The Famous Constantinople: Istanbul 2011




Beautiful Turkish

Meğen Kökü Man


Old & New

Indian Entertainers

The Magician

The Passengers


Shisha Smoker

Turkish Appetizer

Çoban Salatası


Turkish Dishes


Midye Dolma

Turkish Dessert







Our 10 day tour in Turkey from the last week of July to the first week of August was  not enough.  With authentic restaurants, night clubs, malls, bazaars, carnivals, historical sites, Turkey has a lot to offer to entertain the guests that 10 days is not enough in Istanbul alone.  

We stayed in my sister’s adorable friend  with her family in BesiktasIstanbul a place accessible for the Bosphorus tour (if you want to go the the Asian side of Turkey) and city tour (the European side of Turkey which is more clean and organized compared from the Asian side).   It’s safe to walk at night along the shore of Besiktas and watch some people go fishing and just relaxing with their family and friends.    The dinner on the cruise for the Bosphorus tour with scrumptious food and drinks, brilliant lights, happy people was such a luxurious treat. 

Historical sites have impressive architecture from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.  Most of the sites have entrance fees: 20 TL  in Hagia Sophia Museum, 10 TL in Basilica Cistern Yerebatan Sarnici (where the head of the Medusa is located), 1TL (I got a big discount) in Dolmabahce Palace/Sarayi. The dollar rate was $1 = 1.5 – 1.7 TL (Turkish Lira).

Turkey is known for its apparel industry having a lot of stores that sell affordable signature and Turkish brand clothes.  Though the clothes were cheaper, there were agricultural products and food that were more expensive than in Egypt, almost the same  in Israel.  Thus, Yogurt, Frito-Lay products and other Turkish products were cheap like the cherries for 7TL and berries for 3.5TL.  Most were Turkish, Persian, Italian, Greek and American restaurants.  I saw few Asian restaurants like Chinese and Japanese.  I think with greater demands from Asian tourists and residents, Asian food (Chinese, Japanese, Korean & Filipino) will expand.  There were lots of coffee shops, bakeshops and fast food chains.  It’s a must to taste its Turkish authentic coffee, ice cream, kebab, manti, midye dolma, kumpir,coban salatasi, baklava and macun.

I was naive when they use cologne as sanitizer or  hand disinfectant instead of alcohol. Perhaps they were also curious why I prefer alcohol instead of cologne. The place where we stayed in Besiktas was a healthy environment, it was clean, organized with friendly and approachable people around so it’s safe for tourists.

Though the country is dominated by muslims, people were more liberated compared from other muslim countries. There were also Christian churches and Jewish synagogues.  People have more Caucasian and Persian features.  I was struck by the   good musicians in the subway, magicians in the bazaar and Indian entertainers in Besiktas.  It was interesting to know the predictions by a fortune teller on the images formed from the  Turkish coffee residue. 

  1. After drinking the coffee, leave the residue.
  2. Cover it with a small plate that will fit well to make sure that the residue will not spill when you  flip it over.
  3. Swirl the cup gently for few minutes.
  4. Flip over the cup and flip it back abruptly.
  5. The coffee residue forms images and the fortune teller can tell what the images mean.

I was taught by a smart and pretty Turkish friend how to speak some basic Turkish words, such as:

  1. bir              0 – sifir                                                                                                  
  2. iki             20 – yirmi           21 – yirmi bir            
  3. uc             30 – otuz
  4. dort         40 – kirk
  5. bes           50 – elli
  6. alti           60 – altmis
  7. yedi         70 – yetmi ‘s
  8. sekiz       80 – sekse ‘n
  9. dokuz;   90 – doksan
  10. on           100 – yuz                    1,000 – bin            
  11. on bir; 200 – iki yuz           2,000 – iki bin
  12. on iki; 300 – u yuz     1,000,000 – milyon         
  • days – gunler;  months – aylar
  • who – kim; what – ne; how – nasil;
  • where – nerede;  when – ne zaman; why – neden/niye
  • yes – evet               no – hayir; stop – dur
  • thank you – mersi/teshekkurler;
  • please – lutfen;  help – imdat
  • sorry – pardon/affedersiniz
  • good – iyi;  bad – kotu
  • big – buyuk;  a lot/very – cok;
  • small – kucuk; little –  az;   medium/average – orta
  • hot – sicak;  cold – soguk
  • entrance – giris;  exit – cikish
  • open – acik;   close – kapali
  • right – sag;  left – sol
  • near – yakin;   far- uzak
  • up – yukari;   down – asagi
  • here – burada;   there – orada
  • sick – hasta;   hospital – hastane;
  • pain – agrim;  accident –  kaza
  • money – para;  coin – bazuk para;
  • paper money – kagit para;   bill – hesap
  • free – bedara; 
  • call – cagrin
  • foreign exchange office/shop – boviz burosu

So thankful for being blessed to have experienced the Turkish hospitality and for being treated like part of the Turkish happy and beautiful family.  


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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lamia shaltout
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 19:02:38



  2. Cem Çolakoğlu
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 19:59:43

    that’s my perfect country,maither have seen oonly istanbul,i think she should see antalya,bodrum,izmir,kusadasi and other places.and pictures are perfect too.good job maither 🙂


  3. Anonymous
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 17:19:17

    I really liked your blog, there are many photos of world cities that you visit.


  4. Mohamed from Algeria
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 17:21:02

    I really liked your blog, there are many photos of world cities that you visit.


    Oct 19, 2012 @ 08:37:15

    Thank you Cem. 🙂


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