Food / Istanbul / Photography / Revolution / Travel / Turkey

A Taste of Turkey & a Revolution, too

Dip into Turkey and you’ll taste more than its stereotypical kebab and baklava.DSC_2036

For starters, Turkey’s Spanish-style mezes, similar to tapas as some menus allude, are so refreshing I truly wish this took over as Turkey’s mass export to the world. My personal favorite, the yogurt dip, which is often flavored just right with fresh dill. Drink it with çay, the Turkish tea, and you’ll blend in with the locals and their preferred pastime. Especially if you park down for several rounds in an Istanbul tea garden. DSC_0050DSC_2119

If you’re superstitious or fancy an insight into your future, a Turkish coffee reading is your spiritual answer. I didn’t get one, but not without regret. The trick is simply flipping the cup over and letting the drudge of the Turkish coffee dry and take on its own natural and mysterious shape. Of course, you’ll also need the coffee reader. DSC_0002DSC_2075Before I move on to Cappadocia, my second stop in Turkey, here are a few of my favorite photos from Istanbul. Tadını Cıkarmak. Enjoy.

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Have you visited the mega city that straddles two continents? I had previously imagined Istanbul to be more “off the beaten track”, but was wildly surprised to hear varying American accents everywhere. If I return, I plan to see more of the Asian side, to picnic on one of the Prince’s Islands, and to seek out more local, foodie insight. Istanbul is a culinary haven, but the peninsula that comprises the old city of Sultanahmet can be easy to get trapped within. If you’re visiting, heed the locals’ warning, don’t stay there.

On another note, I did see a small snippet of the protests in Istanbul. I was sitting in a cafe, seeking a 30 minute respite from the sensory overload that is Istanbul, when a few protesters rushed in. Outside more strangled by, each had a scarf or face mask as an attempt to bar them from the tear gas. To no avail, I saw tears, pained faces, and apprehension.

According to Murat, a Turkish friend I met, the recent turmoil has given young Turks the opportunity to show just how much strength, perseverance and humor they have. The word plays that display their frustration and endearing grit against the government are simply brilliant, he says. He had no idea Turks could be so funny. Social media, once again, has transformed the revolution. Each witty post goes viral.

Istanbul, however, is unlike Madrid, you won’t find much political commentary on the walls, but with Murat’s helpful guiding I did discover these. DSC_2040 DSC_2050

The last is a depiction of Turkey’s Generation Y, modern, liberal and without fear.


73 thoughts on “A Taste of Turkey & a Revolution, too

    • Thanks! Istanbul is a fascinating mix of chaotic and modern. What’s your favorite part of the city? I really wish I could’ve spent more time there!

  1. Pingback: A Taste of Turkey & a Revolution, too | Home Far Away From Home

  2. You make me feel like I am definitely in Turkey. So glad that there is not a lot of graffiti as in Madrid! Do you think you will go back to Turkey soon?

  3. Turkey has been in our list for a long time now. However, won’t be keen to go there until the political turmoil settles down. How bad such clashes and uncertainties can be for tourism

    • Indeed! It’s probably best to wait, but if you stay in the oldest part of the city (the heart of Istanbul’s tourism), you can hardly see any sign that many Turks are protesting!

  4. i love the way you portray istanbul. your story is concise but deep, diving in the way the locals live. the pics are simply stunning. the star wars’ droids on the mural? that’s humorous.

  5. I really loved the Basilica Cistern…it’s underground and there is something otherworldly about it. Also, the food wasn’t bad either:)

    • I stumbled upon the Basilica Cistern (I wasn’t intending to visit it until later) and it completely took me by surprise! I’m staying in Fethiye until the end of August and Turkish food just keeps getting better, too.

  6. Pingback: Photos of the “Coffee House Chaos” exhibit at Salt Lake Coffee Break | Steve Stones' Art

  7. AWESOME pictures. I want to travel more. Not that I really travel right now, but it looks amazing from the perspective of your camera. Totally jealous, but totally happy for you 🙂

  8. Stunning photos! I didn’t know there was so much street art there! … When did you go? Was it recent? I had planned to visit Turkey THIS year but with all the travel advisories about the violent protests, we’ve post postponed it indefinitely … Did you feel that it was safe to travel there?

    • You simply have to seek out the hidden corners of Istanbul! I spent the first week of July there. As for Istanbul, I didn’t find it unsafe, especially in the tourist-heavy center of Sultanahmet, but be aware of what’s happening politically when you enter Taksim. I hope you make the journey soon, it’s beautiful!

  9. Pingback: It takes an outsider to really see a place: A taste of Turkey, and a revolution too | Xpatia

  10. Absolutely beautiful photography! Two of my friends visited Istanbul last summer and came back with so many colorful stories that I have been wanting to visit ever since. Oh, and the delicious sweets they brought back to share also fueled my Turkey-desire!

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