Reading about Istanbul

Reading about Istanbul, 1


Well, last time I was in Istanbul in November 2011 during Kurban Bayrami. If I hadn´t known in advance that my visit coincide this holiday, it would have remained unnoticed for me. Kurban Bayrami wasn´t visible in the central Istanbul. On the other hand Turkish TV programs were constantly reporting how this major Islamic holiday is celebrated all over the country. Visiting Istanbul was really nice, as usual.

I met some friends, strolled along the streets, visited mosques, wonderful exhibitions, had some genuinely good food. Pure delight.


Just a remark – during that visit I also made a short trip to Canakkale. No, I haven´t seen Istanbul enough, but Istanbul isn´t Turkey and vice versa. Some adventure would not harm, so I thought.

Returning to a familiar place is always a secure choice. Doesn´t require too much effort, you know. Istanbul has become somewhat familiar to me, I guess. Canakkale was worth an effort. But I´ll stick to Istanbul now and report of other places in coming posts.

Istanbul and Golden Horn, photo by Eleka Rugam-Rebane

Istanbul and Golden Horn, photo by Eleka Rugam-Rebane


While I am not in Istanbul I truly miss this place. Gercekten. And what´s the best remedy for that?

I try to go back there in my mind. Reconstruct places through texts, photos, daydreaming… Sounds like a severe disease, really J There are some web sources I visit quite regularly in order to update my knowledge about what´s going on in this city/country.


Ortakoy Camii, Ortakoy Mosque, Istanbul, photo by Eleka Rugam-Rebane

Ortakoy Camii, Ortakoy Mosque, Istanbul, photo by Eleka Rugam-Rebane

Some nice reading

Sure, there are presumably thousands of blogs praising Istanbul. One of my recent favorites is Turkey´s for which is run by a British couple living in Fethiye. Therefore, this blog is mostly concentrating on Fethiye and its surroundings. But they also pay a lot of attention to Istanbul. Blog is written in a humorous and lively style. I recommend. Good links to other sources.


For some time I have been following the story of Tarlabasi

Melancholic, even sad, taking into account the recent developments in that district … disappearing Tarlabasi…

Worth checking out for the photo gallery merely.


When I tried to find out if there exist any Estonians writing about Istanbul I came across a blog which describes the life of an Estonian family in Turkey

Extremely fascinating stories about interaction of two quite different cultures. Unfortunately J in Estonian… was an interesting find. Lifestyle/ music/ fashion/art related posts. Contemporary both in- and outside, visually attractive. Lots of inspirational links. “Mapping Istanbul” was something that caught my eye. Now I wonder how could I get hold of that book…


Getting practical

The first site I was diving into before my first holiday visit to Istanbul was  In a way it´s a very systematically built website which gives valuable input for your Turkey travel schedule. You´ll find it all there – descriptions of different places, some history, advices for itineraries, transportation, guided tours, hotel tips, etc.


If one is seeking some knowledge about the practical side of living life in Turkey, browse All kinds of “how-to-do-this-and-that”. I gained useful knowledge about survival basics for everyday living and shopping. Just in case, you never know what life brings you… In addition, one can find there a calendar of cultural events all over the country.


Another useful site for fishing information on what to do and where to go in this city is Good guide, but nothing special.



Following daily news


Even if I don´t live in Turkey I tend to read Turkish news. Surely, it´s connected to my professional habits, following the news flow is a necessity. As my Turkish is almost non-existent (well, I know some phrases and words after all…) I´m relying on the online newspapers Today´s Zaman and Hurriyet Daily News. To be honest, I read TZ more regularly because I like its columns.


Sometimes, just for my own amusement I try to decipher some Turkish news by “reading” or Hürriyet

Hayir kolay… Long way to go…


Next time little bit about some favorite books.


Eleka Rugam-Rebane

One response to “Reading about Istanbul

  1. Thank you so much for the mention. Glad you enjoy reading the blog. We drop by here to look at your Istanbul photos regularly. :) Interested to check out the tarlabasiistanbul site as we din’t know about that one.

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