MondayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
On our way to dinner one Friday evening, we hopped in a cab headed for Tarlabaşı, a rather infamous neighborhood in the dead center of Istanbul in which many people still refuse to set foot.
The area was a longtime hotbed of Greek and Armenian artisans and tradesmen, once the backbone of Ottoman-era Istanbul’s commercial life, who erected rows of gorgeous European-style apartment buildings beginning in the 19th century. Many stand proudly today, while dozens of others are fenced off and awaiting renovation as part of an invasive gentrification project that seeks to remodel the now decrepit, impoverished Tarlabaşı.
By the end of 1970s, Tarlabaşı’s Greeks and Armenians had packed up and left the neighborhood and the country, following difficult decades of anti-minority policies and attacks. In their place came a motley crew of other disenfranchised people: Kurds fleeing conflict in the southeast of the country, Roma living on the fringes of society, transgender sex workers, economic migrants and political refugees.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under Reviews (Eats)
no responses - Posted 11.22.16
Istanbul's conservative Fatih district has perhaps the highest concentration of Syrian refugees in the city, and the tree-lined Akşemsettin Street boasts a staggering number of Syrian eateries, from spacious sit-down affairs with full menus to hole-in-the-wall, standing-room-only kiosks slinging shawarma, fried chicken, and falafel. Having popped up rapidly amid the waves ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.09.16
Dürüm is the specialty at Basta Street Food Bar, but you won’t find a smoky grill inside this tiny Kadıköy storefront. With its bright turquoise counter, tile-patterned floor, and steel-topped, light-wood stools, Basta looks more like a hip café than a traditional kebab joint. “One customer came in, sat at the ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.31.16
Kurtuluş Son Durak is a busy intersection and transit hub that’s a hive of activity 24 hours a day. Marking a transition between the tidy, middle-class Kurtuluş neighborhood and the rough-and-tumble quarters of Dolapdere and Hacıahmet, the area is home to a host of eateries and cafes that never seem ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.18.16
Located just beneath Istanbul’s first Bosphorus Bridge in the Anatolian side district of Üsküdar is a secluded slice of Trabzon, the Black Sea province known for its otherworldly lush green forests, hot-tempered inhabitants and distinctly deep cuisine. The Trabzon Kültür Derneği (Trabzon Cultural Association) is something of a clubhouse for folks ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.20.16
We got hungry after doing some serious exploration in the Asian-side neighborhood of Mustafa Kemal, a hotbed for left-wing groups and a melange of informally built homes in the shadow of the rapidly developing district of Ataşehir. Passing by a string of uninspiring döner and pide joints, we inevitably opted ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.24.16
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 ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.11.16
The triangle of Kurtuluş, Feriköy and Bomonti represents an Istanbul on the verge of fading away. Though still inhabited by significant numbers of Greeks, Jews and Armenians, there are more local churches and synagogues than are used by the remnants of those diminished communities. The numerous schools, houses of worship and ...continue
no responses - Posted 04.06.16
We could devote a weekly column to the culinary treasures of Istanbul’s polyglot Aksaray district and probably never have to worry about running out of things to say. The area is jam-packed with places to eat, and while we've written about many of them, Aksaray just keeps on delivering. Having previously ...continue
no responses - Posted 03.07.16
Wave after wave of migration from Anatolia has bestowed upon Istanbul a population of 15 million at bare minimum, with countless pockets of the city representing villages and districts from every last corner of the country. In the neighborhood of Feriköy, those originally hailing from the eastern province of Erzincan have ...continue
no responses - Posted 03.01.16
“No hamsi, no money.” Mert Kanal hoses down empty Styrofoam containers and surveys the leftover catch in his market in Sinop, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. The gulls squawk, fighting over scraps on the dock while fishermen tidy their nets for another night of fishing. The hamsi, or anchovies, are ...continue