SIMILAR NoE WP10 Workshop in Istanbul
25-26 May 2006

hosted by VAVlab (BUMM)                                                   Back

Bogazici University
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Bogazici University



Geographical Location

The main reason of Istanbul’s being a very popular city for which wars are made, lives are lost is its geographical location…
Let’s review this location first: In its south stretches Marmara Sea and in its north is Black Sea. Its west part is in Europe and east part is in Asia. The important waterline dividing Istanbul into two is the Bosphorus… The only alternative to reach the Aegean Sea and the Meditteranean Sea, therefore to open sea is to use Istanbul and the the Bosphorus…
Istanbul is both the nearest Asian city to Europe and the nearest European city to Asia. What adds to Istanbul’s significance is its being a port city and all trade paths’ passing through the city for thousands of years…
Another important feature of Istanbul is that it has a highly sheltered structure. Especially the center which is presently called as the “historical peninsula”, which was made capital city by both Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and its being located on a hill surrounded by three seas made it almost impossible to be conquered… Indeed, Haliç had the quality of being an unparalleled harbour sheltering navy fleets.

A famous myth explains very precisely the unmatched location of Istanbul :
Commander Byzas, who gave his name to the empire to be later called as Byzantine, sets off to sail to build a new colony from where Greece is located today. During the long voyage and his searches, he goes to an oracle for advice. The oracle makes this prediction: “You are going to build your city right opposite of the land of the blinds!” Continuing his voyage, Byzas reaches to the banks of Sarayburnu, the Istanbul of today. When he sees this protected peninsula, he thinks that it is just the place that he was looking for; meanwhile he notices the area of residence on the opposite side (Kadıköy at present). Byzas decides that the people who, given the excellent area of residence right before them, do not prefer to reside there are blind. And since it also coincides with the prediction, he builds his colony on this land without hesitation…

Although thousands of years have passed, Istanbul still maintains its geographical importance. Today Istanbul is a huge metropolis connecting continents, cultures, religions and being home to eleven million people; and one of the greatest business and cultural center of the region…



It is not possible to put into one type the climate of region where Istanbul is completely located. The city has different climate conditions from many areas of inhabitance because of its geographical location and physical geography.
Three types of climate is dominant in Istanbul throughout the year. These are north and south entering climates and mild climate. The climates dependent on west and east directional winds are trivial. The most frequent of the three is the climate observed when northern winds are dominant. There are four phases according to the seasons; cold, hot, and two transitional phases: One of which is long and the other is short.

The climate in Istanbul is predominately mild with temperatures, even in winter, never sinking below freezing. Lightweight clothes are definitely advisable in summer, as it can become quite hot. During the summer, people will not expect you to wear a jacket to formal meetings.

                   Climate Chart 



Archeology Museum


Archeology Museum, one of the greatest museums of the world, is located between Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace. Archeology Museum, which was opened to service with the name of “Mecma-i Esliha-i Atika” and “Mecma-i Asar-i Atika” within St. İrini Church in 1846, got the name “Müze-i Hümayun” (Empire Museum) in 1869.
Though most of the works of display were moved to the Tiled Kiosk between the years of 1873-1891, Archeological Museum was rebuilt under the name of “Asari Antics Museum” by Osman Hamdi Bey in its present classical style in 1891.
In the various halls of Archeology Museum, archeological pieces such as sarcophagus, tombstone, epitaph, bust, sculpture, relief, column heads and mosaics from Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations are on display. The museum has a resourceful library with the books on history, archeology, numismatics, and fine arts, a chemistry laboratory, a sculpture repair workhouse and photography section.

Address: Osman Hamdi Bey Slope, 34400 Gülhane – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 520 77 40


Aşiyan Museum


The house in which the famous poet Tevfik Fikret built in 1906 and spent the last nine years of his life was made a museum in 1945. In the museum, there are personal belongings, works and archives of the Poet Nigar Hanım, and the poet and writers of Edebiyat-i Cedide (a literary period), as well as those of Tevfik Fikret.

Address: Aşiyan Slope, 80810 Bebek / Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 263 69 86


Caricature And Humor Arts Museum


Caricature and Humor Arts Museum was originally opened for service in 1975 by the initiatives of Caricature Artists Association in Tepebaşı. Caricature and Humor Arts Museum which was closed in 1980 was reopened to service in 1989 again with the efforts of the in Gazanfer Agha.
The collection of the museum features various documents and authentic works, selections from caricature and humor periodicals from Turkey and the world.

Address: Atatürk Boulevard, Kovacılar Street, No:12 Fatih – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 521 12 64

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

Presenting and fostering the artistic accumulation, creativity, and dynamism in Turkey has been the foremost mission of Istanbul Modern. Istanbul Modern is dedicated to protect and showcase the artistic production within the modern and contemporary art scene. With this purpose in mind, it is Istanbul Modern’s desire to become an institution that determines the artistic agenda, provides education, imparts love for the arts, and reaches the masses with its dynamic and polyphonic environment.

Istanbul Modern gives new ground to the desire to provide an environment where the masses, especially children and young people, can interact with the arts. It is the sincere wish of Istanbul Modern to become a venue where the artistic production of Turkish contemporary art and international artistic production are both introduced and shared simultaneously. Sharing the artistic production in the international art scene, and introducing İstanbul and its cultural synthesis to the whole world .

Turkish arts can only develop by becoming part of the international art scene. In a global world, where communication and joint projects between museums are becoming ever more important, Istanbul Modern attempts to lay down the foundations of active cooperation with prominent museums and art institutions. It wishes to serve as a bridge that unites international cultures, and believe that we can provide Turkish artists especially with the opportunity to be recognized and accepted internationally.

Istanbul Modern will be a dynamic cultural and artistic center, in the heart of a city that is constantly transforming. It hopes that through a modern understanding of art education and communication, it can bring art and their manifestations, art works closer to the masses, who will realize the crucial role of art in their daily lives.

Address: İstanbul Modern, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Liman İşletmeleri Sahası, Antrepo No: 4, Karaköy, İstanbul
Phone: +90-212-334 73 00
Fax: +90-212-243 43 19


Kariye Museum


Kariye Museum which is located in Edirnekapı in Istanbul was originally built as a church of Khora Monastery. While it is known to exist in the 8th century, the monastery is claimed to have been built in the 4th century.
Kariye Mosque which has a kiboion section, whose dome is held by four arches, had a very desolate state during the Latin Invasion in 1204-1261. Towards the turn of 1313, during the period of Andronikos the 2nd (1282-1328), a leading figure of the era, Theodoros Metochites who was a literarian, poet and minister of treasury, commissioned for the repairs of the church and added an appendix to the north, an exonartex to the western, and a chapel (paraecclesion) to the south sides. The paraecclesion, which is a single sided chapel stretching along the south front was built on a cellar. The above part was partially covered with a dome and the other parts were covered with vault. The building which was used for some time as a church after the conquest of Istanbul, was turned into a mosque by covering the mosaics with whitewashing and by adding of a minaret. At the end of a study carried out by American Byzantine Institute between 1948 and 1958, all mosaics and fresques were revealed and the building was turned into a museum. Today the mosaic depictions of Jesus and St. Mary decorating the walls of Kariye Museum are what most attract the visitors’ attention. These fresques also have the quality of being the only frescos surviving till today in best condition.

Address: Kariye Museum, Edirnekapı / Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 523 30 09


Mosaics Museum


Mosaics Museum was built on he ruins of Grand Palace from the Byzantine period and a section of Sultan Ahmed Mosque Complex. As well as the mosaics surviving from Grand Palace to date, some mosaics found in Istanbul and nearby are displayed in this museum.

Address: Arasta Bazaar, Sultanahmet – Istanbul
Phone: (212) 518 12 05


Sadberk Hanım Museum


Sadberk Hanım Museum, which is the first private museum to be built in Turkey, is serving public in a historical seaside residence in the Büyükdere point of the Bosphorus.
The museum features materials, encaustic art and ceramics, clothes and calligraphy works from Hitite, Phrygia, Urartu, Mycenae, Hellenistic Age, Roman, Byzantine, Selcuk and Ottoman period, starting from 6000 B.C.

Address: Piyasa Road, No:27-29, Büyükdere – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 242 38 13


St. Irini Museum


St. İrini Museum is located in the first courtyard of Topkapı Palace as one of the most magnificent and greatest Byzantine churches along with St. Sophia. St. İrini was built during the period of Emperor Justinianus in VI. Since the church was not turned into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, there were no remarkable changes in the building. It was used as a loot from war and a storage of arms for a long time. The first works of Damat Ahmet Fethi Pasha, one of Tophane field marshals, were displayed here in 1846 as the first examples displayed in a Turkish museum. In 1869 St. İrini received the name Müze-i Hümayun (Empire Museum). In time the works displayed here were moved to the Tiled Kiosk in 1875 due to the shortage in places of exhibition. From year 1908 Aya İrini was used as Military Museum. Then the structure which was vacant for a time was repaired and became a unit governed by St. Sophia Museum Management.


Turkish Islamic Arts Museum


Turkish Islamic Arts Museum which was originally built in 1914 in Süleymaniye Complex was moved to İbrahim Pasha Palace in 1938. The museum which is one of the rare examples of Turkish-Islamic Art in the world was designed by collecting precious art pieces from many mosques, tombs and libraries.
The museum features ceramic works, glass oil lamps, mural encaustics, plaster reliefs, carpets from Selcuk and Ottoman period and Nomad rugs, silver engravings, funeral arches, jeweled pieces, mother-of-pearl inlaid Koran desks, engraved copper containers, plumes, ornaments, the key of Kabe, oil lamps and candlesticks adorned with precious stones, impressively woven vests belonging to Sultan Yıldırım Bayezid and Sultan Selim the 2nd, a brigantine belonging to Pertevniyal Sultan, Caucasian carpets, containers, drawers, engraved doors, very valuable hand-written Korans, miniatures, volumes, writing instruments, various firmans from the Ottoman Sultans, column heads, epitaphs, sultan monogram.

Address: İbrahim Pasha Palace, At Square, Sultanahmet Istanbul
Phone: (212) 518 18 05 – 518 18 06



Topkapi Palace        

When the construction for Topkapı Palace started is still unknown. According to some resources, the foundation dates back to 1460.
Topkapı Palace was not constructed based on a definite plan, was expanded in time and underwent several changes. This change was due to necessity of adding of new buildings or the reconstruction in place of the original buildings destroyed by fire or other causes.
Apart from the mansions for residence of sultans and harem section, Topkapı Palace also features many structures such as wards for palace guards, a very spacious kitchen for use of palace residents, dormitories for palace servants, Kubbealtı where Divan meetings were held, Hırka-i Saadet section where belongings of Hz. Mohammed and the Caliphs are kept, Gülhane Hospital, Sultan Ahmed the 3rd Library, Palace School, Treasury Office, a stable for the horses of sultan, and St. İrini Church which was used as a weapon storage for some time.
Topkapı Palace was abandoned in the middle of 19th century and lost its significanc as the state center. Indeed, part of a railroad was built on the outdoor garden of Topkapı Palace which was is a desolate state in the following years. Most recently in 1924 Topkapı Palace was turned into a museum and opened for exhibition.

Address: Saray içi, Sultanahmet – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 512 04 08

Dolmabahce Palace:

Dolmabahçe Palace, whose construction began in 1846 in the province of Beşiktaş was completed in 1856. The palace which was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid was built on an area of 250.000 m², and the palace itself and main outhouses were built on sea-filled surface.
The palace is comprised of a main unit, Heir Section, Furniture and Guards’ Room, Operational Mansions, Glass Mansion and other small pavilions. Dolmabahçe Palace which has 8 spacious saloons and 200 rooms, has two main and seven side gates and five gates on the sea front.
While the gardens are arranged in four sections, the main building comprises of three sections, namely the State Office (Mabeyn-i Hümayun), Auction Hall and Private Office. The main front of the palace overlooking the sea, Private Office is a two-storey building. Süfera (envoy) Saloon on the upper floor of the palace is one of its most impressive sections. Auction Hall rises between the State and Private Offices as a monumental structure. It is built on a square-like surface, covered with a dome from the inside and a roof from the outside. It is adorned with rich decorations.
The Private Office is made up of Sultan’s Office and harem. Harem is a plain section with grand common-use places and closed private rooms.

Address: Dolmabahçe Road. 80680, Dolmabahçe-Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 258 55 44

Yerebatan Cistern                                                                                                  

Yerebatan Cistern was built in the left side of Sultanahmet Square towards St. Sophia-Gülhane Park direction. Yerebatan Cistern which is also called “Yerebatan Palace” was commissioned in about 540 by Byzantine Emperor Justinianus the 1st. The area which was gained by the underground carving of a rocky surface, the cistern which is supported by more than 300 columns, have become the most important water resource supplying water to Istanbul.
The cistern which was cleansed and repaired by the Municipality of Istanbul between 1985-1988, is today one of the open-to-public places of visit with its mystifying and exotic atmosphere.

Address: Yerebatan Road No:13 34410 Sultanahmet – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 522 12 59

St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia)                                                                                         

St. Sophia Museum, which is among the most significant monuments of world’s architectural history, is considered as the only application in terms of its architectural property, its magnificence, greatness and functionality. St. Sophia has been an inspiration for Ottoman mosques thought in idea, and is reviewed as a product of east-west synthesis. St. Sophia served for 916 years as church and 481 years as mosque since its year of construction. Recently, St. Sophia was turned into a museum in 1935.
Byzantine historians Theophanes, Nikephoros and Gramercy Leon claim that St. Sophia was originally built during the period of Emperor I. Konstantinos (324-337). At that time, St. Sophia which had a Basilica planned, wooden domed structure, was burned in a fire and Emperor II. Thedosius re-commissioned St. Sophia for the second time and it was reopened for service in 415. However, St. Sophia burned one more time in 532 during the Nika revolution and rebuilt for the third time by Emperor Justinianus (527-565). When Isidoros of Miletus and Anthemious of Tralles, the most famous architects of the period were building the St. Sophia which survived until today, they used the columns, column heads, marbles and color stones of the antic city remains of Anatolia.
The construction of St. Sophia began in 23 December 532 and it was completed in 27 December 537. From the architectural point of view, it is comprised of a large central section, two side sections (nef), abyss, interior and exterior narthexes. The interior has a size of 100x70, it’s covered by a dome with a diameter of 30-31 m. and a height of 55 m. carried by four big columns. As well as its architecture, the mosaics of St. Sophia are also of worth noting. The most ancient mosaics are the golden glided geometrical and flower-motif mosaic on interior narthex and sides. The figured mosaics were made in IX-XII century, and they can be seen on Emperor Gate, on the abscissas, on the exit gate and upper floor gallery.
St. Sophia had undergone various repairs during Turkish period starting with the conquest of Istanbul. While the framing of mihrab is adorned with the most beautiful examples of Turkish china art and Turkish calligraphic art, the sura from Koran on the dome inscribed by the famous Turkish Calligrapher Mustafa İzzet Efendi and the round sheets with a diameter of 7.50 m are the most remarkable ones. In these frames, the names of Allah, Mohammed, Ömer, Osman, Ali, Hasan, Ebu Bekir and Hussein are written. And on he side walls of the mihrab can be seen the frames written by Ottoman sultans and donated to the museum.
The tombs of Sultan Selim the 2nd, Sultan Mehmed the 3rd, Sultan Murad the 3rd and heirs, the fountain of Sultan Mahmut the 1st, primary school, public kitchen and library, sultan maksoorah of Sultan Abdülmecid, clock room are among the Turkish period works at St. Sophia, and the tombs make up the most precious examples of Ottoman tomb tradition with regard to their interior design, caustic art and architecture.

Address: Sultanahmet Square 34400 Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 522 17 50–522 0989

Kapalıçarşı (Grand Bazaar)


Kapalıçarşı is a great bazaar in Nuri Osmaniye and Beyazid Mosques and Mahmutpaşa Bazaar, made up of streets of various shops sheltered by roofs and domes. Though not very regularly shaped, it holds and area of about 31 thousand square meters. It has hundreds of domes which are covered with lead and windows. The nucleus of Kapalıçarşı is a Byzantine building which is today called Old Bedesten. The section of the bazaar where valuables and jewellery are bought and sold was commissioned by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror and the main great bazaar itself was commissioned during Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, on a wooden basis. Kapalıçarşı, today has a surface of 30.7 hectares, 61 streets, 10 wells, 4 fountains, 2 mosques and over 3 thousand shops, managed to claim its present look within 250 years.

Kapalıçarşı, which burned in years of 1546, 1618, 1652, 1660, 1695, 1701, 1750 has always been repaired after each disaster. After all this, it had undergone great damage in the earthquake of 1766. It is partially burned in fires of 1791 and 1826. The bazaar which had just regain is composure was again shaken by an earthquake in 1894 this time. It catches fire again in 1954 at the latest and could only be repaired in five years. The major sections of Kapalıçarşı are :

        Inner Bedesten : It was the first building to rise in Kapalıçarşı, actually it is Old Bedesten which forms the backbone of the bazaar. The gates’ names are as follows : Bouquinistes, Hat Shops, Jewellery Shops and Costume Shops.

        Sandal Bedesten : It is the one with most number of domes in Kapalıçarşı. At present it can be accessed through two gates, one is through Kapalıçarşı and the other is through Nuruosmaniye district.

        Other Sections : The architectural design of roads making up other sections apart from two bedestens is not symmetrical and geometrical, it has a scattered nature due to reflect its formation and the catastrophes it has gone through. In this way, it stays away from the closed bazaar style of the West and has a character of an Eastern bazaar. This laid back settlement; this scattered nature prevents the bazaar from being dull and at the same time gives it a romantic flavor. Such a complicated structure and settlement not only maintains the monumental state of the bazaar, but also makes it a palace for shopping.

        Hans : Four adjacent sides of Kapalıçarşı is surrounded by hans which are separate units by themselves. Today the hans which are directly connected to the bazaar, that is, which can be accessed through the bazaar and not through an outside entrance are : Astarcı Han, Büyük and Küçük Safran Hans, Evliya Han, Sarraf Han, Mercan Ağa Han, Zincirli Han, Varakçı Han, Rabia Han, Jewellers’ Hani Yarım Taş Han.

Princess Islands:

Islands of varius proportions in the southeast of Istanbul adorn Istanbul like a necklace. These islands have become very popular recreational places for Istanbul residents for centuries. The islands have been used by the residents as holiday resorts in recent past thanks to the richness of its nature. Adalar have been the one of the most well-known and utilized recreational spots with their beaches, green fabric, walkway, valleys of pine forests, their hills and coasts. Well-arranged gardens of the island mansions, flowers of acacia, judas tree blossoms, oleander, tulip, daisy, honeysuckle and clove colour the surroundings throughout the year.

Residential areas are mostly located in the south and east coasts of the islands. The islands hold a significant place in Istanbul history with its past. It has become a scene to many historical events since the eastern monks founding their monasteries in Byzantine period.

The islands, which are also named as Prince Islands or Scarlet Islands, can be classified into three groups. Islands open to tourism and having residence, private-property islands and islands which have no residence. Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada, Büyükada and Sedef Adası are islands which are open to tourism and have residence. Kaşık Island and Pide Island are private properties. Therefore it is not possible to visit them. Yassıada, Sivriada and Balıkçı Islands have no residence on them.


Büyükada is the biggest of the islands, which is the first address of those who want to have a short break from the crowd and urban life of Istanbul. Büyükada is also the furthest island from Istanbul. (14 sea miles from the Port of Istanbul). The island which stretches in north-south direction is geographically comprised of two hills. (On the north Isa Hill – 164 m., on the south Yücetepe Hill – 202 m.)

The most important element giving the island its peculiar quality is its famous phaetons. Touring the island with these cars which are pulled by two horses are one of the most popular activities preferred by tourists.

The most enjoyable spot of the island without doubt is Aya Yorgi Hill. Even one has to go uphill for about 20 minutes to reach this highest spot of the island, it is worth it... When looked from the hill, Istanbul coasts and Marmara make up a very beautiful view. Aya Yorgi Monastery locatd on this hill is deemed sacred by Christians. According to the religious belief, those who visit this monastery have the honor of being “half-pilgrim”. For this reason, Aya Yorgi hill is visited especially in summer months by thousands of Turkish and foreign tourists...


The smallest one of the islands in Kınalıada... Let alone motor vehicles, there is no phaetons in Kınalıada. Because 20 minutes is enough to walk from the one side to another side of the island.

Compared to other islands, Kınalıada does not have an attractive view with transmitters on it; it actually is a technology victim without much guilt. The slopes in Kınalıada are steeper, the coasts for sea-bathing are smaller. Ayazma Beach which is the most convenient spot for a beach, is the only crowded beach of the island.


Burgazada is famous for being home to famous Turkish poet Sait Faik Abasıyanık. For Istanbul residents, Burgaz is a more tranquilizing, and “enjoyable break” compared to Büyükada.

The most beautiful spot of Büyükada, as in others, is the highest point of the island. It takes you a 40 minute walk to get to the Hıristo Hill, famous for its view, and its monastery ruins, which is the highest spot of Burgaz.

In Burgazada, phaetons cheer up the roads as well. When you hear the sound of the bells while walking on the asphalt road, move aside without fear and make way for the phaeton pulled by weary horses...


Heybeliada is the second biggest island of the group of islands. The most remarkable difference of Heybeliada from other islands is most probably the military command located here and the atmosphere created by the military school.

You can have a phaeton tour in Heybeliada, as in Büyükada and Burgazada. When you are in Heybeliada, remember to stop by Değirmenburnu recreational area...


Local Culture / Customs

Turkish Tavern (Meyhane):                                                                                                      

An evening with rakı and meze is a must on a visit to Istanbul

The age-old meyhane culture of Turkey has lived through periods of alcohol prohibition and seen the rise of more modern restaurants and bars but still survives in selected spots around the city. Time Out Istanbul takes you to have a look at one of them, Nevizade Sokak, in the centre of Beyoğlu.

In a warm summer evening Nevizade Sokak, a narrow backstreet in Beyoğlu parallel to the area’s main street ‹stiklal Caddesi, is filled with chairs and tables and about as many people as it can take. The atmosphere is one of joie de vivre. The restaurants’ interiors are occupied by those who didn’t come early enough to get a seat outside and those who didn’t want their tables to slightly slope down at an angle similar to that of the street. The aniseed-flavoured alcohol, rakı, is consumed in large quantities. In order not to have rakı on an empty stomach you’ll find a wonderful inven
tion, the meze which are the hors d’oeuvres that go so very well with the national drink (Turks consume about 70 million litres of rakı per year). An evening with the combination of rakı and a variety of different mezes is a Turkish experience definitely worth trying and Nevizade is one of the best places to experience it as the meyhanes, traditional bars and restaurants serving alcohol and appetisers on the street are among the most famous ones in the city.

The meyhane culture has been present in Istanbul since the latter half of the 15th century and, surviving through periods of Prohibition and gone through changes, still remains an important part of life in the city. It is said that Istanbul’s meyhanes of the late 15th century were widely known also outside the Ottoman Empire. According to Evliya Çelebi, an Ottoman a travel writer of the 17th century, there were over a thousand meyhanes in Istanbul and about 200 in the Galata area alone at the time of his travels. Other Istanbul areas where many meyhanes were found included Kumkapı, Unkapanı, Fener, Ortaköy, Kuruçeşme, Arnavutköy, Kuzguncuk, Üsküdar and Kadıköy, all of which were also neighbourhoods with large non-Muslim populations. As a general rule, in those days the owners of meyhanes were indeed non-Muslims, mainly Greeks and Armenians.

Originally the drink served in meyhanes was not rakı but wine, but later on the former started gaining popularity and in time replaced wine as the most popular meyhane drink. Rakı is distilled from different fruits in different areas, but the most commonly used one is grape. Clear in the bottle, rakı turns opaque white when water is added (as it often is). A bowl of ice is usually also brought to the table with rakı and according to many it is definitely best served very cold. The milky white colour that the drink acquires after adding water or ice gives it the nickname “lion’s milk”, aslan sütü in Turkish.

The best way to go about choosing the mezes you want is to ask to see the mezes and wait for the waiter to bring a huge tray filled with various small dishes for you to choose from. You can start with a thick slice of beyaz peynir - the ubiquitous white cheese, and kavun - honeydew melon that compliment each other deliciously. Go on to try such delicacies as marinated artichoke hearts, aubergine salad, yoghurt mixed with garlic and grated carrot, fried liver, fried pastries filled with white cheese, marinated anchovies, “balls” made of lentils, peppers stuffed with rice, pine nuts and currants… the list could truly go on forever. To take the full advantage of mezes, you should call your friends and gather a big group so that you can try as many different types of meze as possible, and definitely not have any other plans for the evening!

A term sometimes used for this type of table set with rakı and mezes is çilingir sofrası, which roughly translates to “locksmith’s dinner table”. However, legend has it that the origin of this term doesn’t actually have anything to do with locksmiths but that it comes from the word çeşnigir, used for the food tasters at Ottoman courts. The food was brought to them in small dishes resembling those in which the mezes are usually still served.

When the number of near empty dishes piling up in front of you indicates that you might have tried just about all the mezes the place has to offer, you may possibly think that it’s time to head back home. Wrong! If your stomach has any space left in it after the various rounds of cold and hot mezes, it’s time to move on to the main course. And as Nevizade is right next to the balık pazarı, the fish market, it is likely to consist of freshly caught fish.                                                                                               by Jarmo Liikanen

Turkish Bath

        Suleymaniye Hamam

The Magnificent Sultan Suleyman had this Hamam built by the famous Architect Sinan in 1550.

Our services include: Washing, peeling, soap massage, locked clothes changing cabin, loincloth, pattern. We also have two ways free shuttle service for the hotel guests if the booking comes through their reception.

All the guests are also insured from the beginning of their transfer till their return to the hotels.

Suleymaniye Hammam is a mixed (male/female) hammam. There are no different section for each sex thus the families may comfortably enjoy our hammam together.

Our masseurs are trained and professional people.

You can catch your own inner peace with history and water in our hamam.

Address: Mimar Sinan Street No: 20, Süleymaniye - Istanbul / Turkey
Phone: +90 212 519 55 69 / +90 212 520 34 10
Fax: +90 212 519 55 70



Useful Information About Istanbul 

Banking Hours & Shopping: Banks are open weekdays from 09:00 to noon and from 13:30 to 16:30. USD and major credit cards are widely accepted. Shops are generally open from 09:00 to 19:00, Monday through Saturday. Shops are closed on Sundays. However, in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and resort areas, the shops and shopping malls are open daily from 10:00 to 21:00/22:00.

The currency : The New Turkish Lira(YTL). The YTL bills come in denominations of 100 (yüz), 50 (elli), 10 (on), 5 (bes).The old currency (TL) which was in use until last year, looks almost exactly the same as YTL, except that their face value is 1.000.000 times that of YTL. For example, 10.000.000 TL looks like 10 YTL. Although you will not encounter TL anymore, you may still be careful in not accepting currency on the order of thousands and millions. :)

Time zone: Turkey's standard time is 2 hours ahead GMT, 1 hour ahead of central European time.

Electrical appliances: The electric current in Turkey is 50Hz, 220 volts AC in all parts of the country. Plugs are different than USA, England and Italy. Most major hotels main cities have adaptors for guest's use.

Tipping: Though service charges may be included in general, it is customary to show your appreciation to hotel staff, to the waiters, if you feel satisfied. We suggest the following tipping scale: Hotels staff 5YTL, usually 10% of the bills at restaurants (you are not expected to tip more than 30-40YTL in any case) and a round up at taxis.

Communication: Post offices carry the sign PTT in black on a yellow background. At a PTT you can telephone, send mail, telegrams and faxes. For local calls buy telephone cards, Istanbul area codes are 0-212 on the European Side and 0-216 on the Asian Side. When calling abroad from Turkey, you must first dial the International code 00 and then country code (90) and the number. GSM system is also used in Turkey on 900-1800 band frequency. Your GSM operator will almost surely have a partner in Turkey, so you can use your mobile phones.

Useful Links About Istanbul:

                  Local Transportation                 

Istanbul, as a city attracting each year millions of tourists from all over the world, has many accommodation choices for its visitors. Being a city of approximately 13 million people, it does not have a single downtown, instead there are a number of centers as listed below. Please check the map to see their relative locations and the campus location:

Taksim/Beyoglu: This is probably the main center which is alive 24 hours a day with the highest concentration of bars, restaurants, galleries, theatres. Historically, this part of Istanbul was the center for the foreigners living in Istanbul, esp. until 1950s. Today, it still carries this legacy to some extent. Recently, some projects has been launched to preserve its heritage.

Sultanahmet/Sarayburnu: This is the center of old town, where the main palace of the Ottomans (Topkapi), the blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, Yerebatan Cistern, Grand Bazaar are all concentrated.

Nisantasi/Tesvikiye: This is the posh part  of Istanbul. You can find luxurious European stores for shopping and some nice, rather contemporary, restaurants.

Besiktas: This is a very lively, modern part of the city, serving mainly to the middle-class. To get a real feeling of the 'chaos', you should spend some time in Besiktas.

Bosphorus: This is the whole coast of the waterway between Black Sea and the Marmara Sea. The European coast is accessible, there is a road running all the way from south to north along bosphorus. The Asian coast is occupied by 'Yali's (Yali means villa immediately by the sea). Ferries run all day between ports along the bosphorus. You can also take sight-seeing tours along bosphorus. Bogazici University campus is at Bebek on the European side of Bosphorus.

Kadikoy: Kadikoy is Besiktas's counterpart on the Asian side of Bosphorus.

The possibilities are bus, boat, taxi and subway. The systems are relatively simple once you get to use it. The major destinations are Eminonu, Besiktas and Taksim. Yet, 2-3 days may be a bit short to decipher the system (unfortunately, it is not user friendly). We suggest you to take a taxi which are abundant and relatively cheap compared to Europe. The subway in Istanbul is very young and extends to a very limited area.

Buses: The ticket is for getting on the bus, and it is not linket to your destination so there is no need to explain to someone where you are going. The ticket ("otobus bileti" or simply "bilet") cannot be purchased on the bus. At sizeable bus stops, such as the ones in Bebek or Rumeli Hisarustu, there is a booth that sells bus tickets so. Often other booths which sell soft drinks and newspapers also sell bus tickets. It is convenient to buy a group of tickets so that, if you need a bus at a small bus stop, you avoid the problem of trying to find a ticket. The colors of buses are irrelevant. What is relevant is the destination sign on the front of the bus, and sign on the right side (next to the entrance door) which describes its route. These signs also have route numbers. The bus-stops usually have the location displayed on the sign. With a city map, you can follow where the bus is going by noting these signs.

From campus: Upper Road: From Rumeli Hisarustu virtually all buses go to Taksim, Besiktas or Eminonu. All of them go through Etiler and Levent. Lower, Coastal Road: This line is for either Taksim or Eminonu via Besiktas.

To campus: Upper Road: You want a bus that says Rumeli Hisarustu on the font. With a bit of experience, you will also be able to make use of buses that say Etiler or Levent. For the upper road, your destination is one stop before the end of the line. Lower, Coastal Road: Bebek is usually not the final destination of these buses. Instead, you look for Sariyer and then look to be sure that one of the stops listed on the side of the bus is Bebek. General Comments: Buses are frequently crowded. Younger males yield seats to older people as a kind of reflex. No smoking is allowed. People exit from the rear. The button to get the driver to stop at the next exit is over the door; an illuminated sign before the driver means that someone has already pushed the button.

Taxis: Taxis are plentiful in Istanbul and are inexpensive by US standards. In this regard, Istanbul is easy for newcomers. No matter where you happen to get lost or run out of steam, you are likely to find an empty taxi to take you back to familiar surroundings.
All taxis use meters; be sure the driver turns the meter on. The cost is what the meter says. Drivers always recognize the major part of the city you want to go to (i.e. Taksim) and need that information in order to take you to some particular address. Returning to the campus is accomplished by asking for Etiler and then Bogazici Universty.

Boats: The boat dock is at Bebek. This is a very pleasant way to travel, less crowded during rush hour than one would expect, and also a rapid way to get downtown on a weekday morning.
Weekdays there are two early morning boats which go to Eminonu. Along the way they stop at Ortakoy and Besiktas. The schedule is posted at the dock, inside the waiting room.
You purchase a token from the ticket window at the dock. If the boat comes and ticket windows is closed, then a boat worker will sell you the token.
Going south, the final destination is Eminonu. These boats dock at a particular landing. To return from there, study the schedule posted inside the waiting room and look for boats that return to Bebek.

Istanbul Rail Transit


The following map is provided to give you an overview of the city and relative locations. Bogazici University is marked on the map. You can also see Taksim, Dolmabahce, Topkapi, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, St. Sophia and the airport on the map. The hotels that we have made pre-arrangements are at Taksim. More detailed maps will be provided later.