Southern Excursion: Swimming in Nature's Bounty at Turunç

Waking to the smell of jasmine growing outside my window and having a chorus of birds coax me out of bed, I feel welcomed into the day. From the balcony, I see hills covered in green, blue skies and a jungle of plant life growing all around me. This is Turunç. A place that radiates natural beauty and where the sea is your neighbour.

Weekend Getaway: Muğla

Looking to experience a city with a mellow vibe? Head to southwest Turkey, away from the crowds, to the picturesque city of Muğla, located in the region of the same name. Muğla is an inland Aegean town near the Gulf of Gökova, surrounded by mountains and forest. Here you can experience a harmonious balance of urban life and nature.

In Conversation With Musician Hande Başaran

Hande Başaran is a Renaissance woman: musician, singer, mother, kindergarten teacher and all-round creator. When I first heard Hande perform, I was struck by the mystical quality of her voice. Immediately, I was captivated. The way she carries a song, a special energy radiates out of her and connects with the audience. Playing music, she says, allows her to open up and express her inner self while at the same time connecting to others. Her voice resonates with the sounds of ancient Anatolia – pure of heart and soul.

A Walk Around Üsküdar

For many people living on the European side of Istanbul, crossing over to the “other side” (the Anatolian side) seems like a trek, especially after spending all week commuting for work. Maybe they will make to effort to get to Kadıköy for a night on Bar Street or a walk through Moda, but rarely do you hear of someone planning a trip to Üsküdar.

Where to go for a non-chocolate dessert?

After experiencing the ayva tatlısı at Kanaat Lokantası in Üsküdar, I nearly melted with ecstasy.

In Conversation with Banu Uğural, Artist and Expert in Upcycling

Just behind Kadar Has University stands a dream house. A creative place where only positive energy is welcome and ideas about how to reuse objects rather than throw them away are discussed, shared and put into action. Here is where you’ll find Banu Uğural experimenting (and often succeeding) with ways on upcycling and to reuse the objects that most people just throw away once they’ve lost their purpose. I spent an evening with Banu talking trash and how to give new life to old rubbish.

14TH ISTANBUL BIENNIAL: BÜYÜKADA ART SAFARI

‘SALTWATER/TUZLU SU: A Theory on Thought Forms’ is the theme for the 14th Istanbul Biennial drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. In a city deeply saturated in history and full of secret spaces, this Biennial is the perfect blend of art and adventure. It encourages us to get out, explore our surroundings and go on an artistic expedition full of many new discoveries. I myself took an excursion to Büyükada (Big Island) to check out the art and see what this Biennial experience outside the city had to offer.