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23

Jun
Ramadan Dos and Don’ts

Ramadan Dos and Don’ts

The Holy Month of Ramadan has started here in Turkey and over this thirty day period devout Muslims fast during daylight hours. This means not eating, drinking, smoking or even chewing gum, from early in the morning until the evening. Once it’s no longer possible to distinguish a piece of white string held up to …

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25

Jun
Ephesus – Visiting the Ancient World

Ephesus – Visiting the Ancient World

When I first visited Ephesus in 1996, most tourists came early in the morning on big buses, leaving the site all but empty in the afternoon. It was an imposing place but somehow lonely and forlorn. On my most recent visit, this city that once had a population of around 50,000 (although some say it …

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25

May
Kadikoy: A Local’s Istanbul

Kadikoy: A Local’s Istanbul

The first thing you need to know when you arrive in Kadıköy is that none of the street names so carefully written on your map will actually be visible or known. Turkish people use familiar landmarks to orient themselves, and this vibrant Asian side centre is no exception. After you step off the ferry head …

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25

May
Tantalising Taksim

Tantalising Taksim

Whether you want to experience traditional Turkish culture, shop till you drop or dance until dawn, everything you need can be found on Istiklal Street. Only a mile long, this broad avenue links Taksim to Tünel and is lined with grand consulate buildings, Turkish and western restaurants and cafes, shops selling local and international clothing …

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17

Apr
Surprising Karakoy

Surprising Karakoy

Once home to itinerant sailors, in recent years Karaköy has been attracting a lot of attention. The section east of Galata Bridge already boasts an eclectic collection of cafes, bars and galleries. However I prefer the area to the west of the bridge. There among the iron mongers and hardware sellers an older Istanbul waits …

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16

Apr
Visiting with the King – Mount Nemrut

Visiting with the King – Mount Nemrut

It’s still dark when I arrive and make my way slowly up a steep path. Although I can hear voices it feels like I am an intrepid explorer on the edge of an enormous discovery. Once I reach the top I stop to catch my breath. All I can see are murky, shadowy figures and …

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7

Apr
Day Trips from Turkey to the Greek Islands

Day Trips from Turkey to the Greek Islands

Anyone who is not well-traveled may assume day-tripping from one country to another is a strange pastime but during the summer in Turkey, everyday tourists catch ferries and sail across the waters to many Greek islands sitting in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Returning early evening, some passengers instead book a night’s accommodation and extend …

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29

Mar
Princess Islands, Great Escape

Princess Islands, Great Escape

Take a short ferry ride from Istanbul and find yourself among small streets lined with bougainvilleas, seagulls flying over the bright blue sky, ferries on the blue waters of Marmara, horse carriages as the only transportation option, kids playing fearlessly on the streets and people riding bikes from the beach to their house. This is …

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4

Mar
4 Landmarks of Istanbul That Will Blow Your Mind

4 Landmarks of Istanbul That Will Blow Your Mind

Annually, the bustling metropolis of Istanbul receives millions of visitors. They flock to enjoy the vibrant nightlife, active shopping scenes and of course, to explore the historical value of the city steeped in history from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. From my own experience, one visit is never enough. I have been three times to …

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3

Mar
Wine Tasting in Sirince

Wine Tasting in Sirince

The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the most visited attractions of Turkey. People even fly from Istanbul to see it in a day. When I hear about their fleeting visit, I cringe because while Ephesus is impressive, many more attractions exist in the surrounding areas including the basilica of Saint John and exploration …

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