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May 24
Tuesday
Reviews (Eats)
Can Ocakbaşı: Closer to the Hearth

Can Ocakbaşı, photo by Ansel Mullins

Istanbul’s Aksaray district is a difficult place to get to know. It’s probably the most diverse district in all of Turkey and with a very high turnover rate. Those Georgian ladies you saw dragging an overstuffed plaid duffel down Buyuk Langa Caddesi yesterday? They might be halfway to Batumi by now. The Syrian family by the bus stop? They may be on their way to meet a man in Izmir about a boat. Who knows?

Aksaray’s unknowableness makes some locals uneasy; there’s got to be mischief in all that motion, with all of those foreigners. Such is the stigma of Aksaray, den of thieves. But after spending some time in the area, we’ve found that if Aksaray is a den of anything, it is one of fresh starts – a landing pad for those arriving from some tough circumstances around the world and the launching point to better ones.

Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.

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