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We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Istanbul Live

Speech Bubbles organizes intensive summer school program for ages 8-14 at TEDTorch Tarabya. The workshops will include singing, dance, acting, prop making a swimming. A perfect opportunity to develop or expand new and existing talents in a fun, exciting and fully supervised environment.
Dates: June 22, 29 and July 6.
Monday to Friday 09:00-15:00
For reservation and more information please visit the official website  or e-mail to tom(at)speechbubbles.org.
Phone: (212) 283 6466, (212) 283 6426

Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) Turkey Branch office in continues lecture series:
May 26 at 17:00 - "Back to the Future: Reconstruction of Anatolian Carpets from Renaissance Paintings" by Ali Rıza Tuna. The lecture will take place at TCF Istanbul Office and will be presented in English. For more information please click.

The living legend, virtuoso of violin Itzhak Perlman will be in Istanbul once again for an unforgettable performance. Perlman will take stage at Zorlu Center PSM  on May 28 at 21:00. Tickets can be purchased through Biletix.

Famous Italian pop singer and songwriter Toto Cutugno will perform at CRR Concert Hall on May 28 at 20:00. His career spans open 40 years. His music mostly carries the romantic breeze of Mediterranean.  Tickets can be purchased through Biletix.

Istanbul Autoshow 2015 is hosting the "Wonders of World" at TÜYAP Fair Convention and Congress Center, Büyükçekmece until May31. The latest car models are exhibited on a total of 120,000 sq.mt. of indoor area in 14 halls. Visiting hours:
Weekdays: 12:00-21:00
Weekend: 11:00-21:00

Cafe Mitanni, famous for its live jazz performances will be hosting a picnic/day-long jam session on Burgaz Island on Sunday, May 31. The purpose of the  event is to bring together the performers and jazz lovers. The event will take place at Aya Nikola Çay Bahçesi, Burgaz Ada. Check out Facebook page for the exact location.

Pembe Hanım, a local NGO providing support for cancer patients and their loved ones , together with American Cancer Society will bring the first ever Relay For Life to Turkey. The first meeting of organizers will take place at Boğaziçi Univeristy, Main Directorate Building on May 21 at 10:00. Anybody who wants to be involved is welcomed. Relay For Life events are life-changing cancer fundraising events that help communities across the globe fight back against cancer. If you are interested in participating the meeting and  becoming part of the team please contact Ms. Seda Kansu (535 935 9300). For additional information on Relay For Life Turkey please visit the web pages of Pembe Hanım, Relay for Life and American Cancer  Society.

Istanbul ’74 presents the 5th edition of Istanbul International Arts & Culture Festival - IST. Festival (Istancool) on May 22-24, 2015. Istancool connects global artists, designers, fashion designers, architects, authors, filmmakers, actor and musicians with their counterpart from Turkey and hosts an inspiring three-day long cultural convention program. The theme of this year's festival is " Dialogues on Realism in Arts & Culture”.  The festival is open to public and free of charge. For detailed information about the participants and program please click.

Cihangir Cool for Cats invites Istanbulites to another special Night Quiz for Cats on Friday, May 22. The event kicks off at 20:30. Great food and drink, and prizes. All proceeds go to help the street animals. You can go alone or with friends, maximum of five people per table, donation 10TL/person. Café Nove - The Cafe Bar is at the bottom of the Rainbow Stairs in Sali Pazarıi, easy to reach from Cihangir or Findikli. Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi 31/A. Fındıklı.  For the facebook page please click.

Zeynep Tlabar's exhibition titled "İğneyi Kendine Çuvaldızı Başkasına" composed of pins and brooches will take place at NeVarOrda,  Kuzguncuk.. Opening:  May 9 at 17:00. Please click for the facebook page of the event.

Gayrettepe Metro Station is hosting “Turkcell Football in the Dark”, an exhibition and workshop to explore the unseen.  Football in the Dark offers the players an incredible experience to understand the daily life of blind people. The participants will also support Blind Football. Tickets can be purchased through Biletix. Time: weekdays and Saturday  10:00-19:00, Sundays 12:00-19:00 (with 30-minute intervals).

Pera PalaceHotel, Jumeriah is hosting  Battle of Gallipoli photography exhibition  until June 30, 2015. The exhibition includes a selection of photographs from the private collection of the Australian Embassy in Turkey. For Australians, the battle was the country's first experience of devastating war, and many Australians still visit the battleground every year.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's unforgettable "Phantom of The Opera" will be  in İstanbul for the first time on April 7 - May 17, 2015. Venue: Zorlu Center PSM. Tickets are already on sale. The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a disfigured musical genius known only as ‘The Phantom’ who haunts the depths of the Paris Opera House. Mesmerised by the talents and beauty of a young soprano – Christine, the Phantom lures her as his protégé and falls fiercely in love with her.

The festival season opens on Saturday, May 23 with Chill-Out Festival which will take place at Life Park Sarıyer. By hosting over 20 musicians on 3 different stages, and providing artistic and cultural activities  Chill-Out Festival Istanbul welcomes music lovers. The festival will begin at 12:00 and tickets can be purchased through Biletix.

For the 20th Anniversary of  Rahmi M. Koç Museum, Istanbul a new doll houses collection is on display until June 16, 2015. The exhibition includes Doll Houses produced in Britain, France, Germany and the United States  that have been procuded since the 19th century. These minitaure houses have been created by hobbyists and toymakers and decorated with miniatury furnitures and even people. The doll houses reflects various lifestyles.

Municipality of Kadıköy Social Support Center has founded an Open Wardrobe (Açık Gardırop) for those who wish to donate their gently used second-hand clothing.
The requirements are:
- Clothes are undamaged, laundered, ironed and folded
- Bagged by clothing type and labeled
- Shoes, boats and handbags are welcomed.
- Underwear and socks are not accepted.
For any questions and more information please call (216) 545 7228 or visit the website
Açık Gardırop
Fikirtepe Eğitim ve Sosyal Destek Merkezi
Özbey Caddesi No: 111

Gayrettepe Metro Station is hosting “Dialogue in the Dark Istanbul”,  which offers you an incredible experience to understand daily life of blind people.  The concept of Dialogue in the Dark is simple: visitors are lead by blind guides in groups through specially constructed dark rooms in which scent, sound, wind, temperature and texture convey the characteristics of daily environments – for example a park, a city, a boat cruise or a bar. The daily routines become a new experience. Over the last twenty years Dialogue in the Dark has been presented in more than 30 countries and 130 cities throughout the world since its opening in 1988.
Weekdays: 14:00 and 18.30
Saturday 10:00 and 18.30
Sunday 12:00 and 16.30

Şişhane – Yenikapı section of Istanbul metro is now in service. The line M2 connects Sarıyer to Yenikapı through the Metro Bridge over the Golden Horn. Those who ride the subway at Hacıosman can directly go to Yenikapı (stopping at  Darüşşafaka-Atatürk Oto Sanayi- İTÜ Ayazağa-Sanayi-4.Levent-Levent-Gayrettepe-Şişli/Mecidiyeköy-Osmanbey-Taksim-Şişhane- Haliç (The Golden Horn)-Vezneciler and Yenikapı). The passengers can continue their journey to the Anatolian side by using Marmaray and/or Sea busses at Yenikapı. For detailed information please click.

Sociologist Deniz Bağrıaçık is writing a book about foreigners who live in Istanbul. She has been interviewing with three different categories of people:

- Foreigners who has lived in Istanbul more than 15-20 years.
- After 2000's
- Expats
The book is about how these people belonging to the above given categories see Turks and Istanbul and their observations about the city. The interviews do not contain personal questions. Deniz Bağrıaçık speaks fluent French and English. If you are interested please e-mail to deniz.bagriacik(at)gmail.com

Lovers of Turkey - Ar Medya Production calls for expats to participate  a  TV program titled "Türkiye Sevdalıları – Lovers of Turkey" to  be broadcast on TRT Avaz channel.   Each 35-minute-long  episode will host a different "Lover of Turkey".  It is a guest-focused program and covers the guest’s Turkey adventure e.g. reasons for coming to Turkey, places and food he/she prefers,  his/her approach in learning Turkish language. Self-confident,  cheerful expats  with at least speaking some Turkish are expected. The topics and issues to be covered during the program will be submitted to the guest in advance.  Any expats willing to be part of this exciting program should contact Aybike Üregil (aybike-uregil(at)hotmail.com) with a photograph, information about his/her work, age, the place you live and the reasons of your love for Turkey.

The Istanbul Expat & Public Services Survey is conducted by the Marmara University and the Union of Municipalities of Marmara conducts The Istanbul Expat & Public Services Survey. The survey intends to elaborate concrete recommendations to public decision-makers in Istanbul in the light of expectations of Expats. Please click for the online survey.

As of January 31, 2013 HGS (Fast Pass System) completely replaced the Card Pass System (KGS) on highways nationwide and the Bosphorus Bridges. HGS offers 20% discount on toll crossing rate and is expected to reduce traffic congestion on highways and at the entrance Istanbul bridges. HGS stickers can be purchased at all PTTs, İş Bank, and Garanti Bank Branches.

Jurassic Land at Forum İstanbul Shopping Mall  attracts the attention of all age groups with its museum, 4-D theater, laboratory where visitors  both learn and have fun,  show garden and  shop that is selling special dinosaur concept objects. Visiting hours: weekdays- 10:00 – 20:00, weekends 10:00 – 22:00.

The Blind Photographers Project is inviting you to live an unforgettable experience on Saturdays: Dinner in Pitch Black. – Total Darkness. A special meal by Sardunya catering will be served by blind waiters, and blind musicians will take stage. And dancing in the dark. For more information please check the website.  For the English video of Blind Photographers Project please click.

Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak 16D, Galata-Beyoğlu
Tel: (212) 252 5 61

Istanbul “The Ultimate Guide”
: Saffet Emre Tonguç and Pat Yale decided to write the most comprehensive and most up-to-date Istanbul Guide in 2007 and the adventure took 3 years to be completed.  Tonguç and Yale  toured 15.600 kilometers in Istanbul. 60 photographers contributed to the photos Tonguç and Yale took.  The book is composed of 650 pages and 3000 photos, illustrations, maps, engravings, miniatures and historical photos. In addition to historical and tourist areas the duo visited nearly 2000 places including restaurant, cafes, bar, shop, hotel, hostel, night club and hamam and share their views with the readers. The book is written both in English and Turkish and can be purchased in selected bookstores.

Mrs. Claudia Turgut has been writing a cooking blog based on all the fresh produce that you can get in the markets in Turkey. You can follow her blog for delicious recipes with a Turkish touch.

The largest ceramic panel in the world displays Istanbul’s most famous landmarks at Kabataş Cultural Center. The panel, embellishing a wall in front of the Kabataş Cultural Center on Çırağan Street is  85 meters long and 5 meters high. The panel was completed in five months and displays drawings of 13 architectural masterpieces of İstanbul, including the Maiden's Tower, the Galata Tower, Topkapı Palace, and the Blue Mosque.

Tünel (Tunnel) is the easiest way to get from Karaköy to Beyoğlu, instead of climbing the steep streets. The timetable for Tünel (Tunnel) has changed. It is open everyday on 07:00-22:45 (Sundays 07:30-22:45)

Şişli Municipality Science Center continues to attract the attention of children to science with the recently established Yeşil Istasyon (Green Station).

Istanbul’s first public stationary planetarium “Discovery Sphere” has been opened at the Rahmi M. Koç Museum on the grounds of Lengerhane.

Do you enjoy singing? Do you like classical music? Then you can join Istanbul European Choir it is open to everyone and the season begins in September. Singers in the choir are from different nationalities and professions.

The use of tobacco products in public places was partially banned in May 2008, based on the changes made to the law that regulates tobacco and the consumption of tobacco products. As of July 19, 2009 smoking ban was widened including restaurants, bars, cafes, village coffeehouses and nargile (water pipe) cafes. Smoking is also prohibited under umbrellas installed in gardens, it is allowed only when four sides of an area are open and the sky is visible. Smoking is not banned in prisons, nursing and rehabilitation centers for seniors, mental hospitals, hotels, and on the decks of ships sailing overseas as long as  specific  areas are assigned for smoking. In addition smoking at open-air sports centers such as stadiums and open-air theaters is not banned if there are “smoking rooms” reserved for smokers. The establishments that violate the law will pay a fine between 560 and 5600 TL. Smokers violating the law will be fined 69 TL.

Readings for Expats
Birdsong and Flame: a book of poetry about Istanbul and Turkey.  This has been written by James Andrew who has taught at Darussafaka Lisesi and Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul. It deals with a period of about four years when he was living and working in Istanbul.  The poems he wrote at that time have been grouped loosely into a sort of diary in poetry.   The themes are the city of Istanbul and his reaction to it; teaching in Istanbul;   visits to Antalya, Cappadocia, and Ephesus; the last big earthquake in Istanbul; partings and meetings; various cats he has known in Turkey; and his reactions on his return to his home in Scotland: Balnakeil in the far north west of the country.  Various bookshops in Istanbul have information on how to acquire the book if you wish to order it from them:  Robinson Crusoe, Homer Kitabevi, and Pandora’s Box on the Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim;  the Greenhouse Cafe in Kadikoy; Remzi Kitabevi in Akmerkez.  

Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey, a nonfiction anthology edited by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gökmen, was  #1 bestselling English language book at Remzi Kitap after its debut and remained on the bestseller list for 22 consecutive months. It also hit bestseller lists for its category on a number of different bookstores in UK and US. The English version of Expat Harem, published by Seal Press, is available online. This anthology shares true stories of life in Turkey by expats from many different nationalities in many different life circumstances.

“Osman's Dream. The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1923” is the latest book of Caroline Finkel. It is a narrative history of the Ottoman Empire from its earliest beginnings to its final destruction on the battlefields of the First World War. “Osman's Dream” is aimed at the general reader, and is now available from reputable bookstores in Turkey.

Hughette Eyüboğlu who is among the first foreign brides in Turkey, published her memories in Turkish last year and attracted attention. The English and French versions of the said book “Living Under the Shadow of Two Cultures” and “Du Clocher au Minaret” respectively are at the bookstores as of June.

Istanbul Music Festival
Hüseyin Sermet Recitals
Free Wi-Fi Spots in Istanbul
Tulip Festival - 2015
Istanbul Jazz Festival
Opus Amadeus Festival
Mountain Film Festival
Architect Sinan Exhibition
Istanbul Film Festival
CRR Guitar Festival
Expat Choirs in Istanbul
Istanbul Recitals 2014-15
Museum Pass Istanbul
While a Country is Changing
Salon IKSV - 2014
Borusan Music House
Borusan Quartet
Akbank Chamber Orchestra
Magic Ice Museum
Iş Sanat -2014/2015
Sea Taxis
Albert Long Hall Concerts - Spring 2015
Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra 2014-2015
Istanbul State Opera and Ballet - May
Istanbul Symphony Orchestra
Toastmasters of Istanbul
Istanbul European Choir
The Memoirs of a Canadian Bride in Turkey
The Glass Furnace-2012
Speech Bubbles
Alternative Party Venues
Double-decker Buses

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Istanbul Live
Istanbul Music Festival
Hüseyin Sermet Recitals
Free Wi-Fi Spots in Istanbul
Tulip Festival - 2015
Istanbul Jazz Festival
Opus Amadeus Festival
Mountain Film Festival
Architect Sinan Exhibition
Istanbul Film Festival
CRR Guitar Festival
Expat Choirs in Istanbul
Istanbul Recitals 2014-15
Museum Pass Istanbul
While a Country is Changing
Salon IKSV - 2014
Borusan Music House
Borusan Quartet
Akbank Chamber Orchestra
Magic Ice Museum
Iş Sanat -2014/2015
Sea Taxis
Albert Long Hall Concerts - Spring 2015
Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra 2014-2015
Istanbul State Opera and Ballet - May
Istanbul Symphony Orchestra
Toastmasters of Istanbul
Istanbul European Choir
The Memoirs of a Canadian Bride in Turkey
The Glass Furnace-2012
Speech Bubbles
Alternative Party Venues
Double-decker Buses

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Baksı Museum
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