, and apply it with a cotton pad twice a day. Suitable for all skin types, it gently helps remove make up or impurities, leaving your face clean and smooth. After removing your make-up, the next step is to apply a toner. You can make your own rose toner at home. All you have to do is to put a handful of rose petals into water and leave it in the oven on low until you notice the water turns pink. Then you put it aside and when cooled, you can pour it into a glass bottle, keep it in the refrigerator, and use it whenever you want.

EXFOLIATING FACIAL MASKS The best exfoliating mask I have ever used contains coffee grounds. So, in the morning after drinking your Turkish coffee, you can use the remaining coffee grounds to exfoliate your skin. It does wonders for your skin. Every time I do this, my friends ask what I have done with my skin to make it looks so nice and healthy. In order to make this facial mask you need one teaspoon of coffee grounds, one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of olive oil. Mix it all together and then apply this paste on a cleansed face, massage it gently into your skin and neck in circles, then rinse it with warm water. Now it is time to apply your homemade moisturizer. This facial mask can be applied once a week. The coffee grounds clean pores and remove dead skin cells.


Avocado contains fats that are extremely hydrating for dry skin. You can make an easy facial mask by mixing half of an avocado with one spoon of honey. If you have sensitive skin, you can also add a little bit of yoghurt to this mixture for a calming effect. If your skin is very dry, you can add a few drops of olive oil to this. Apply this paste on your cleansed face and neck and leave it for 15 or 20 minutes. Rinse it with warm water. Your skin will thank you! You will notice that your skin becomes softer, shinier and healthier. Another facial mask for dry skin can be made from one banana and two teaspoons of honey. You mix these ingredients and apply it on your face and neck. If you have irritated or sensitive skin, you can use natural ingredients like pumpkin and honey. You combine two teaspoons of mashed pumpkin and half a teaspoon of honey. Apply this mask on your face and neck and keep it on for 10 minutes. Afterwards, gently rinse your face with warm water and apply your natural moisturiser.


The following homemade product is a moisturiser for normal to dry skin, that goes deep to nourish your skin, and helps decrease the appearance of wrinkles. All you have to do is to mix the following ingredients: two teaspoons of coconut oil, the yolk of one egg, one teaspoon of honey, and one teaspoon of olive oil. After mixing the ingredients you put the cream into a glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator. This homemade cream is best used at night, before going to bed and should be applied on a clean face. There are many homemade beauty products that you can make in the comfort of your home. Not only can they save you money, since you are in control of the ingredients you add, you can have some peace of mind knowing what you are putting on your face and body. Knowing your skin type and sensitivities, you can research and find the most appropriate combinations for your skin. While cosmetics help us enhance our assets, beautiful skin starts with nutrition and making healthy choices. Pay attention to what you eat – both in terms of quantity and combinations, drink more water, and do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to think and stay positive! Cristina Negoita Çetinkaya is a translator and handmade artist with a focus on painted fabric, ceramic and glass. Originally from Bucharest, Romania, she has been living in Turkey for the past six years. In addition to focusing on healthy living, she is passionate about film, books, languages and travel 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




NOTES ON A FOREIGN COUNTRY : AN AMERICAN ABROAD IN A POST-AMERICAN WORLD Karen Van Drie reviews Istanbul expat Suzy Hansen’s first book


here is something about American journalist Suzy Hansen’s book that called out: this book must be read immediately. As a librarian, I don’t often get that feeling. New books come out all the time. But this one was different. Suzy’s book gave me the same feeling that I had when Ta-Nehisi Coates came out with his book about a police shooting of an innocent man, entitled Between the World and Me. Coates’ book went on to win the National Book Award. I knew this would be an important book laying out the case for Americans to see their culture and country anew, and to consider doing so immediately. America engages the world as an empire -- yet Americans themselves deny that as a repugnant idea, and therefore haven’t learned enough about the people the empire can and does impact. This can be dangerous for those on the far flung corners of the empire’s reach. For example, what was a journalist living in post 9-11 New York City to make of the proposed American invasion of Iraq? Americans writing about the war prided themselves on their objectivity and journalistic standards, but what they hadn’t considered was that, in the end, they were approaching Iraq with an American mind.


The cover of Suzy Hansen’s first book is a familiar view to Istanbul residents

LALE BOOKS Suzy Hansen reading from her book to Professional American Women in Istanbul (PAWI) Photo by

‘What we didn’t know to ask was how we would be feeling or acting if we knew Iraqis. Not ‘knew’ them as in calling an Iraqi on the phone, but knew them as in their history, their experience, their history and experience with the United States. I do not remember,’ Suzy writes, ‘having a sense of the Iraqi people, of an Iraqi family, of an Iraqi man, a normal Iraqi man-a doctor or postman or a teacher, like someone you grew up with. Even if I did, I am simply not sure my brain would have known to test itself with the potential horrors that might befall that man: if this person was ripped apart by a cluster bomb, tortured in a prison, shot at an intersection while driving, his brains blown apart, his leg torn from his side, his wife and daughter and son screaming and crying in pain, all because of your country’s military, your government, and because of you. Empathy was infrastructurally impossible….There simply was no way for the American mind, perhaps the white American mind, to imagine these things--not the horror, and not the responsibility--and so we did not.’ Coming to awareness that there was a provincialism in New York City that precluded knowing and understanding more of the world when it mattered, Suzy applied for a writing fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs to live and work overseas. She won it. She had selected Turkey as a place to live, fascinated that her favorite writer, James Baldwin, had chosen to live in Istanbul in the 1960s. That an African-American gay man could feel more at home in Near Eastern Istanbul during the 1960s than the United States was a mystery that beckoned her to openly explore her own ignorance.

During her first two years living in Turkey, she didn’t write anything about it, aware that she was new to it, and needed to spend time learning about her new home. ‘’I had been approaching Turkey like some specimen I could place under a microscope. This process is inherently hostile, but I did not know that at the time. I automatically sized up the country according to its successes and failures, delighting exaggeratedly over the former as if I had the lowest expectations, and feeling like an impatient teacher about the latter, one who believed her student just needed encouragement and guidance.’ The more she learned about Turkish culture, the more she caught herself on her first reaction to a situation. She began to question ideas she had about Turkey and where she got them - ideas that were stereotypes - wait, aren’t progressives supposed to be better than stereotyping? Frustratingly, these stereotypes were just as present in her mind as if she meant for them to be there, which she did not. As an American reader, I found myself nodding knowingly several times in agreement with the book, shocked and aware that I often approached the country with many of the same preconceived ideas. For local international expat readers, reading Ms. Hansen’s experiences of the place we call home makes for an especially interesting read because everyone has their own experience they can compare with hers. James Baldwin once called ‘white Americans the most dangerous people on the planet.’ That’s why Suzy Hansen’s book isn’t just a conversation by an American for Americans. Global citizens everywhere could benefit from understanding


LALE BOOKS what could make people ‘the most dangerous people on the planet.’ Why would Americans invade a place without really knowing much about the peoples and cultures they were invading? James Baldwin felt the only thing that could change the cycle of destruction white America approached black Americans with was if white people learned to approach the other ‘with love.’ How do you treat people you love? How do you treat a nation you love? Could America in decline learn to start treating other nations, nations America had an impact on everyday, ‘with love?’ How would Americans have to change their image of themselves if they did so? Could they change their image of themselves if they did so?

These are the tantalizing questions Suzy Hansen profoundly raised in her book Notes on a Foreign Country : An American Abroad in a Post-American World. International expats may want to consider exploring these questions by reading the book, and then gifting the title to an American to read for themselves. Reviewer Karen Van Drie is an American librarian in Istanbul. Her blog about living and working overseas is called ‘Empty Nest Expat.’

Are you an educator? Here’s Suzy’s advice for helping grow the next generation of writers: ‘Individual mentoring’ and ‘taking a young writer seriously’ is the fairy dust to inspire a new, young writer. SUZY’S RECOMMENDED READS: Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics (Studies in Modernity and National Identity), 2002 By anthropologist Jenny White, an expert on Turkish Studies This book describes the rise of the AKP through the eyes of ordinary people.


Honour Killing : Stories of Men Who Killed 2008 By Ayşe Onal This book contains interviews with fathers and brothers who perpetuated honour killings in Turkey. Even within Turkey, this phenomenon is not widely understood.

The Age of Anger: A History of the Present 2017 By Pankaj Mishra Why is right-wing populism on the rise all over the world? Pankaj Mishra explains.






he aftermath of the disastrous tsunami which hit Japan in 2011 is central to our November book, A Tale for the Time Being by the JapaneseAmerican novelist Ruth Ozeki. Flotsam from the tsunami is washing up on the beaches of Canada’s Pacific coast. Ruth, a Japanese-American writer (The novelist herself as a character within her own novel) living on an offshore Canadian island, comes across a package on a beach, which turns out to contain a diary written by a Japanese teenager called Nao, as well as the secret diary of a trainee kamikaze pilot. The tale is told in chapters alternating between the diary extracts of Nao, and Ruth’s description of her life on the remote island, her finding of the package and her growing obsession with Nao’s story. So, there are two main parallel tales a) the fictional story of Nao, her father and Jiko her grandmother in Japan and b) the real-life story of Ruth and her Canadian husband Oliver on the island. In addition, there is a chapter containing the diary of the trainee Kamikaze pilot, written in French for secrecy and which Ruth arranges to have translated. Nao writes her diary in American teenage English as she spent the earlier years of her life with her family in California. Although we usually spend most of the time at book club meetings discussing the way that the book in focus was written, in this case we mainly discussed the thing about the book which struck us most – Japanese culture. This amazed and even shocked many of us, so strange and different was it to our own cultural experience – the isolated life of Nao and her family in a tiny flat in Tokyo and the awful bullying that the Americanized Nao experienced in her new school in Japan. Contrasted with this was the gentle lifestyle of Nao’s old grandmother, Jiko, a Zen Buddhist nun. Two of our English members at the meeting were able to provide insights into Japanese culture from their own experience, having actually lived in Japan. This novel elicited widely different opinions from ‘fascinating’ to ‘boring’, and our Amazon-style star ratings reflected this, ranging from 4.5* to 2.5* averaging out to 4*. Speaking personally, I found this novel a gripping and satisfying read and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about a fascinating culture while reading a trio of spellbinding story lines.





LALE CULTURE “Everyone talks about the famous handwoven Turkish hamam towels so why isn’t anybody selling them?” The answer to this question was the impetus for a quest that began in July 2009 for Jennifer Gaudet, a Canadian business woman and owner of Jennifer’s Hamam. Her search for a niche in the Turkish business market evolved into a life’s mission to prevent the extinction of a traditional art form.


urkish peştamels and peşkirs were easy enough to find, but not hand-loomed from organic, natural fibres. Believing that tracking down weavers would be a simple task; Jennifer’s spirits were high when she started driving from village to village across the country. Her mood darkened six days later because she had found only one artisan still working old-style shuttle looms. At this point in time, weavers were abandoning their craft because they could no longer make a living.

Burn Test: A single strand of pure silk will only burn while held directly to the flame (Photo: Liza Slay) The culture of traditional textile weaving in Turkey was such that mothers were home weavers who taught the skills to their children. Daughters grew up beside their mothers until they married and became the next generation of home weavers and teachers. Sons became weaving apprentices in commercial settings. Forty years ago, movement began from hand-woven to machine-woven fabrics. When consumer choice shifted towards inexpensive items flooding the market place, home weaving was left behind. “A small factory machine is capable of producing 5,000 peştamels in a week with one person supervising 20 machines”, explained Silk Worms: Voracious silk worms are gently covered with mulberry leaves piled 15 centimeters high, which they devour in as many minutes (Photograph: Jennifer Gaudet)

The culture of traditional textile weaving in Turkey was such that mothers were home weavers who taught the skills to their children (Photo: Jennifer Gaudet) Jennifer. “A competent weaver working an eight-hour day can produce a maximum of 10 small, very basic peştamels”. The quality of hand-loomed products was also plummeting as weavers could no longer afford the trips to source quality threads. This gave rise to a new profession of traveling salesmen offering inferior mixed or synthetic threads at expensive prices. To add insult to injury, small factory producers had been copying their original designs for years and the weavers were no longer able to compete. Looms were placed in storage or sold for scrap and the art of hand-woven textile production went into decline. Jennifer realized that “the only way to save the art of weaving was to use threads of the highest quality and invent new designs to separate ourselves from the small factory producers”. Canadian business woman and owner of Jennifer’s Hamam (Photo: Jennifer’s Hamam)


LALE CULTURE When Jennifer’s first shop opened in the Arasta Bazaar in Sultanahmet, she had only nine families of weavers. The early months were a blur of activity, trial and error as they explored the quality of threads and experimented with design. The lessons learned were the foundation of her company’s commitment to quality standards and reducing the carbon footprint. All her towels, peşkirs, peştamels, blankets, and scarves are made from natural silk, linen and organic cotton. The demand for these products led to the opening of a second shop and, later, a showroom. This success prompted some merchants to learn a few words in English like “loom” and “organic” to peddle cheap, factory-produced towels to unwary tourists at artisanal prices. These imitations are threadbare after a few years, while Jennifer’s towels will last several decades, if not longer with proper care. She loves to show a cleaning rag handwoven by a Turkish grandmother that has endured more than 100 years of hard use. When they do meet their end, they will not lie for eternity in landfill; natural fibres are biodegradable and will not contaminate ground water or soil. Linen has been woven into the fabric of human history for millennia. Harvested from flax plants, it requires less than half the water of conventionally grown cotton. It is valued for its antibacterial and stain resistant attributes, natural durability, and lustre. Mother Nature’s wicking fibre, it is even more absorbent than cotton and sheds moisture quickly. However, it is challenging to work with. The movement of looms causes pure linen’s sinewy and uneven thread to tear apart, disrupting the rhythm of weaving. To endure the strain from factory machines, it has to be twisted tightly, intensifying the inherent inelasticity of the fabric. The natural thread in Jennifer’s hand-loomed towels creates a soft, but durable finished product that will last at least 30 years. Once a major industry, the demand for linen has fallen globally. In Turkey, few farmers grow it in the quality that Jennifer’s Hamam requires. For all its desirable qualities, linen is an endangered fibre. Organic cotton does not naturally wick moisture. It has to be taught to drink by a series of soaks in cold water that makes it increasingly absorbent. Organic cotton farming prohibits the use of toxic chemicals, fertilizers and GMO seeds. According to, it is 80% rain fed, while 2,700 litres of irrigated water go into one t-shirt made from conventionally grown cotton. Jennifer’s Hamam is the only company I have found in Sultanahmet that can show clients a valid transaction certificate from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the international certifying authority that is recognized in Turkey. Ahmet Bey, one of Jennifer’s weavers, combines the beauty and functionality of these two fibres with a hand-loomed technique that is unique to Turkey. With natural linen on one side and organic cotton on the other, it demonstrates the fact that linen always feels cooler to the touch than cotton. The looping technique, developed by Ottoman weavers between the 15th and 17th centuries, creates luxuriously thick towels that can be mimicked by factories in appearance only. Machines cannot replicate the looped structure which, when combined with natural fibres, produces textiles of incomparable quality. “We will stop at the Grand Bazaar, but we cannot guarantee the authenticity of what is sold here”, cautioned an Istanbul tour guide. Machines using digital design are increasingly


Loom: By pulling artisans from the brink of bankruptcy eight years ago, Jennifer has helped keep 600 looms in operation (Photograph: Jennifer Gaudet) sophisticated at copying selvedges and tassels that are the signatures of handloom weaving. The exquisite “100% silk” scarf I purchased looked and felt like the real thing, but there is only one way to know for sure: the burn test. Natural and synthetic fibres react differently to fire. The colour and smell of the smoke varies. Some are resistant to a spark, while others flare with surprising ferocity. Naturals tend to burn relatively slowly, while synthetics like polyester melt. Acrylic is completely consumed in the blink of an eye. Natural linen and organic cotton burn similarly, but the former exhibits a writhing tail of ash. A single strand of pure silk will only burn while held directly to the flame. Remove it from the source and it immediately self-extinguishes, leaving a soft bead of dark ash that reduces to a fine powder. The flare of the test on my scarf consumed the thread so quickly that it burned my finger before I could react. It left a solid, melted glob in its wake, proving that if there was any real silk there at all, it was mixed with a high volume of synthetic thread. This test can easily be performed before purchase and Jennifer’s staff have never hesitated to prove the purity of their fibres. “I feel like I’m hugging my mother”, cooed a Serbian friend wrapped in one of Jennifer’s soft, cotton peştamels. The three-story showroom was a treat for her senses. Her eyes took in colourful stacks of meticulously folded textiles. Her nose detected the delicate scent of olive-oil-based soaps mixed with ingredients like bay laurel, jasmine, fig, and Moroccan argan. Her fingers touched the rough texture of exfoliating kese mitts that are woven from tree bark or silk with goat hair. Custom-made robes and tunics can be made from the towels allowing clients to surround themselves with these sensations all day long.

LALE CULTURE Arasta Bazaar Shop: Jennifer’s Hamam opened in 2009 in the Arasta Bazaar, Sultanahmet (Photograph: Jennifer Gaudet)

“Fixed prices are a knife in the heart of a Persian!”, gasped an Iranian friend upon learning that the prices at Jennifer’s Hamam are set in stone. An alien concept in a region where haggling is obligatory, this is how Jennifer keeps traditional weavers in business. By pulling artisans from the brink of bankruptcy eight years ago, she has helped keep 600 looms in operation. Unfortunately, this is a temporary solution that has not addressed the root of the problem: the 40-year gap that now exists in skills that are no longer being handed down to the next generation. Turkey has come to the last of its mother weavers teaching at home. Without them, the art form is doomed. All too often, I leave Jennifer’s Hamam with a sense of mourning because they have sold the last of an extraordinary textile. Ömer Bey was a master weaver in central Anatolia whose eldest son took over the family business. He mechanized the workshop after his father’s retirement. When Jennifer met the famous patriarch, they understood each other. “See”, he snapped at his son. “This is what I’m always telling you. You must go back to the old ways!” Ömer Bey showed Jennifer textiles unlike anything she had seen before that he had woven decades earlier. “The piece that really caught my attention was two layers of shimmering silk and the softest wool woven together with multiple colours across one weaving line”. When Jennifer learned that the looms still existed, they agreed he would bring them out of storage, repair them and put them back to work. The organic cotton Seven Wonders towels and blankets at the store were handwoven under Ömer Bey’s supervision until he passed away. Tragically, his one-of-a-kind looms were dismantled and sold for parts. The equipment that made the Seven Wonders is lost to the world, and the skill that designed it was buried with the master weaver. The raw and reeled silk scarves at Jennifer’s Hamam are made by Meta Bey, who learned the whole process as a boy from his “silk mother”. Adult silk moths have a life span of only three days, during which they mate and lay eggs. Meta Bey carries the eggs in a pouch beside his heart, the perfect temperature for incubation. To feed the voracious

worms, he gently covers them with mulberry leaves piled 15 centimetres high, which they devour in as many minutes. The sound of their eating, which is eerily comparable to rainfall, is as intense as the speed. Meta Bey’s reeled thread is drawn from the strands of 50 cocoons with fingers so sensitive that if just one strand drops, he immediately feels it and brushes in another. The self-healing attributes and arrangement of its molecular hydrogen bonds make silk pliant and one of the strongest materials on earth, tougher even than steel, “pound for pound”. A “vampire fibre”, its only vulnerability is prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. A scarf woven with pure silk thread is almost as stiff as cardboard when it is cut from the loom. It softens after boiling in a vat of water to which bay laurel soap, natural dyes or ash have been added. “Much of the silk making process is not pretty”, observed Jennifer. “It is often only after the final step of ironing that the beauty of the piece emerges”. None of the children in Meta Bey’s extended family have learned the tradition. Centuries of method, skill, and design have come down to this one son of the Silk Mother. If you ever see tears in Jennifer’s eyes, you know Turkey has lost another gifted weaver, an irreplaceable loom, or both. To prevent this cultural legacy from vanishing entirely, she is preparing to open a weaving school stocked with organically-grown raw materials. Her priority is women, who are under-represented in the Turkish labour market and have traditionally taught the art of weaving to children. By example, she strives to raise public awareness to the value of quality artisanal work that is inclusive of women and sustained by eco-friendly practices from start to finish. For more information about Jennifer’s Hamam, visit: Arasta Bazaar, NO: 135 & NO; 125 +90 212 516 3022 Email: Website: Facebook : @jennifershamam Instagram : jennifershamam




HANDS-ON: PORCELAIN AND CERAMIC WORKSHOPS For those who love a challenge, Catherine Salter Bayar shows us where to get hands-on with handmade crafts


alking along a Galata street recently, I stopped in to wish “hayırlı ısler” to an inventive shopkeeper who for decades had a three-story shop near the Grand Bazaar. The former shop had been an impressive oasis of personal, well-curated Turkish art, vintage and modern, in a sea of tourist tat near the Grand Bazaar. I was happy to see him now resettled in a much smaller location, maybe even one better suited to his clientele. However, he angrily responded to my greeting, clearly resenting the survival tactics necessary to make a massive move to another district, hoping to eke out a living in one of the few remaining neighbourhoods in which tourists can be found. “BITTI!” At least he’s still in business. Visit any street in Sultanahmet or Galata and it’s impossible not to notice that kiralık signs on empty shops outnumber establishments that have been in the same location for years. Visiting the Grand Bazaar brings a disorienting dread these days, as I see which vendors remain. Dealing with the psychological issues of an uncertain business scene is a major issue here, as anger and fear prevail. Galip Dede Caddesi is one of the few lanes busy during the day with a mix of visitors. Shops leading up to the Galata Tower increasingly sell hamam goods and other cheap tourist-ready items, punctuated by cafes and t-shirt and bag shop selling Frida Kahlo everything. As much as I revere the iconic Mexican artist, I’m not sure what her ubiquitous trendy image has to do with Istanbul. But there are breaks in the quirky monotony. Easy to miss in the chaos of the street is Artangel. Melek Hm’s shop just down from the Mevlanaevi inhabits a narrow space, crammed to the rafters with wall art of all types – oils, watercolours, calligraphy, prints – and shelves of vintage china and home décor from an earlier Beyoğlu era. A small collection of vintage embroideries caught my eye, as well as a good selection of traditionally made needle lace, oya, instead of the machine-made version popping up along the street outside. Melek Hm mourned the days of the ‘80s and ‘90s when it was easy to sell. “Americans are the best shoppers, where are you now?” she chided me, after getting over her shock that I


speak reasonably understandable Turkish. Seeing the Uzbek suzani embroidery on my business card, she exclaimed “Oh everyone sells those. I remember when you could get them by the bagful for no money at all”. I do too, but stumbling upon bargain treasures that sellers don’t value is unlikely these globalized days. Chatting with such a shopkeeper is to wallow in nostalgia, Istanbul’s infamous hüzün for days long gone. But a stubborn pursuit of passion in tough times is also evident, though not as obvious. This year, Melek Hm invited porcelain artisan Ülkü Kulaç to use the shop’s basement as her studio, a cavernous space of whitewashed arches, resonant with the sound of two caged birds, very excited to have visitors. Ülkü Hm is one of many artisans who are braving a changing Istanbul to continue the work they love. After 10 years with a studio at the Mecidiyeköy Antikacılar Çarşısı, she decided it was time for a more central, vibrant neighbourhood. In Turkey, it’s typical that women wait to take up their craft hobby passion fulltime until retirement, after 20 years’ work at office jobs or more ‘serious’ work, in practical career versus ‘follow your dream’ thinking. Ülkü Hm recalled she was drawn to traditional Ottoman Iznik and Kütahya porcelain tiles (çını in Turkish) from an early age, always doodling patterns. Her spare time was full of courses at ISMEK, Istanbul’s municipal training centres, a wonderful low-cost way to learn, but only if you have good teachers, who can be hit or miss, she warned. She was fortunate to train with master craftsman Sıtkı Olçar, cited for his lifetime of work as a ‘Turkish Living Treasures’ by UNESCO, who made her paint the same leaf motif hundreds of times for three months until she had it just right. This kind of painstaking attention to detail can dissuade some artisans in training, she said. Her best students are those who really want to learn the traditional methods of porcelain making and decoration as part of their work training, like the architect from abroad she’s currently teaching, and others who want to do restoration work. As the Turkish name suggests, porcelain roots can be traced to the Far East, to Uighur and Seljuk art. Ottoman workshops of the late 15th and early 16th century were producing a

LALE HANDMADE and decorative décor. The one-of-a-kind tea cups, saucers and plates reflect the colours of the city outside, the faded hues of the buildings, the changing blues of the Bosphorus, with hints of gold to remind of past Empires’ art. Printed hands and other ornaments are textured with lace and natural forms, brightly coloured glazes as accents. The studio wisely works with corporations to produce highend, creative, exclusive collections. The income from this work allows them the resources to create more personal items for their own brand, and the time to teach. Zen Ceramics offers 10-week, three days-a-week, three-hour intensive courses in learning to master the pottery wheel, freeform shaping, and glazing. They also teach one-onone private, customized workshops based on the student’s interests, and workshops for children. product quite close to the 15th-century Ming porcelains making their way along the Silk Road, well before Europeans began the art. She explained that the çını tiles of the Blue Mosque breathe because of the natural quartz within the hamur, or refined clay. These tiny stone particles help the çını act as a sponge, absorbing moisture and heat, making the walls like living organisms, yet maintaining an enduring protective element. Porcelain tiles are fired at much higher temperatures than ceramic tiles, making them more resilient. Once the porcelain clay has been formed and dried into a tile or another object, charcoal dust is pounced onto the raw form, a tedious transfer of finely drawn pattern from light thin tracing paper. It’s easy to mar the powdery fine detail of flower and vine, so most students give up fairly quickly because of the high patience required. Ülkü Hm lamented the flood of cheap Chinese ceramics into the Turkish market the past 15 years, with stamped or painted designs by workers with far less classical training, but less expensive to sell to customers not understanding quality.While she loves the traditional patterns, more modern forms also appeal in the form of large-scale projects, such as a mosaic wall in a rehabilitation centre for disabled children in Kadıköy, or murals in private corporate dining rooms. In her new studio home, she hosts private students for workshops, for the day or more extensive training. She’s happy to customize workshops according to the interests of her students. Just down the hill a block below Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi toward Tophane, three artisans have partnered together at Zen Ceramics since 2009. After occupying separate studios nearby, they recently decided to open one big studio all together in this current location. Lovely natural light fills the rooms, with a small courtyard in the back near the kilns, where they work when the weather allows. Zuhal Bilginalp and Nihal Sarioglu met while students at the Institute of Fine Arts, Marmara University, Nihal after retiring from 20 years’ service as a chemical engineer. They are joined in the studio by Mustafa Caner Kurt, another Marmara alumni. An additional partner, Nesime Kantar, teaches the marbling art of ebru, though that’s a topic for a future issue. Also using porcelain clays, their whimsical work combines traditional patterns into modern tableware, wall ornaments

Zuhal Hm loves teaching. “It’s like a game, seeing students understand, then create something they never thought they could”.But selling is a challenge. Putting a value on the work for all the time spent, considering their years of training, only to have a random visitor bargaining to pay a fraction of what they ask, is an annoyance few artisans like to deal with. But these artisans feel they must be at the centre of their city, to be close to people and interesting sites, to be easy to find, to soak in the essence of a place as old as Galata. A look of horror filled Nihal Hm’s eyes when I asked her if she could not do this, what else would she do, where would she go? “But I’ve found my passion…why would I stop?” Indeed. For now at least, Istanbul somehow remains a magical place in which you will run into a friend while walking along a cobblestone street that neither of you live within three kilometres of. It’s still in many ways a village, 15+ million residents or not. Serendipity, angst and passion: maybe a measure of each are needed to survive here. I’m searching for those corners in which traditions are still worked with steady, talented hands, not for the goal of making big money or attracting much attention, but for the mere pleasure of challenging personal skills with a craft that warms the heart. This is the first of several missives identifying where to get hands-on with handmade craft. All the better to absorb the lessons of this city, if you can spend your days teaching, learning and creating within the ancient lanes of Istanbul’s hillside neighbourhoods, along with those who revel in the glory days, mourning the past…. and those who stubbornly continue to work their passion. Join me for craft excursions throughout the Bazaar district of Eminönü. We’ll find the supplies you’re looking for, at a nohassle price. For more information, contact me at ccsbayar@ or on FB at Istanbul Personal Shopper. Ülkü Kulaç FB page: İstanbul Çini ve Tasarım Atölyesi Galip Dede Cd. No:18, 34421 Beyoğlu 532 367 82 01 Zen Ceramics Hoca Ali Sokak, 17A Galata Beyoğlu 542 400 77 16




MUSIC TO OUR EARS Even if we all speak different languages, music’s universal appeal reaches across borders to unite us. Christina Botonaki introduces us to Lara Eidi, who is using her talents on a world stage


ara Eidi is a singer-songwriter with Lebanese, Canadian and Greek roots now living in London and touring in Europe and the Middle East. Soft-hearted, romantic and with an angelic voice, she uses her musicality to inspire, to connect with people and share life experiences. I had the opportunity of a short Skype interview, just as she arrived back from Beirut and her gig in Ashrafieh. She was exhausted but always with the smile and kindness a true star has. This are some of the things Lara shared with us.


LALE MUSIC So, tell me Lara what made you choose music as a career? I mean, isn't it difficult? Well, the reason I chose music as a profession is, I guess probably because it makes sense. I mean, it's the easiest way to express myself. For me, music connects and inspires people like nothing else, so it wasn't a choice actually, it was life itself for me. My heart lies in performing, I love it, I love the stage and the connection with the people, but I also teach at City Academy in London and that gives me more energy. I teach to share my knowledge and share a part of me. That's so nice! And you said a minute ago that you just flew in from Lebanon, right? Tell me more about your gig. Actually, it was really great for an exclusive event. There were international guests from the Middle East and Europe. The event was a private "Musique de Salon" type of gathering where I was delighted to meet officials from the banking sector, cultural affairs, museums and art galleries. You know having such a diverse audience and having them all love your music is really exciting. You see no matter the background, music united them. I see, so what music did you play for them? Well I prepared a mixed repertoire. I played my own songs, but like also American and Canadian folk music, and also some French chansons. I chose a couple from Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel and others and I think they really enjoyed the mix. So, tell me what do you like most in Lebanon when you visit to perform? The hospitality — I mean, they are simply awesome. A lot like the hospitality I received in Istanbul when I visited in June. You know I believe this is what joins us. All the Mediterranean countries have this unique openness about them. Everywhere you go, everyone is open and kind and when they find out what I do, they love it genuinely. You know surprisingly, this time in Lebanon I realized how big the jazz scene is and that surprised me, I didn't know jazz was so adored there. That sounds amazing. Now tell me, or rather our readers, what music do you write? Well, that's a difficult one. You know, I don't like definitions, they are like limitations. I am a singer-songwriter. Ever since I was a child I was ploughing away at the piano muttering something. So, I like different kinds of music and musicians and I think you can hear and feel that in my music. I love Joni Mitchell, so you can find some of her influence in my music, but I blend jazz, rock, traditional folk and film music, so it's hard really to put a label on it. I see, ok, so we better listen to it and see for ourselves, right? Yes, that is the best way.

Now tell me do you have any favourite artists? Oh, yes, tons. Where should I start. If I start we will never finish the interview (laughter). Ok, so I love Barbara Streisand and....... Joni Mitchel as I said earlier. And..... oh, this is a tough one.... You know, there are just so many artists I adore, it's really hard for me to chose. Each and every one of them has inspired me in a different was. So, I am not sure what to say. That's ok. Tell me though, which of the songs you've written is your favourite? Oh, that's easy Within Without. It is seemingly easy but I managed to build emotional and musical layers. It is a very personal song. You could say it's my refuge. It's a song I turn to when there is turmoil. It's my rescue, my lift and it creates such a serene atmosphere. I think we all need that! Tell me, so you live in London now, but you are touring quite often. Which countries do you visit and where do you like it the most? Let's see. Lebanon, Greece, France, Scotland and I have been to Turkey once for a gig and I am hoping to be coming a lot more often. It’s hard to say though where I like it the most. You know, I like Lebanon, because it's like going back to my roots again. I love the music scene there, the high energy and the support you get, it’s my second home, a place where I get lots of inspiration. It resonates the same as Scotland though to me. I am sure I must have had Scottish roots in another life time! Who knows? Maybe! So, what do you consider the highlight of your career? I have to say performing my own songs at the Festival du Musique in Beirut. It was a great honour to play my music in front of thousands of people the Roman Baths, one of the greatest monuments in Lebanon. But, also playing in London with the famous Ian Shaw, signing for the refugees and connecting on so many levels with people was just magical for me. I love the fact that music draws in social issues that touch everyone's heart, without necessarily being heavily political. Can you tell me then what Little People is? Well you see Little People was my first album, it means a coming of age to me, it means pinning down my own music and joining my love for literature and poetry with music. It's a defining moment when you discover your true voice and as a result that connection I said before. So, Lara where do you see yourself in 10 years from now? I just want to continue to grow as an artist, play in festivals with my idols. I want to grow as a singer and song writer and grow as a person through that creative process. If you wonder what Lara's music sounds like you can visit her on And, if you want to book her for your event you can visit her page






love meze, those small tasty dishes that are perfect for sharing. To me, ‘meze’ is synonymous with good friends, great food and lots of laughter. Therefore, for the first in a series of articles “Dinner with the Chair”, I thought it best to start with the beloved Turkish meyhane experience.


eze by Lemon Tree, located opposite the historic Pera Palace Hotel in Şişhane, offers a modern twist on the traditional Turkish cuisine. The restaurant has an intimate, single diningroom that offers a cozy ambiance with Classic Turkish music playing lightly in the background, crisp white clothed tabletops and ambient lighting. The multilingual staff was very knowledgeable about the menu offerings and entertained by my desire to speak to them in Turkish. The food is amazing. There are approximately 15 meze choices offered on a daily basis (selected from a repertoire of 50-plus different meze options). The selection does change depending on seasonal offerings. The ingredients were fresh; and everything we ordered was so delicious. I especially loved red peppers with cheese, shrimp casserole with cream sauce and seabass ceviche. With meze my personal preference in rakı, and the restaurant has a great variety of rakı to choose from (my favorite is No 10). For those who prefer wine, the restaurant has a list of well-chosen Turkish wines, predominantly from the Tekirdağ region, that the friendly staff is happy to help you with. Pros Meze by Lemon Tree offers a delicious sophisticated take on the traditional meze, elegantly presented in a cozy atmosphere with impeccable service. I am not surprised that the restaurant has had many favorable write-ups; and was listed as one of the top 50 restaurants in the Monocle Restaurant Awards 2017 (listed as No. 30). Cons The atmosphere is cozy; however, some may feel too close to their neighbor as the tables are close together. Things to Know Make a reservation, we saw numerous parties without a reservation turned away at the door due to lack of space.


Meze by Lemon Tree Asmalımescit Mahallesi Meşrutıyet Caddesi 83/B Beyoğlu / Istanbul 0 (212) 252 83 02

Ä°stanbul / Toronto Come explore with us!




SNOWY WEEKEND IN CAPPADOCIA Not just a warm-weather destination, Cappadocia is truly captivating in winter. Catie Funk shares her tips


hile most tourists prefer to visit Cappadocia, in central Turkey, in the warmer summer temperatures, our winter travels there proved much more rewarding. Snow covers the usual brown facade and dresses the rocks in white, giving the area a beautiful, wintery glow. The area prides itself on its carpet-weaving, wines, and the distinctive red pottery of Avanos. The snow and colder weather didn't stop store owners or their warm rooms from inviting customers into their galleries. Tour agencies in the region offer four tour routes labelled Green, Red, Blue, and Purple. To best explore Cappadocia you can choose a self-guided, well-travelled tour using a map in a rental car, or via a tour company. Private day guides are always available and cost less during the offseason. Your guided tour may or may not include the entrance tickets and lunch, so be sure to clarify this before agreeing on a price. Take the Green and Red Tours for the more popular sites or, the less-travelled, Blue and Purple Tours if you have been before. The one-day Red Tour stays around Central Cappadocia, exploring the cave churches of the Göreme Open Air Museum, Paşabağ (Imagination Valley), the old Greek village of Çavuşin, and the three Beauties (Fairy Chimneys). The route swings by the pottery workshops in Avanos, home of the master Cappadocia pottery masters. Here, visitors can watch the masters mold and sculpt the red clay into bowls and plates. If you ask, the master will let you give it a try! End the day at the famous rock castle of Uçhisar, the highest point in the region. The one-day Green Tour travels further south of the main cities, exploring the Derinkuyu Underground City, an ancient multi-level refugee settlement carved by early Christians. From Derinkuyu, your next stop is to visit the beautiful Valley of Ihlara and the old Peristerona 'Valley of Sky' along the Melendez River. On the way back to Göreme, visit Selime Monastery and end your day with a sunset photo opportunity at the Pigeon Valley viewpoint.


The Blue Tour covers the areas of an old Greek Village of Mustafapaşa, Keslik Monastery, Sobesos ancient Roman ruins, Soğanlı Valley hike, and an underground city. Our previous travels in Cappadocia covered most of the Red and Green tours, so we decided to rent a car and explore a few sites along the Blue path. Since the snow was still falling in some areas, we stayed on the main roads and museums. The panoramic view of Red Valley and the Zelve Open Air Museum covered in fresh snow, were our favourite stops on this trip. To understand the attractions on the Blue tour, it helps to know how the Cappadocia region was formed. The area’s lava rock formations have created miles of intricate, natural gorges and fascinating fields of dips and peaks. Later on, communities carved into these formations to create rooms for their homes, churches, and stores. Initially a refuge for early Christians, who escaped persecution by living and worshipping underground, Cappadocia boasts a staggering 3000 rock churches in this region, many of which are not open to the public. This region became absorbed into the Persian empire, then became a semi-independent kingdom during Alexander the Great’s reign, then a Roman province, and much later, part of the Byzantine Empire. Up until the 1950s, the people here thrived, but over time the structural integrity of the cave homes started to erode. And, newer commodities like indoor plumbing and electricity brought challenges to homeowners of the rock houses. While many homes lay abandoned, most locals have restored the cave homes to stores, and restaurants and hotels. The Zelve Open Air Museum proved a compelling choice, with several churches dug into a cliff, and fairy chimneys. A guard told us this museum has fallen into natural disrepair, and will eventually be closed due to the collapsing walls and falling rocks.


Choose from one of the many airlines that fly into the Kayseri airport east of the region. The airport is small but caters mostly to the millions of people who tour the Cappadocia region. Less frequent flights also fly into the city of Nevşehir an hour west of the area. Depending on where you are staying, the Nevşehir airport could be closer. However, the Kayseri usually has more frequent buses and shuttles going into the region. Depending on the time of travel and airlines, roundtrip tickets cost around 250-300 TL per person. Shuttles from the airport to the hotel cost around 30 TL one-way. Overnight bus services also offered from Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Ankara and many other cities to Cappadocia.

Cappadocia consists of several towns such as Ortahisar, Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, and Avanos. Nevşehir is the capital of the region. All of these villages are very close to each other, only 5 to 10 km apart. Use this checklist to make sure your tour of Cappadocia will be complete: • Wake up early to watch the hot air balloons rise over the area near your hotel or go on a hot-air balloon ride! • Explore an open-air museum • Weave through one of the underground cities • Drink some tea/do some window shopping • Pick one of the valleys (Red, Pigeon, Love, and Devrent) and go for a hike • Do some shopping at your hotel if you were not able to shop enough on your tour • Enjoy the sunset from the cliffs overlooking Göreme or other valleys • Bonus: Enhance your knowledge of Turkish culture with one of the Turkish Dinner Shows If you want to follow our travel route:

If you would like to follow our route, Pegasus had a direct flight to the Kayseri Airport. Our afternoon flight from Izmir on Friday gave us sufficient time to pick up our rental car which we also booked through Pegasus's website. Try to get afternoon tickets to Kayseri if you are driving, the sun sets around 5 pm and if you are unfamiliar with the area, finding your hotel can be a little tricky.


While Göreme is a typical choice for first-timers, consider one of the many towns nearby for a more authentic, less-touristy filled experience. Our choice, Castle Inn Cappadocia in Ortahisar, proved to be a perfect fit for our weekend. The owner, Suat Ulusoy, renovated this smaller, boutique hotel from a 150-year-old cave house. While it could have easily been ten rooms, Suat decided to keep it intimate with only five uniquely designed rooms. Communication passed smoothly, and it was very apparent that Suat cares for his guests like this inn were his home, and the guests are his close friends. He ordered food for us Friday night when the roads were too icy to drive on, to arranging my ‘surprise’ hot air balloon ride for my husband Jason, and then rescheduling it after unfavourable winds cancelled the first-morning booking. Taşkonaklar Boutique Cave in Uçhisar Argos in Uçhisar Kayakapı Premium Caves in Ürgüp Kismet Cave House in Göreme



Most families prefer to travel to Cappadocia in the Spring through the Fall time. The weather allows for fewer layers and more comfortable travel conditions. However, there are always plenty of activities for children found along the way. Find any pottery in Avanos and have your kids “throw a pot” for free. There is no obligation to buy, but it's impossible not to find a keepsake to take home. Go for a hike off the beaten path in one of the many valleys. Go to the horse corrals near the Göreme Open Air Museum and let the kids sit on the horses. In the summer or favourable weather, take a gondola ride or jet boat ride in Avanos along the river. In warmer weather, camping is an excellent option for families!


The cuisine is the usual array of Turkish food. However, the regions boast about their Testi Kebap which is a type of beef, chicken, or lamb stew cooked in a sealed clay pot and


Most hotels connect guests to either their tour guides or a local business. Choose from three routes to see different parts of Cappadocia.



then broken open in front of you. Try the Sofra Restaurant in Avanos which sells the Testi Kebap prepared for two people for around 45 TL, but many restaurants also serve this scrumptious meal in the area. Pumpkin Restaurant in Gรถreme Seten Restaurant: Anatolian Cuisine in Gรถreme Bizim Ev in Avanos


Uranos Turkish Night (Dinner & Show) Evranos Turkish Night (Dinner & Show)

HELPFUL LINKS: 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,, and via social media @ funktravels.


Peking Chinese Restaurant in Gรถreme Urizip Korean Restaurant in Gรถreme


Every region of Turkey displays their unique designed for carpets and pottery for their area. Cappadocia is no different. Spend time browsing the stores and notice the beautiful handmade rugs of silk, wool, and cotton. Visit a local pottery store and see the master at work. No obligation to buy.


For the dare-devils, a few companies offer ATV and Jeep excursions. Also, never overlook a good cup of Turkish tea or traditional Turkish coffee. Find a couple of hours to relax at a local cafe to warm up after a chilly walk through the open-air museums.



BENEFITS OF A BILINGUAL EDUCATION Children who are immersed in a second language have key advantages in cognitive development and health. Robin Pascoe shares the research


here has been a veritable explosion of scholarly and mainstream interest in bilingualism in recent years as the world has become more closely connected through economics and communication than ever before. Second language proficiency and in particular, early acquisition of the English language, is viewed as an asset for students in order to become global citizens and to pursue opportunities which exist worldwide. Canada—with two official languages English and French— has been at the forefront of the research. Canadian psycholinguist Ellen Bialystok from York University in Toronto has conducted studies on the impact of bilingualism on the brain for more than four decades as well as exploring the effects of bilingualism throughout life. She found that, among other benefits, the occurrence of degenerative brain diseases and cognitive impairment is much smaller in bilingual individuals. Other major impacts of bilingualism have emerged. Consider these five key benefits as identified by the World Economic Forum which includes its impact on cognitive abilities:


1. Bilingualism staves off dementia. On average, bilinguals develop Alzheimer’s five years later than monolinguals; 2. It makes people better at multitasking. The bilingual brain switches between tasks more easily and is good at problem solving; 3. It can help people focus and make them ‘mentally fit’. Bilingual students are better at ignoring distractions; 4. It may improve empathy and communications skills. Growing up with two languages makes children look for non-verbal cues; 5. It makes the brain more resilient. Bilingual patients recover cognitive functions quicker after having a stroke. The latest research on bilingualism and numerous articles relating to the subject are now published regularly in the media and are being shared over the Internet, especially by parents who are wondering if they should choose a bilingual education to ensure their child’s future success in life. The short answer for parents is yes. If bilingualism makes a person smarter, more empathetic, less distracted and live longer, it stands to reason that choosing a bilingual education for a child—if available and affordable—is an easy decision. But what exactly is a true bilingual education? For one thing, it’s about more than just learning a second language by memorizing vocabulary for an hour a day.

MUMS ’N KIDS “A true bilingual education is the use of the mother tongue and a second language as the media for instruction of the school curriculum”, says Bill Morgan who currently works as the Academic Director for Maple Bear in Brazil where more than seventeen thousand Brazilian students attend Maple Bear Canadian Schools. Worldwide, Maple Bear operates close to three hundred bilingual schools in 16 countries including Turkey.

As a pioneer in this educational approach, Canadian educators have spent decades refining this model through studies on the long-term impact of immersion and bilingual programs on student achievement compared to single language instruction.

Based on Canadian best educational practices which have been internationally recognized by the OECD, Maple Bear’s bilingual education begins with an early immersion approach in preschool. Instruction is delivered in English, then transitions to an equal amount of English and mother tongue language instruction at the elementary level and beyond.

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote many years ago, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. When we learn to speak a different language, we learn to see a bigger world”. A bilingual education allows children to develop their potential on all levels and to prepare for a future of opportunity at home and around the world.

Literacy is the cornerstone of the program, which targets student proficiency in English writing, reading, listening and speaking skills while also instructing age-appropriate literacy skills in the student’s first language. Academic instruction in both languages is grade appropriate and meets or exceeds national standards.

Robin Pascoe is the Director of Global Communications at Maple Bear Global Schools. There are presently two Maple Bear pre-schools operating in Turkey in Kemerburgaz and Çekmeköy. The latter will offer elementary next year. For more information, please see



The Ai Weiwei exhibition is one of the most talked-about arts events in Istanbul in 2017 – so much so, that it has been extended until the end of January and we wanted to give members another opportunity to see it – together with a look at the Sakıp Sabanci’s amazing calligraphy exhibition. 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 for lunch! Date

Wednesday, 17 January 2018




Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Emirgan


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


Minimum: 10; Maximum: 30


Online at by Sunday, 14 January 2018



Join our long-standing IWI member and cookery expert, Arzu Hancer, in the comfort of her beautiful home, to learn and enjoy some of Turkey’s Mediterranean food tradition. Under Arzu’s guidance, we will have the hands-on opportunity to prepare a variety of traditional dishes from the south of Turkey. Arzu will be delighted to explain her techniques, share her tips for success and provide background information on ingredients and the food culture of this region. Together we will be prepare, and enjoy eating!, these dishes • Hummus trio ( Hummus made 3 different ways) • Chicken with Tahini and pistachios • Bulgur salad with roasted pumpkin and dried apricots • Quince poached in pomegranate juice served with clotted cream.


Arzu’s passion for the art of cooking first blossomed in her hometown of Sinop, in the northernmost part of Turkey. Growing up in a household where both her parents loved to cook, she learned from an early age to infuse passion in every bite. Educated at top universities abroad, and working as a lecturer and strategy consultant, she had the opportunity to live in several countries - her love of food grew as she experienced and was influenced by her time in Germany, the UK, South Africa, Singapore and Hong Kong. She earned her pastry chef degree at the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy in South Africa, and worked at one of South Africa’s favourite patisserie and food shops – Moemas. For the last four years, she has loved being back in her native country and running cookery workshops for the international community. Date

Tuesday 23, January 2018


10.00 – 2.30


Arzu Hancer’s home


Basic and Honorary members: 110 TL; Classic and Business members: 100 TL; Guests: 120 TL


Minimum: 8; Maximum: 10


Online at by Saturday, 20 January 2018


LALE PROGRAMMES SKATING, AND LESSON FROM A PRO! We will skate either in UNIQ Maslak, the only open skating rink in Istanbul, or in Metrocity (covered), Levent. The final decision will be according to the weather and notified in the event reminder email. So whether you are an expert keen to show off your gliding prowess or a complete beginner who would just like a fun morning learning a new skill among friends, come and enjoy a sporty morning you won’t forget in a hurry. Afterwards, we will go for some refreshments and a catch up together, or you can continue skating. We regret that children are not welcome on this occasion.

Time to try something a little bit different! Winter is starting and therefore we should have some winter fun. Ice skating has been a hugely popular winter sport throughout the world ever since its invention 3,000 years ago in Finland. So why not celebrate the winter sports season by coming and joining IWI ladies for some skating. We are privileged to have Turkey’s first-ever fully qualified figure skating coach as a member of the IWI…. Gabriele Sailer will be happy to provide tips and advice to anyone who would like to learn some cool moves or improve their technique.


Friday, 26 January 2018




Maslak, or Levent


Basic and Honorary members: 30 TL; Classic and Business members: 30 TL; Guests: 35 TL


Maximum: 15


Online at by Tuesday, 23 January 2018


LIFE COACHING This workshop agenda is as follows: 1. Introduction and short theory, followed by exercises designed to help participants make the most out of the workshop, and enable them to let go of their negative feelings during the workshop itself. 2. Open dialogue in which participants may choose to share any issue or subject that is preventing them from moving forward intheir lives. 3. Reflection and feedback between each exercise in which participants will be invited to share their direct experience, and get the coach’s help as well as feedback from others. It might be the start of an incredible well-being journey for you. If you want to get rid of any residual pain following suffering, want to get on with your life in peace and with greater acceptance, or eventually learn how to create the reality you want to live in by focusing all your resources and potential into the right direction, then this workshop is for you! In this workshop, participants will understand and handle negative feelings, learn how to create the life they want, and step out of the past with confidence. Participants will be taught how to use simple and effective tools to continue with the process in their everyday lives, so that they can make the changes happen once and for all.

This will be an opportunity to re-energise your commitment to self-help! Those who are already familiar with NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) or Psychology are also welcome. Date

Saturday, 27 January 2018


2.00pm – 6.00pm


Inonu Caddesi 14. Akar Palace, 3rd Floor


Basic and Honorary members: 130 TL; Classic and Business members: 120 TL


Minimum: 6; Maximum: 10


Online at by Wednesday, 24 January 2018


LALE PROGRAMMES COFFEE & CULTURE TOUR: KUZGUNCUK Park, the restored Fethi Paşa mansion is now as a restaurant, with a nice Bosphorus view. Continuing on to Kuzguncuk, we reach the small district containing Jewish synagogues, an Armenian church and a Greek Orthodox church. For hundreds of years, these people of different faiths lived side by side, and they left their physical marks as well as their sense of community spirit. Strolling the main street, we will enjoy browsing small jewellery ateliers, art galleries, curiosity shops, artisan bakeries… and check out the produce at the communal vegetable gardens. Kuzguncuk is a small, charming village in the Üsküdar district on the Asian side. Once home to a thriving mix of Greeks, Jews and Armenians, it retains much of its traditional architecture and neighbourhood atmosphere. In the 15th century, the area was known as “Little Jerusalem”. Later, in the 18th century, Armenians began moving in. There was also a large Greek community, as evidenced by their churches. Over the years following the departure of the area’s long-established minorities, the ethnic make-up of the neighbourhood has changed, and Black Sea Anatolians now form the majority of lucky residents. Meeting IWI member Gabriele Sailer in Üsküdar, we will walk together along the Bosphorus towards Kuzguncuk. We pass the curious old cigarette warehouse and Fethi Paşa Park, one of the largest green spaces surviving in Üsküdar. Inside the

Having seen all the lovely cafes, it will be a tough group choice where to stop for coffee or a light lunch before we say “au revoir” to Kuzguncuk – because you are sure to want to return. Date

Tuesday, 30 January 2018




Starting in Üsküdar


Basic and Honorary members: 10 TL; Classic and Business members: 10 TL; Guests: 15 TL


Minimum:5; Maximum:15


Online at by Saturday, 27 January 2018


BAKING FOR VALENTINE’S DAY Sylvie has lived and worked in several countries, supplying restaurants and private clients with the beautiful, traditional French pastries, celebration cakes, speciality breads and salty aperitif bites. You might even have come across her work in some of the well-known restaurants in Istanbul! For the last seven years, she has also been enjoying sharing her talents with others through running baking classes. You can check out Sylvie’s work on Facebook (“Symphonie BySylvie”)

Our French IWI member and patisserie expert, Sylvie, has planned a fun and creative learning opportunity to turn the heads of our loved ones…. Sylvie’s workshops for us in 2017 went down a treat, and we can expect that there will be some extra love in our baking as we practice for Valentine’s Day! France is famous for romance, as well stunning patisserie. Sylvie will be very happy to share her secrets, and her passion, to let you find your way to making some wonderful creations of your own. We will see demonstrations and decorating ourselves: • Chocolate sponge cake with coffee cream ganache, covered with white and red sugar paste, in the shape of a heart • Red cookies with white chocolate chips


We will take home all the cookies made and everyone will leave with his own chocolate and coffee cake heart. As well as tea and coffee, we will also be provided a light lunch of a vegetarian quiche with goat cheese and dried tomatoes, served with a salad. Date

Thursday, 8 February 2018


10.00am – 2.30pm


Istinye Park – details to be provided to registrants


Basic members: 120 TL; Classic, Business and Honorary members: 110 TL; Guests: 130 TL


Minimum 6; Maximum 9


Online at by Monday, 5 February 2018


LALE PROGRAMMES THE KANGAL DOG – A TURKISH ICON This talk, illustrated with slides, will introduce you to aspects of Turkish history and culture you may never have considered.It will cover the origins of the Kangal Dog and how it developed its unique physical and mental characteristics to ideally fit its traditional role as alivestock guardian. We also look at its new roles in Turkey and in other countries, discover what it’s like to own a Kangal, learn something of the legal position concerning dogs in general in Turkey, and, finally, speculate about the Kangal’s future. Whether you are a dog lover or not this talk will widen your knowledge of Turkey and its culture. Lesley Tahtakılıç, bases her talk on over 30 years experience of owning Kangals, making many visits to the homeland of the Kangal Dog in central Anatolia, and researching, writing and publishing a book, The Kangal Dog of Turkey. ‘The Kangal Dog is valued for its courage and strength, its loyalty to the shepherd and its devotion to the animals in its charge....’ A rare breed of livestock guardian, the Kangal Dog is regarded in Turkey as a national treasure, a cultural icon, which has even appeared on the country’s postage stamps. Asa resident of Istanbul you may have noticed the Kangal trait of a dark face mask on many of the mixed breed street dogs, but out in the countryside in their own territory you will see the true Kangals, bred for centuries to work with flocks and herds.


Wednesday, 21 February


11.00 – 12.30


TBD – please refer to the website


Basic and Honorary members : 10 TL Classic and Business members : 10 TL Guests : 15 TL


Max. 15


Online at by Sunday, 18 February 2018


COFFEE AND CULTURE - KANDILLI Adile Sultan was an Ottoman princess, a poet and a philanthropist. She lost her mother at a very young age, but was given a good palace education and later married another key figure of Istanbul, the naval fleet commander Mehmet Ali Paşa. Their three children also died, and she joined a Sufi order and devoted her life to charitable works, which included donating the palace to become a girls’ educational institute. The walk will end at approximately 12.00 pm at the Kandilli boat station with the possibility of lunch at the adjacent fish restaurant (not included in walk fee). The walk will be led by our long-term IWI member Lesley Tahtakılıç, a resident of the village for over 30 years.

The village of Kandilli lies on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus directly opposite Bebek, and between Çengelköy and Anadolu Hisar. From the boat station we will walk up hill and around the many small alleyways and steps of Kandilli village. As this is a very hilly district many of the streets are steep so participants need to be fit and wear suitable shoes, preferably rubber-soled and flat. We will look at the quaint wooden houses, originally built in the late Ottoman period, most now fully restored. We should also be able to visit the beautifully restored Adile Sultan Sarayı, a late Ottoman Palace on the hilltop overlooking the village with wonderful views of the Bosphorus.


Tuesday, 27 February 2018






Classic and Business members: 10 TL; Basic and Honorary members: 10TL; Guests: 15 TL


Maximum: 15


Online at by Saturday, 24 January 2018



LALE PROGRAMMES TURKISH CULTURE – AN IN-DEPTH INTRODUCTION Session 2 - Iron-Age, Hellenistic and Roman Periods: Urartu, Phrygian, and Lydian Civilizations Lunch break Session 3 - Christianity in Anatolia: Paul of Tarsus, Seven Churches of Asia, and Cappadocia Session 4 - The Turkish Period’s Capitals: Bursa, Edirne, and Istanbul

Anatolia’s colourful history has left a windfall of riches— ancient ruins, ornate Byzantine churches, supremely elegant mosques, and splendid Ottoman palaces. In this illustrated seminar, Serif Yenen, one of Turkey’s foremost cultural experts and an author, highlights the heritage and splendour of ancient Turkey through an examination of some of its cultural gems. Serif Yenen runs his own company, Cultural Interaction Points, to promote understanding of the Turkish culture; we are delighted that he has agreed to host this event for our members in his beautiful old apartment building. Şerif has given the same seminar at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. a few times. Session 1 - Neolithic and Bronze Ages: Göbeklitepe, Çatalhöyük, Kültepe and Hattusha


Notes: 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 wonderfully 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

Wednesday, 28 February 2018


10.00am – 3.00pm


Cihangir, details to be provided to registrants


Basic members:180 TL; Classic, Business and Honorary members: 170 TL; Guests: 200 TL


Minimum: 10; Maximum: 30


Online at by Sunday, February 25 2018




January 2018
































Asian Side Coffee



AI WeiWei


Mediterranean Cookery 29

Ice Skating


Life Coaching


Life Coaching




February 2018 Wednesday

























Valentine’s Day Baking 12


Asian Side Coffee


Valentine’s Day


The Kangal Dog




Coffee and Culture Turkish Culture Kandilli



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: Candice Walkers – Younger Toddlers (1-2 years) Coordinator: Tanya Toddlers (2+) Coordinator: Merle Asian Side Playgroup (for all ages) Coordinator: Need a Volunteer

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, Beşiktaş

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 Yeniköy

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 LeWork 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.



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. 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.


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 us at

MACENTA (Beşıktaş, Levent)

PEMBE (Bebek)

SARI (Sarıyer)

BEYAZ (Ortaköy)


MOR (Nişantaşı, Beyoğlu) Vacancy,

TURKUAZ (İstinye)

MAVİ (Göktürk)

YEŞİL (Yesilköy, Bakirköy)

TURUNCU (Çengelköy)


KIRMIZI (Kadıköy, Üsküdar)

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




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:


Bridge group meets on Fridays at 10:30. All levels welcome! For details, contact Sandra: 0 (532) 483 5319.


Mahjong group meets every Monday at 10:30 - 16:00. No previous experience required! For details, contact Gesa Horna – 537 362 4912 Mimo – 5362732489

RUNNING GROUP Running Group is a monthly membership. Thursdays 19:00 & Sundays 8:00, Caddebostan sahil. Contact Marina Khonina: or 0 (534) 982 83 07



This is an Asian-side meet-up. Bikes can be rented, but bring your own rollerblades. It’s lots of fun. For details, contact Gabriele Sailer:

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, 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.

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:



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 is an international, interdenominational church that offers services in English. Contact:




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

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 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:


For details, contact Gaye Hiçdönmez: or 0 (532) 700 0693







The Asian Ladies of Istanbul is a nonprofit social group for ladies from East Asia living in Istanbul. Contact Kim Cakirkaya: or 0 (533) 463 69 30

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


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


National Continued

CHICAS (Spanish Women of Istanbul) CIRCOLO ROMA (Comunità italiana) DIE BRÜCKE Die Brücke, a platform for the German-speaking community, organises social activities and provides information on education and immigration.

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

The Italian Association organises social activities, Italian/Turkish conversation classes, and much more. Visit our website for more information: www.

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 (FOIA) connects Indians in Istanbul through various social events. Contact foia.

NVI (Dutch Community of Istanbul)

SWEA (Swedish Women Edu.. Assoc.) LUSO BRASILEIRO

Dutch Club Istanbul keeps typical Dutch festivities alive and organises activities for Dutch-speaking community. Contact Lisette Ruygrok: i

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

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

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

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:

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:




Rugby Club in Istanbul has coaching for children and teenagers. Turkish, English, French and Spanish are spoken.

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

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


ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS & AL-ANON For more information and a full listing of all English-speaking AA meetings in Turkey with local contacts can be found on the AA Europe website:

C@RMA C@rma is a social initiative promoting dialogue between professionals and NGOs. We have volunteer opportunities that require various skill set on our platform,, and also organise events where NGOs present their projects and brainstorm with other professionals. For more information, contact

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



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. MEF International Schools Istanbul Campus Ulus Mah. Öztopuz Cad. Leylak Sok. 34340 Ulus Beşiktaş, İstanbul, Türkiye T. +90 212 362 26 33 F. +90 212 257 82 25


Anne Nature’s six-piece certified organic skincare line, covers all the basic needs in skin care for child, mother and the whole family. IWI members receive a 15% discount on any purchase from the web page: www.annenature. com with the promo-code ‘IWI’ (in addition to any existing promotion campaigns)


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:


IWI Members Discount: 15% discount on all treatments and package programs British salon owner, Ann Marie Sabuncu is offering IWI members a 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 Ann Marie at 0212 231 1159.



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.


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


IWI Members Discount: free Turkish conversation classes that take place twice a month between 14:3015:30 Located in the heart of Etiler, Concept Languages is offering one free Turkish conversation and grammar class to any IWI member presenting their card. Classes will take place twice a month between 14:30-15:30. For information and reservations, please contact: Başak Toksoy 0 (212) 351 18 40 or


IWI Members Discount: 25% discount on all treatments Located in Çengelköy - Anatolian Side. All treatments with 25% discount to IWI members. Address: Albay Hüsamettin Ertürk Cad. No: 4 D: 23, Çengelköy-Üsküdar. Mobile: 0536 357 9808. Email:


IWI Member Discount: 15% discount at restaurants, High Tea and spa treatments Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus has several gourmet restaurants, lounges and a Spa. Tel: 0 (212) 315 60 00 Email: sales.


IULC offers discounts for IWI members. IULC, in the light of modern developments in foreign language education, by benefiting from the academic branches of our university in teaching foreign languages (English, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese etc.) especially “Turkish as a Foreign Language”, is in the status of Istanbul University’s opening window to the world. For more İnformation, please see: or call: +90 212 243 67 29.

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. IWI members receive 20% discount. Appointment is required, Phone: +90 212 3750100 ext. 3695


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 for the pregnant woman, baby yoga and baby massage workshops and kid’s yoga. We also offer a doula service and breastfeeding workshops, as well as massage and yoga for non-pregnant women. Momma Zen also teaches HypnoBirthing classes in English and runs workshops on making natural skincare products. For IWI members we are pleased to offer a 20% discount on the full price of prenatal yoga and birth classes, workshops, massages and mother-baby yoga classes. Momma Zen/Annezen, Kordon Yolu Sokak 8/1, Kordon Apt, Kalamiş, Istanbul. Tel: 0216 345 0866. or


Shandra Day SPA, Bebek, the Skincare Specialists Our Skincare Specialists are professional and experienced estheticians who will recognize and meet all the needs of your skin. Your skin is unique, so we use the sophisticated cosmetic brand Darphin, with CACI Non-Surgical Face Lift & LED Light Therapy to bring youth and vitality to your skin. IWI members receive special discounts: 15% discount for all treatments; 20% discount for a series of treatments. For the further information and the whole treatment list visit: https://, Contact phone: 05443235081.


IWI Member Discount: 20% discount For Kids and Adults of all skill levels. Located in Istanbul, we specialize in coaching all skill levels. We’ve got you covered. Our classes focus on rapid development while being affordable and fun. We offer 20% discount to IWI members. Mert Ozgenc: Certified tennis trainer, more than 12 years coaching experience. Mobile: 0532 602 3883, Email:


IWI Member Discount: 20% discount on all services Swiss Centerdent Dental Clinic is located in Zorlu Center Shopping Mall, İstanbul and Sihlcity Shopping Mall Zürich, Switzerland. Our experienced team of specialists offers you Swiss excellence and standards in dental health care. Our clinic offers the entire spectrum of dentistry, with the use of state of the art technology. We strive to create a practice climate that is beneficial, soothing and inviting. Our services: Implantology, Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentristry, Prostethics and much more: We offer a 20% discount on all services for all IWI members. Swiss CENTERDENT, Zorlu Center, Teras Evler, T0, Daire 35, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, 0212/ 353 63 83 www.


IWI Member Discount: 25% discount on subscriptions Time Out Istanbul in English is offering a 25% discount on subscriptions for IWI members. Make Time Out your monthly go-to guide for the city. Find out how you may get your free issue by contacting: Omer Karanis, omer@; www.timeoutistanbul. com


Katerina Tenezou is an accredited Clinical Psychologist and certified Psychodynamic and CognitiveBehavioral Psychotherapist who provides individual, couples’ and group psychotherapy to Englishspeaking expats. Her expertise is in treating mental disorders, addictions and relational problems. IWI members receive a 20% discount on the session fee. For more information, visit: www. Office Tel/ WhapsApp: +90 533 340 98 81, GSM: +90 543 836 97 82

made and made-to-order shoes. Zülfü Yılmaz, Rumeli Cad. Zafer Sk. No: 38/A Nişantaşı/ İstanbul, Tel.: (0212) 241 39 24 Gsm: (0535) 429 87 98


Ahmet ve Bilge Kadıoğlu are following their family’s 130 year old business tradition in selling spices, teas, nuts and fruits as well as herbal cosmetics. IWI members are being offered a 10% discount on the websites www.hayfene. com and for not discounted products. The promo-code is “iwistanbul”. Also, get a 10% discount at their shop in Mısır Çarşısı No 51. For more information:


Lingua Istanbul teaches Turkish at every level, to foreigners living in Turkey. Lingua Istanbul offers 20% discount for all IWI members in private tuition and group classes. For detailed information and contact:,, 0 (542) 636 39 89


EKRIA is a timeless, contemporary jewellery brand for men and women. The future is its endless inspiration. It rejects all notion of unnecessary flourishes, finding the ultimate sophistication in subtle design where strength is key. With a minimalist approach, it offers a universal take on luxury accessories, defined through a capability of constantly edging ahead of the curve. London-based EKRIA consists of one eternal collection. The Timeless Collection, serving as a central point for the two additional season collections. Each EKRIA piece is 1 micron Gold Plated Sterling Silver, crafted with laser-cut precision. To benefit from a 40£ equivalent voucher on any of your purchases, enter EKRIAFORIWI code on to visit us at the showroom in Istanbul; Vali Konagi Cad./ Kodaman Sk. No. 9; Mim Plaza, A Blok, 5th floor, office 83, Nisantasi Phone: +90 212 230 9110


Make Wednesday night jazz night at Summit Bar & Terrace at the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus. Savour the smooth sounds, trio performances and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus every Wednesday between 8:30pm-11:30pm. IWI Members receive a 15% discount for WednesdayVibes. For further information or a reservation, you may call 90 212 310 2525 or email Conrad_


Since 1953, Nazaryan Kundura is offering exclusive handmade genuine leather shoes to Women. IWI members benefit from a 20% discount on ready-


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.


MEF International Schools Istanbul Campus Ulus Mah. Öztopuz Cad. Leylak Sok. 34340 Ulus Beşiktaş, İstanbul, Türkiye T. +90 212 362 26 33 F. +90 212 257 82 25