FridayFiled under Out of Istanbul
Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Nicolas Nicolaides, an Istanbul-born Greek who moved to Athens in 1988. Nicolaides is a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Athens whose research focuses on the Karamanlılar (Greeks from Central Anatolia).
Once a resort town on the outskirts of the Greek capital, Phaleron – only a few miles from downtown Athens – is now well incorporated into the city’s urban fabric. The area has remained an upscale neighborhood, but, sadly, it has lost its distinctive character: the sea is now polluted, the open-air cinemas have been turned into parking lots, and many of the stately mansions were demolished to make way for apartment blocks during the construction boom of the 1960s.
One thing does remain unique about the neighborhood: it is home to Athens’ largest concentration of Constantinopolitans, or Greeks of Istanbul, known as İstanbul Rumları in Turkish. Despite living for centuries under Ottoman and then for several decades under Turkish rule, the Greek community had long insisted on staying in their beloved city. Nevertheless, in 1964, amidst the Cyprus dispute, Turkey began deporting Greek nationals residing in Istanbul; soon, those holding Turkish passports also began to leave, following their relatives. In the years to come, the community was to shrink to no more than 5,000 people in a city of almost 13 million. Searching for a place in Athens that would remind them of the city they left behind, the migrants settled in Phaleron; the seafront there was the ideal backdrop for the nostalgic expats to relive long walks along the shores of the Bosphorus.
The rest of this feature can be found on CulinaryBackstreets.com, here.
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1 response - Posted 07.19.11
This one is certainly going to hurt Greek national pride: According to the Wall Street Journal, famed Athenian baklava seller Epe has not only been importing Turkish baklava for the last decade to sell in its stores, but has now had to be bailed out by its supplier from the ...continue
3 responses - Posted 02.07.11
(Editor's Note: This guest post was written by "Meliz," an intrepid explorer of Sultanahmet's culinary backstreets who would like to keep her anonymity.) There is a quiet grace in doing one thing, but doing it very well. Or, maybe, two things. Like, say, börek and baklava. This is what distinguishes Rumeli, a tiny ...continue
5 responses - Posted 10.13.10
(Editor’s Note: In Salih Seçkin Sevinç, creator of the fantastic Turkish-language food blog “Harbi Yiyorum” (roughly translated as “Eating For Real” in English), we’ve found a kindred spirit and a source for great eating tips. We’ve asked Salih to share with our readers some of his culinary wisdom this week. This ...continue
5 responses - Posted 10.11.10
(Editor’s Note: In Salih Seçkin Sevinç, creator of the fantastic Turkish-language food blog “Harbi Yiyorum” (roughly translated as “Eating For Real” in English), we’ve found a kindred spirit and a source for great eating tips. We’ve asked Salih to share with our readers some of his culinary wisdom and we ...continue
8 responses - Posted 06.04.10
On Saturday afternoon, in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, our baklava was neatly wrapped with plastic and then paper, tagged “Antebi, Istanbul” in black marker and escorted to the bus station by either Levent or Bulent of Zeki Inal Baklavacisi. While we slept that night, our baklava passed through ...continue
no responses - Posted 03.14.10
The English-language daily Today's Zaman has an article up that takes a look at some of the restaurants in Istanbul serving food from other regions in Turkey. The article (addresses included, for a change), offers some good tips on where to find food from the Black Sea and southeast regions ...continue
12 responses - Posted 02.08.10
(Editor's Note: The New York Times' travel section recently ran a "36 Hours in Istanbul" feature that was low on good eating suggestions. Prompted by the Times piece, today's post is a food-centric "48 Hours in Istanbul" guide we prepared a few months ago for a local magazine.) Day One: Turkey’s ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.23.09
The Nov. 25 New York Times has a quick review of the new Upper East Side Manhattan branch of Gulluoglu, an Istanbul baklava maker (not to be confused, as we initially did, with the legendary Istanbul baklava house also called Gulluoglu). We recently linked to a New York Magazine item about ...continue
7 responses - Posted 05.11.09
Baklava, the flaky, phyllo-dough based pastry, has long ago stopped being a Middle Eastern regional specialty. In America, for example, it is now a staple of dessert menus at diners and falafel stands across the country. But these places miss the point: baklava is actually not a dessert, but rather ...continue