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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

International KısaKes (literally Cut it Short) Short Film Festival, which is organized by and for university students will take place in Istanbul on January 26 and 27, 2015. The short films shot by 12 young directors  which arechosen among 1300 films from 87 countries will be screened during the festival.  In addition to screenings, master classes, workshops, sessions are also among the facilities of International KısaKes Short Film Festival. Bahçeşehir University, St. Benoit French High School, Feriya Cinema and Ortaköy Cultural Center are the festival venues. Please note all events  will be translated into English simultaneously. For more information and program please click.

Utkan Çınar (guitar, vocal) and Deniz Koloğlu (vocal) will perform at Karga, Kadıköy on January 31 at 22:00. Utkan and Deniz have been performing enthusiastic folk, acoustic pop music together since 2010.  Selim Saraçoğlu (acoustic guitar), Serkan Dadak (trumpet), Yaman Zencirci (kontrabass), Levent Marancı (drums) and Emirhan Arapoğlu (konga) will accompany the duo. For more information please check  or visit their facebook  page.
Karga - Caferağa Mah. Kadife Sokak. No. 16

Zorlu Center PSM is hosting Smashed by Gandini Juggling. 9 jugglers, Kilos of apples as balls in a show of virtuosic juggling. Show times:
January 29 and 30 at 21:00
January 31 at 15:30 and 20:30
February 1 at14:30 and 19:30
For more information please click

Hailed as "the Bob Dylan of Iran", the musician and singer-songwriter Mohsen Namjoo will perform at Istanbul Congress Center on January 30 at 20:30. Namjoo combines blues, jazz and rock with Iranian and folk music. Tickets can be purchased through Biletix.

Hodjapasha Culture Center, 540 year old former Turkish Bath in Istanbul will be hosting Rhythm of the Dance and White Rose dance shows and  Sema ceremony by Istanbul Dervishes this week. Show times:
January 27 at 19:00 - Sema Ceremony by Istanbul Dervishes
January 27 at 21:00 - Rhythm of the Dance (Dansın Ritmi)
January 31 at 19:00 - Sema Ceremony by Istanbul Dervishes
January 31 at 21:00 - White Rose (Beyazgül) Dance Show
For online tickets please click. Tickets can also be purchased through Biletix.

C.I.P. - Cultural Interactions Point, Istanbul is hosting various workshops:
January 28 at 13:00 - Blowing Ney (end-blown flute)
January 29 at 13:00 and 16:00 - Ebru - Marbling
January 30 at 10:00 and 13:30 - Calligraphy, Illumination (Tezhip) and Miniature Painting
January 31 at 13:00 - Belly Dancing Class
For more information please click

Flying Superkids from Denmark will be at TIM Show Center  on  January 20-26 for six shows. Flying Superkids were founded in 1967 and over the years the kids have danced, sung and flew in more than 33 countries. A team of 30 flying kids will perform at Maslak TIM Show Center in January. Show times:  January 23 at 19:00, January 24 at 14:00 and 20:00,  and January 25 and 27 at 15:00, January 28 at 18:00.  The tickets can be purchased through Biletix.

Famous young cellist Çağ Erçağ and pianist Zina Asfour will perform at Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah on January 24 at 11:00. Tickets can be purchased through Biletix.

Latin legend Julio Iglesias will be in Istanbul on his world tour. Having sold over 300 million albums worldwide and releasing over 80 albums, Iglesias will perform at Ülker Sports Arena on March 14 at 21:00. Tickets are already on sale through Biletix..

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.

“Ismet Inönü: From Lausanne to the Republic” (Lozan'dan Cumhuriyete)  exhibition, organized by Inönü Foundation held at Caddebostan Kültür Merkezi (CKM) between December 24, 2014 and January 25, 2015. Curated by Prof. Dr. Zafer Toprak the exhibition is composed of documents and photos from the archives of Inönü Foundation. The latest technologies such as touch screen and video installations enable the visitor to reach and examine the documents thoroughly. “Time Travel” (Zamanda Yolculuk) section is organized for children composed of three interactive games and an animation film. Visiting hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-19:00.  Sunday 12:00-19:00. Closed on Mondays and January 1, 2015

The Max Planck Science Tunnel Exhibition at The Mall of Istanbul, will take the visitors on a journey through the major issues of basic research, from the origins of space, the idiosyncrasies of the wonder that is the brain, to the vision of sustainable energy supplies. Objects, illustrations, interviews, films and experiential media spaces of augmented reality provide an introduction to the topics, offer insights and create a network interlinking future technologies. The exhibition will remain open until February 15, 2015. Visiting hours: weekdays 10:00-19:00, weekends 10:00-22:00. Tickets can be purchased through Biletix.

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.

Hüseyin Sermet Recitals
Free Wi-Fi Spots in Istanbul
Joan Miró: Women, Birds, Stars
Istanbul Recitals 2014-15
Expat Choirs in Istanbul
Museum Pass Istanbul
While a Country is Changing
Salon IKSV - 2014
Borusan Music House
Borusan Quartet
Magic Ice Museum
Akbank Chamber Orchestra
Iş Sanat -2014/2015
Sea Taxis
Albert Long Hall Concerts - Fall 2014
Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra 2014-2015
Istanbul State Opera and Ballet - January
Istanbul Symphony Orchestra
Toastmasters of Istanbul
Istanbul European Choir
The Glass Furnace-2012
The Memoirs of a Canadian Bride in Turkey
Speech Bubbles
Alternative Party Venues
Double-decker Buses

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Istanbul Live
Hüseyin Sermet Recitals
Free Wi-Fi Spots in Istanbul
Joan Miró: Women, Birds, Stars
Istanbul Recitals 2014-15
Expat Choirs in Istanbul
Museum Pass Istanbul
While a Country is Changing
Salon IKSV - 2014
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Borusan Quartet
Magic Ice Museum
Akbank Chamber Orchestra
Iş Sanat -2014/2015
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Albert Long Hall Concerts - Fall 2014
Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra 2014-2015
Istanbul State Opera and Ballet - January
Istanbul Symphony Orchestra
Toastmasters of Istanbul
Istanbul European Choir
The Glass Furnace-2012
The Memoirs of a Canadian Bride in Turkey
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Rhythm of Town

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