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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no responses - Posted 01.21.13
When it comes to the first meal of the day in Beşiktaş, it’s hard to pass up the institution that Pando’s lovely old kaymak shop has become. Yet as much as Pando is the neighborhood’s culinary standard-bearer, there is another side of breakfast in Beşiktaş that feels more contemporary, more ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.07.13
Dear Istanbul Eats, I’ll have an eight-hour layover in Istanbul and was wondering if you have any suggestions for places to go for a good Turkish breakfast and lunch. I love to eat at small, local places serving authentic food. I would prefer restaurants in the Yeşilköy area, as I have ...continue
1 response - Posted 10.29.12
The arrival of fall always finds us heading instinctively, like salmon swimming towards their ancestral headwaters, to the Balık Pazarı, Beyoğlu’s historic fish market. Autumn is quince season in Turkey and that means the appearance – for a limited time only – of one of our favorite desserts, ayva tatlısı ...continue
no responses - Posted 04.25.11
(Editor's Note: This review originally appeared on June 12, 2009.) Regulars at Özkonak, a well-loved fixture in Cihangir’s ever-changing restaurant scene, must cluck in disapproval at the sight of a new generation of customers who walk right past the pudding display at the front and head for the steam table and ...continue
3 responses - Posted 12.28.10
(Editor's note: We are sad to report that after more than a century in business, Merkez Şekercisi has closed.) Despite the surroundings, working as a candyman in Istanbul is apparently not all sweetness. Take, for example, Mustafa Bey, who inherited the 132-year-old traditional Turkish candy shop, Merkez Şekercisi, from his grandfather. ...continue
2 responses - Posted 12.17.10
(Editor's Note: This post is part of our occasional "Since You Asked..." advice column. We welcome our readers' questions, so feel free to send any you might have to email@example.com) Hi! I'll have an 8-hour layover in Istanbul in a couple of weeks. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for ...continue
3 responses - Posted 09.24.10
For breakfast lovers, the experience of arriving in the eastern Turkish city of Van is akin to what a gambler might feel upon showing up in Las Vegas – overwhelmed by the options and the promise of a serious payout. Van, of course, is the home and birthplace of the monstrous ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.20.10
With all of the hype around Bursa’s claim to fame, the İskender kebab, you’d think Bursans persisted on a diet of thinly sliced döner, pide, tomato sauce and frothy melted butter. But in between the spinning meat-sicles, the very icon of Turkish fast food, the markets of Bursa offer a ...continue
2 responses - Posted 04.15.10
We are proud to announce the fourth weekly winner of our 2nd photo competition, which is focusing on portraits of people working in the food business. The weekly winners will be among the group of “top 10” submitted images, from which our readers will select a final winner. The contest ends ...continue
7 responses - Posted 02.26.10
With its outings along the Bosphorus, one thing that the recent Istanbul-centric episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” television show made us realize was how much we tend to get stuck in our own little Beyoglu bubble. Granted, Istanbul’s “downtown” zone has enough restaurants to keep all but the most ...continue