• The first great cultural confrontation between East and West, the Battle of Issus between Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia was fought in what is now Hatay. And Hatay, which has seen the rise of art, culture and civilization ever since that day, has survived to the present by preserving and merging those differences. Cultural richness and diversity live on in Hatay as a prime example of friendship. Embracing its ethnic richness, Hatay offers visitors new worlds to explore.

     

  • With a temperate climate and fertile plains watered by a large number of rivers, mainly the Vardar, Macedonia has been a major center of civilization throughout history. From Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire and Eastern Rome to the Ottoman Empire, which was synonymous with peace and prosperity in the Balkans for centuries, numerous civilizations have left hundreds of unsurpassed monuments in today’s Macedonia. Despite being a small country in terms of area, this land promises visitors delightful days filled with countless historic sites and unusual cultural treasures.

  • First of all, tell us why you are not inclined to make many albums?
    Erkan Oğur: I’m someone who believes that recording has killed music. I think it’s wrong to package up a piece of music and listen to it over and over again in exactly the same way. Music should be alive, living and flowing in time, so that the same thing is never repeated. It’s more real and worthwhile then.

  • After flying from Istanbul to Benin’s capital, Cotonou, we begin touring the city. We are in the streets of commercial Cotonou, surrounded by heavy motorcycle traffic. Dantokpa Market and the Handicrafts Center are recommended as must-see places by all the guidebooks. There are many cafes along the Rue de Jonquet.

  • The number of international students who are choosing Turkey appears to have risen in recent years. Why the increase?
    The main reason international students are choosing Turkey is the quality of Turkish higher education, which has also been certified by the international accreditation organizations. Not only that, thanks to the international collaborations we are involved in, the university degrees students receive in Turkey are recognized in other countries as well.

  • Contrary to popular belief, figural decoration is quite common in the architecture and handicrafts of Seljuk art. Due however to the Islamic ban on figures and statuary, Selcuk figures are depicted more abstractly and are far from realistic in appearance. Frequently used to decorate palaces and pavilions, figures were used less often on mosques, madrasas, mausoleums, hospitals and other such buildings. We can attribute this to the fact that human figures were not in demand in places of worship in accordance with the strictures of the Islamic religion.

  • We’re in Brussels. Our first stop is the Atomium, built in 1958 for the Brussels World Fair and a city icon today inside a sprawling green expanse. Your head may spin a little when you go up to the top on the escalator, but it’s worth it for the panoramic view of the Art Nouveau and modern cityscape to be had from the magnificent glass and iron restaurant. Our guest, Stef Maginelle, is going to tell us about the most extraordinary and amazing experience of his life…

  • Born in the Italian city of Masi in 1854, Fausto Zonaro got interested in painting in his youth and studied at the Lendinara Art School in Padua. The artist, who lived in Venice after working in Naples, Rome and Paris, settled in Istanbul in 1891. Zonaro attracted the attention of the diplomatic mission in Istanbul with his paintings in different techniques, and orders for his canvases increased by the day.

  • Understanding cities, in other words, urban literacy, has two aspects: the theoretical and the practical. Discussed at the theoretical level are the development and history of cities and the characteristics that make them cities, as well as the reasons for migration to cities and the story of modern urbanization.

Destination

  • Bordeaux

    PLACES TO SEE
    01_ See the Pont d’Aquitaine, a stunning suspension bridge over the Garonne River.
    02_View the magnificent Monument aux Girondins on Place des Quinconces, one of Europe’s biggest city squares.

  • Benin Key To Africa

    After flying from Istanbul to Benin’s capital, Cotonou, we begin touring the city. We are in the streets of commercial Cotonou, surrounded by heavy motorcycle traffic. Dantokpa Market and the Handicrafts Center are recommended as must-see places by all the guidebooks. There are many cafes along the Rue de Jonquet.

  • A Journey In Time: Macedonia

    With a temperate climate and fertile plains watered by a large number of rivers, mainly the Vardar, Macedonia has been a major center of civilization throughout history. From Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire and Eastern Rome to the Ottoman Empire, which was synonymous with peace and prosperity in the Balkans for centuries, numerous civilizations have left hundreds of unsurpassed monuments in today’s Macedonia. Despite being a small country in terms of area, this land promises visitors delightful days filled with countless historic sites and unusual cultural treasures.

  • The Eastern Mediterranean Legacy

    The first great cultural confrontation between East and West, the Battle of Issus between Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia was fought in what is now Hatay. And Hatay, which has seen the rise of art, culture and civilization ever since that day, has survived to the present by preserving and merging those differences. Cultural richness and diversity live on in Hatay as a prime example of friendship. Embracing its ethnic richness, Hatay offers visitors new worlds to explore.

     

Culture & Arts

  • The World Of Ottoman Entertainment

    As its title indicates, “Celebration, Entertainment and Theater in the Ottoman World” takes up the subject of entertainment and celebrations in the Ottoman Empire. This book, which tells the story of the “fun times” that were had in Ottoman public space through rich visual content, is an excellent reference.

  • Istanbul For Kids

    “Istanbul for Kids” is a book that tells children about the history, culture, architecture and legends of Istanbul. The book, which Burçak Gürün Muraben decided to write with the idea of introducing Istanbul to his own children, is a guide all those keen to know the city will enjoy reading.

  • The Mantle Of The Prophet

    Topkapı Palace has been home to some of the most prized relics of the Islamic world ever since Sultan Selim I.  Now Sevgi Ağca, who is responsible for the Palace’s Department of Sacred Relics, has written a book entitled “The Department of the Mantle of the Prophet and its Organization, Ceremonies and Sacred Relics”.

  • Travel Buff And Bibliophile

    You have a lot of travel books. Where does this passion for travel come from?
    I was born in the town of Emet in Kütahya province. Our region is very fond of traveling. People would start getting ready to go to the spas the minute spring was in the air. Evliya Çelebi was originally from Kütahya, too. Travel is probably in our blood.

Event

  • Polo Players In Baku

    The Arena Polo World Cup is taking place in Baku, September 5 to 7. The tournament, with Turkish Airlines as official airline sponsor, is being held back to back for the second year in Azerbaijan with the support of the International Polo Federation. The Arena Polo World Cup aims to make polo more widespread in Azerbaijan, home of its forerunner, the traditional sport of Chovgan.

  • Asno 2014 In Istanbul

    Every year scientists and professionals in the general field of neuro-oncology in Asia come together at the ASNO meeting. Featuring prominent speakers and participants from around the world, this conference acts as a platform that provides an opportunity for researchers, clinicians and professionals not only to share information but also to establish a network for future collaborations. In its 11th year, ASNO 2014 is being held at the Hilton Convention Center, September 11 to 14.

  • Festivals For Everyone

    Holland’s biggest cultural festival, Uitmarkt has something for everyone from dance and theater to classical music for kids. Some 450,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which is taking place in upwards of 30 venues and features performances by 2,000 artists. What’s more, all the events in the festival, August 29 to 31, are free!

  • Electronic Dreaming

    Isle of Dreams, which will take place at Life Park in a forest near Bahçeköy-Istanbul August 5 to 7, is welcoming some of the most popular and most followed DJ’s of electronic music such as Avicii, Above & Beyond, Axwell, Ingrosso, Fedde le Grand, Steve Aoki, Alesso, and Paul Oakenfold. Aiming to bring music lovers all the genres of electronic dance music rather than focusing on a specific one, the festival also offers an opportunity to camp in the forest.

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Gastro

  • Summer Desserts

    Summer desserts in the old days were made with snow, pristine snow from high in the mountains, which had a fantastic taste when topped with jam or fresh fruit syrup. During the reign of Beyazıt II, the “Imperial Snow Factory” was set up in connection with the Palace in Istanbul to supply the requisite snow for the summer.

  • When Ears Of Grain Take Wing

    Wheat, whose homeland is the fertile soil of Anatolia, is one of the world’s most important foodstuffs. Nourishing, versatile and easy to store, wheat quickly became a staple all over the world.
    Central Asia and Anatolia have devoted their lives to the culture of wheat for millennia. And the Turks, who step by step achieved expertise in the use of wheat and its products, developed some impressive methods and techniques for rolling out dough in particular.
    The making of palace “serpme” beurek, so-called because it is tossed and spun in the air, is a spectacular skill demonstration one never tires of watching. The transformation of the ear of wheat into flour, the flour into dough and the dough into a paper-thin sheet lighter and more transparent than silk is a veritable culinary phenomenon.
    Techniques for rolling very thin dough arose mainly in eastern cultures. Such techniques are not employed in western cuisines today, but the Ottomans, through their relations in the Balkans, were inspired by the strudel of the Austrians. The equivalent of strudel in Turkey is “çarşaf” (sheet) beurek, which is rolled and stretched over a sheet of cloth, and palace “serpme” beurek is a form of çarşaf beurek made by tossing the dough without using a sheet.
    Consumed in copious quantities at “Sahur” tables in Thrace and the Balkans during the month of Ramadan, these Turkish beureks are being kept alive today in Istanbul’s beurek parlors.

  • Istanbul’s Summer Gardens

    The Turkish poet most sensitive to summer was, I believe, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, who begins his poem “The Whole Summer” by saying, “How delightfully it passed, the whole summer/Nights in the small garden… /You on an impulse/As shy and white as lilies...”
    Not only did every house, mansion and seaside villa in Istanbul have its garden, the sultans, the palaces, the pavilions and waterfront palaces all had big gardens as well, where fruit and vegetables were grown to supply their needs. The Chief Palace Gardener Corps was responsible for these gardens, known as the Privy Gardens. But the biggest garden of all was that in today’s district of Bostancı. Here, the unsalaried members of the corps raised the fruits and vegetables needed by the Imperial Palace Kitchens and sold the surplus to make a living. There were pools, ivied bowers, gazebos, fountains and water jets in the gardens, among which the tulip gardens, rose gardens and green meadows were the most beautiful. Architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem, who says that Istanbul’s gardens were still in place until the 1940’s, has described the garden architecture of the Ottoman capital to us as a visual feast.
    Istanbulites referred to the approach of the hot weather as eggplant season. See how it is described in Ahmet Rasim’s City Letters: “Turning more and more purple, the eggplants took on their velvet hue. Confident in his cry, with his pannier on his back, [the eggplant vendor] hawks his ‘fat eggplants’ in the street.  In truth, the eggplant is a beautiful vegetable; it regales guests. It’s a little hard to digest, but it’s filling and you never tire of it. It goes with everything. It can be stewed, stuffed and grilled on a skewer. It can be pounded to a paste. It appears as ‘Imam bayıldı’ but it is formidable fried. And how easy to prepare. Just a little brushwood, sawdust or wood chips, a hundred drams of oil from the grocer, a bowl of yoghurt from the milkman and you’re all set! The preparations commence immediately. The preferred places for summer picnics were those ‘with a breeze’. Among them Göksu (the Sweet Waters of Asia) with its prevailing northerly wind was the favorite. Eating corn and eggplant was an important custom at Göksu, whose waters were Ab-ı Hayat, “the water of life”. Corn would be boiled in big cauldrons and sold, especially to children. With its light dishes, summer used to be especially lovely…”

    BRAISED SUMMER VEGETABLES IN CASSEROLE
    INGREDIENTS
    10 g olive oil
    2 medium onions
    2 cloves garlic
    2 yellow peppers
    2 red peppers
    2 zucchinis
    2 eggplants
    2 tomatoes
    5 g fresh oregano
    5 g fresh rosemary
    A pinch of salt
    A pinch of black pepper

    PREPARATION
    Peel the onion and garlic, chop finely and saute over low heat for 20 minutes. Then spread these ingredients in the casserole. Cut all vegetables into flat rounds and arrange in the casserole on top of the onion and garlic mixture. Add the fresh oregano and rosemary and bake in a pre-heated 185° C. oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

    KEBAB OVER TOMATO-PEPPER SAUCE
    INGREDIENTS
    20 g ground veal
    10 g ground lamb
    5 g tail fat
    20 g tomatoes
    3 long, thin hot green peppers
    1 clove garlic

    PREPARATION
    Knead the ground veal and lamb together with the tail fat and season with salt and pepper to make a kebab. Roast the tomatoes and peppers whole either on a grill or in a skillet, then peel and chop finely. Melt some butter in a skillet and sauté the finely chopped garlic, then add the tomatoes and peppers. The kebab may be either grilled or cooked in the oven. Spread the sauce on a platter, arrange the meat on top, and drizzle with a spoonful of melted butter.

    MILK PUDDING WITH STRAWBERRY SAUCE
    INGREDIENTS
    3 cups milk
    1 1/2 tbsp rice flour
    4 tbsp granulated sugar
    1 packet of vanilla

    FOR THE STRAWBERRY SAUCE:
    1 1/2 fresh strawberries
    2 tbsp granulated sugar

    PREPARATION
    Cook the milk, sugar and rice flour together to make the pudding. When it is cooked, turn off the heat, add the vanilla and pour into individual bowls. Let cool for half an hour. Place the strawberries in a deep pot, add the sugar, then mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour over the cooling pudding and chill in the refrigerator. Serve cold. 

  • Flavors Of İzmir

    Izmir at the far edge of west central Anatolia is uniquely placed geographically, linking both the western Mediterranean and the northern Aegean to the Anatolian trade routes. Thanks to these advantages, the city has been a vital port and commercial capital for millennia and has never ceased to be a major center of attraction for the peoples of the Mediterranean. Its temperate climate has also ensured that it produced food on its on soil. At the same time, the city’s gastronomic culture has also been enriched by both the sea and the countryside. But the main factor that makes Izmir so original and colorful gastronomically speaking is migration.  Different ingredients and ways of cooking have endowed Izmir cuisine with a rich variety. The predominance of olives and olive oil, for example, is palpable. Finds uncovered in excavations carried out at Clazomenae in today’s Izmir province, one of the twelve cities of Ionia mentioned by Herodotus, show for how long the processing of, and trade in, this magnificent foodstuff has been practiced in the region. Boasting dishes made with hundreds of different fresh herbs as well as influences both from the Anatolian hinterland and from the Balkans and the Mediterranean through migration, Izmir cuisine is a school unto itself.

    ÇALKAMA
    INGREDIENTS
    3 zucchini
    6 potatoes
    1 bulb of garlic
    2 tbsp fresh rosemary
    2 tbsp fresh oregano
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1/4 cup olive oil

    INGREDIENTS FOR THE ÇALKAMA SAUCE
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp red pepper flakes
    A pinch of salt
    1/3 cup flour
    1/4 cup olive oil

    PREPARATION
    Wash and peel the zucchini and potatoes and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Slice both the zucchini and potatoes lengthwise into 1-2 mm wide strips and arrange in a baking dish in layers starting with the zucchini. Arrange the garlic cloves among them, sprinkle with the salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano, and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for about 40 minutes in a pre-heated 200° C. oven. Mix the ingredients for the çalkama sauce in another bowl, pour over the baked zucchini and potatoes and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve hot.

    LAMB AND ARTICHOKE STEW WITH EGG-LEMON SAUCE
    INGREDIENTS
    200 g lamb
    100 g fresh artichokes
    2 medium onions
    4 cloves garlic
    20 g butter
    10 g olive oil

    PREPARATION
    20 g yoghurt
    5 g flour
    Juice of half a lemon
    1 egg
    A pinch of salt
    A pinch of black pepper

    PREPARATION
    Melt the butter with the olive oil in a deep pot. Add the onions, garlic and diced lamb. When the meat is tender, add the diced artichokes. Mix the ingredients for the egg-lemon sauce together in another pot and pour over the meat. Garnish with flat leaf parsley before serving.

    CHEESE-STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS
    INGREDIENTS
    4 squash blossoms
    30 g string cheese
    10 g fresh basil
    100 g oil for frying
    10 g flour
    10 g cornstarch

    PREPARATION
    Clean the squash blossoms. Mix the finely chopped fresh basil with the string cheese in a bowl, shape into balls and fill the squash blossoms. In another bowl, mix the flour and cornstarch with a little water to make a batter. Heat the oil in a pot. When it is red hot, dip the stuffed squash blossoms first in in the batter, then fry quickly in the hot oil. Drain well and serve.

    WHITE BEANS WITH BABY’S TEARS
    INGREDIENTS
    250 g dry white beans
    2 medium onions
    3 cloves garlic
    4 long, thin hot green peppers
    2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
    2 g baby’s tears, aka hairgrass (Helxine soleirolii)
    10 g butter
    A pinch of salt
    A pinch of black pepper

    PREPARATION
    Soak the beans overnight and boil the next day. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and garlic. When the onions begin to color, add the peppers. When the peppers are tender, add the boiled beans, baby’s tears and diced tomatoes and cook over high heat until boiling. Lower the heat and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, then serve.

Music

  • Festivals For Everyone

    Holland’s biggest cultural festival, Uitmarkt has something for everyone from dance and theater to classical music for kids. Some 450,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which is taking place in upwards of 30 venues and features performances by 2,000 artists. What’s more, all the events in the festival, August 29 to 31, are free!

  • “Touching” The Soul

    First of all, tell us why you are not inclined to make many albums?
    Erkan Oğur: I’m someone who believes that recording has killed music. I think it’s wrong to package up a piece of music and listen to it over and over again in exactly the same way. Music should be alive, living and flowing in time, so that the same thing is never repeated. It’s more real and worthwhile then.

  • Electronic Dreaming

    Isle of Dreams, which will take place at Life Park in a forest near Bahçeköy-Istanbul August 5 to 7, is welcoming some of the most popular and most followed DJ’s of electronic music such as Avicii, Above & Beyond, Axwell, Ingrosso, Fedde le Grand, Steve Aoki, Alesso, and Paul Oakenfold. Aiming to bring music lovers all the genres of electronic dance music rather than focusing on a specific one, the festival also offers an opportunity to camp in the forest.

  • Urban Festival

    One of the originators of Trip-hop and creators of a brand of music all their own, Portishead is performing at a festival venue in the center of Istanbul on August 20. Audiences at the Midtown Fest will also hear other bands from Britain like Savages and Thought Forms as well as Turkish bands like The Ringo Jets, The Away Days and Telepotik.

Tour

  • The Adriatic In Five Questions

    01_ It’s Bosnia-Herzegovina’s only city on the Adriatic. This city with a close to 21-kilometer-long coastal strip boasts steep hills, sandy beaches and touristic hotels. Can you name it?

    A)Shkodër
    B)Neum
    C)Zadar
    D)Dubrovnik

    02_ This famous historic port city with beaches is Albania’s gateway to the west. Ferryboats ply regularly between it and the Italian city of Bari. Which city is it?

    A)Tirana
    B)Elbasan
    C)Berat
    D)Durrës

     

     

     

     

  • In The Home Of Pisa

    - Be sure to get a snapshot of the leaning Torre Pendente on Piazza dei Miracoli, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.

    - Although most of the historic buildings on Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knights’ Square), center of the political establishment in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, are closed to visitors, they are still worth seeing from the outside.

  • Kemal Sayar’s Sarajevo

    How did you come to know Sarajevo?
    When I went to the reopening of the Mostar Bridge, which was destroyed in the war, I had an opportunity to tour the whole country.

    What are three reasons to go to Sarajevo?
    To imbibe the living Ottoman culture there, to feel right at home in the heart of Europe, and to recite the al-Fatiha Sura of the Quran for the souls of the martyrs who lost their lives there and of Alija Izetbegović, the country’s first president.

  • A Journey In Time: Macedonia

    With a temperate climate and fertile plains watered by a large number of rivers, mainly the Vardar, Macedonia has been a major center of civilization throughout history. From Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire and Eastern Rome to the Ottoman Empire, which was synonymous with peace and prosperity in the Balkans for centuries, numerous civilizations have left hundreds of unsurpassed monuments in today’s Macedonia. Despite being a small country in terms of area, this land promises visitors delightful days filled with countless historic sites and unusual cultural treasures.