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1001 Faces of Istanbul

Istanbul...
... one of those places difficult to define. Some would call it 'capital of the World' or 'capital of the Empire', others 'cradle of cultures' and others 'the worst place to live'; ' hell on earth'.

I've spent more than 1001 days in this city and I still find it difficult to reply to a simple question: 'What is Istanbul like?' Maybe it's because I have been here too long and I've come to realise that there is no simple answer to this question. Istanbul has many faces, many nuances if you will. It is difficult to explain them to a total stranger or a person who has never visited the city. Even though you have visited the city once, you have probably lifted only one veil from its face. If you were born here, this doesn't make you an Istanbul expert neither.

You have to get to know Istanbul slowly, day by day, page by page, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. This is actually very difficult because neighbourhoods are…

Upcoming elections: Perfect for learning some new Turkish words


Easter is approaching and Turks won't be playing crack the egg game (well like they have been playing it until now ;), but rather crack the referendum game. On Sunday, April 16th, 2017, Turkish constitutional referendum will take place. I am not much into the politics and since I am a foreigner I cannot vote either, however, billboards have always been my favourite way to learn some new words. Especially in Istanbul, when one spends many hours stuck in traffic, learning Turkish by reading billboards has proven a very good and funny way for me to learn a few new words or even expressions. And the good thing is that words tend to repeat a lot, so there is no way for you to forget (some) words.


Let's start with the basic words, which are also crucial in this referendum. 

Hayır - No
Evet - Yes

Tek - Only, single
Millet - Nation
Vatan - Homeland, motherland
Oy - a vote
Daima - Forever, always
Karar - Decision
Tercih - choice, preference
Gelecek - Future
Hedef- Goal, target, objective
için - for
Cumhurbaşkan - president
Anayasa - constitution
Yeni- new
Nisan- April
Bizim - our
Sandık- box (where you put your vote)

Many times you will see suffix with nouns: -ımız/imiz/umuz,,,,  This suffix means 'our'. So geleceğimiz - our future; kararımız - our decision.


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