Turkish Mosaic Tiles (Çini) of the Topkapı Palace


Situated on top of the most visible hill of Istanbul, Topkapı Palace is one of the symbols of the city. It was built in 1461 by the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II, who conquered Constantinople and named it “Istanbul” in 1453. For more than four centuries the Topkapı Palace was administrative center of the Ottoman Empire as well as private house of the Ottoman imperial family. The palace was home to twenty two different Ottoman sultans and their families; as a consequence, the palatial complex expanded throughout its history with additional structures. Since 1924, the Topkapı Palace is functioning as a museum and it is the most visited museum in Turkey. Although the palace expanded sultan by sultan and family by family, there was one decorative element that remained unchanged and everyone followed: Turkish mosaic tiles (çini) decorating the walls. Our knowledge regarding the Turkish mosaic tiles of the Topkapı Palace is much less compared to its history and architecture, nevertheless this post attempts to give a background information regarding the Turkish mosaic tiles (çini) of the Topkapı Palace.

Street Food from an Ottoman Istanbul


Large cities have always been home to mobile vendors selling anything from small toys to dried liver. By the end of the 18th century, newer, larger influxes of migrants brought in many changes for the urban dwellers of Istanbul. Many of these newcomers first found shelter within the markets of the city. As a result, individuals, either migrants or locals, started setting up makeshift cook shops within and around market places. Within 100 years, the number of merchants increased exponentially. The smell of cooking stands, sights of prepared food, and the sounds of mobile vendors singing out their goods were all too familiar. And, for some it was a sign of reputable social standing to be able to “eat out.”

Byzantine Cuisine and Dining Tradition

Byzantine Empire, also known as Eastern Roman Empire, controlled the area of comprising present-day Turkey for more than one thousand years (330 – 1453 CE). As an empire living such a long time in this geography would develop a rich food culture. And yet, Byzantine cuisine has been a mystery for scholars, cooks, and the general public, because cookbooks surviving from the Byzantines are very rare. Regarding the Byzantine cuisine and dining tradition, scholars usually make deductions with the help of written sources and works of art such as, paintings, icons, frescoes, and so on. In this post, we would like to introduce you Byzantine cuisine and dining tradition of the Byzantines.

Throwback Istanbul: Aerial Photos from 1966 and 2017


Today, with its 16 million population Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey (not capital city of Turkey) and one of the largest cities in the world. Istanbul’s population increased dramatically in the 1970s and 80s and this increase shows itself in aerial photos as well. In this post we juxtaposed the aerial photos of eight landmarks of Istanbul that were taken in 1966 and 2017.

Top Romantic Spots in and Around Istanbul


Summer, winter, spring or autumn, Istanbul is beautiful year-round whether it’s under a blazing sun or three meters of snow. So, when love is on the mind this Valentine’s Day, do not be surprised when the city manages to exude more charm than usual. The otherwise grey February streets of Istanbul suddenly become a foggy reminder of romantic pasts. The rushing feeling of people hurrying along Istiklal Street seems tenderer; couples huddle together, bundled shoulder-to-shoulder. While beautiful, the city is just the beginning for any romantic.

Whether you are just visiting Istanbul or you are a permanent resident, consider yourself lucky to be windswept in one of the most enchanting cities in the world – if you know where to go.