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Tuesday, 16-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
other facies of turkey

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Monday, 15-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Turk victuals

Ice cream
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Turkey is rightly famed for its cuisine, which is rich and savory, not particularly spicy-hot, with abundant use of vegetables. (If you have food allergies, read this.)

Though based on lamb, it includes beef and chicken (no pork, of course), as well as all sorts of seafood (even shellfish, which are forbidden to strict Muslims). The most common preparations are roasting and grilling, which produce the famous Turkish kebaps, including döner kebap, the national dish.

Meat portions are small compared to those in North America. Actually, vegetables predominate in most meals, though many vegetable recipes use small amounts of meat as a flavoring. If you're not strictly vegetarian or vegan, yet you prefer to eat more vegetables than meat, you'll do very well in Turkey. Here are tips for vegetarians.

Bread is baked fresh early morning for breakfast and lunch, and late afternoon for dinner, and varies from the common sourdough loaf to rounds of leavened pide (flat bread) to flaps of paper-thin lavas (lah-VAHSH, unleavened village bread baked on a griddle).

Snacks and side dishes include gözleme (fresh-baked flat bread folded over savory ingredients—a sort of Turkish crêpe—and börek, pastry filled with cheese and vegetables or meat.

If you are vegetarian, you'll get along alright by choosing the few Turkish dishes made without any meat, and by dining in the increasing number of restaurants offering vegetarian plates. A popular traditional dish is gözleme, flat bread folded over various fillings.

As for drinks, pure spring water is always available. Drink only bottled water. Some tap water is safe, but it's difficult to be sure.

Turkey is famous for its succulent fruit, and thus for its fruit juices. There's also ayran (yogurt mixed with spring water--tastes like buttermilk), which goes well with kebap (roast lamb).

Islam forbids drinking alcohol, but many Turks are European in their lifestyle and enjoy alcoholic beverages with meals: beer, wine, and raki (clear grape brandy flavored with anise and diluted with water) are the favorites, although gin, vodka, whiskey and liqueurs are also served.

Turkish tea is the national stimulant, even at breakfast, and famous Turkish coffee only a distant second.

Among the favored treats is Turkish Delight (lokum
Kebap (or kebab) simply means "roasted," and usually refers to lamb roasted in some form, but may refer to chicken--or even (roasted) chestnuts--as well.

The most familiar Turkish kebap is shish kebap: chunks of lamb roasted on a skewer. It sounds simple enough, but to make it best you need Turkish free-range lamb, a true charcoal grill, and the knack for getting the outside singed while the inside of each chunk remains soft and succulent.

Döner Kebap is lamb roasted on a vertical spit and sliced off when done. When laid on a bed of chopped flat bread and topped with savory tomato sauce and brown butter, it becomes Iskender (or Bursa) Kebap.

Izgara Köfte is ground lamb mixed with egg, rice or bread crumbs and spices, formed into longish meatballs and grilled. If you squoosh the meat onto a long flat skewer and grill it you have shish köfte. (Shish köfte may take on the name kebap if the chef adds his own touches to it.)

Çöp Shish is three or four little chunks of lamb, and a chunk of fat, grilled on a small wooden skewer: a specialty of the Aegean region, especially south of Izmir. More...

Shashlik is chunks of lamb interspersed with tomatoes, onions and peppers/pimientos (although any good Turkish chef will cook the lamb and vegetables on separate skewers because their cooking times are quite different).

Iskender (or Bursa) Kebap is named for the chef who created the dish and the city of Bursa where he created it.

Iskender ("Alexander") Kebap begins as lamb raised on the thyme-covered slopes of Mount Uludag (which rises south of Bursa, which is south of Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara). The lamb is roasted as döner kebap, sliced and spread atop diced flat pide bread, then topped with savory tomato sauce and browned butter and served with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of parsley on the side.

Although Iskender/Bursa-style kebap is now served throughout Turkey in many restaurants, the best is still made in Bursa where various restaurants compete for discerning clientele.

I think it's worth visiting Bursa just to eat this stuff. (While you're there, try their candied chestnuts, delicious peaches and excellent fruit juices as well.)

Sunday, 14-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

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Miniaturk: Istanbul has a brand new Maquette park which has began to operate as of April 23rd,2003. The mini Turkey park called Miniaturk and have mini models of old ottoman architectural works in Turkey. On miniaturk Turkey's rich historical and cultural heritage is being displayed with their maquettes.
If you plan a visit to Istanbul, this is a must see event, you should put in to your agenda. You can have snap to all main structures in Turkey in such a short time. On the park there are 105 models of architectural structures. 45 of them belongs to structures from Istanbul, another 45 structures from the rest of Turkey and some 15 models made by Turks that are on the borders of other countries. All maquette structures are 1/25 of their original size.

The park is located over on a 56-hectare area along the coast of the Golden Horn. Hagia Sophia, Aspendos Theater, Suleymaniye Mosque, Sumela Monastery, Fairy Chimneys, Mount Nemrud and the ancient city of Ephesus are some of those among the historical and cultural works of art in the park. There is also a small bridge which is copied from the Bosphorus bridge between Europe and Asia..
The entrance fee to the park is around 3,5 USD. (5 YTL). Students for 3 YTL (2 USD). While you are getting your ticket, please mention your choice of Language. At the moment there are 6 alternative languages, En,Fr, De, Tr, Ar and Russian. On every structure you can have a short voice description which is displayed by the help of the electronic band on your ticket and on your chosen language. The park is open from 10:00 to 18:00. and in summer it is open till 22:00 hrs.

Reaching Miniaturk: to reach to miniaturk I advice taking a taxi from Eminonu ( ~center of touristy area). It costs 8 YTL (around 5 USD). As an alternative you can take a bus to Miniaturk from Eminonu. Bus numbers 47Ç and 47 E, passes just in front of Miniaturk.

Saturday, 13-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bagdat Caddesi

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Bagdat Street: It has nothing to do with the Capital city of Iraq, Baghdat. it is just the name of the most famous street of Asian side in Istanbul.

Bagdat caddesi is located on the Asian side of Istanbul. The main street of the residential area. A one-way street full of shopping malls, Restaurants, Coffee shops, Elegant stores, Luxury car dealers, Banks and many many more. The street is a bit like narrow looking of Champ Elysee. Bagdat caddesi is also a good place to tour around and make window shopping. Although there is no square, it is also the meeting point of young's. On weekends and summer, the street is full with young's, who are spending their spare times at cafes, on the street banks or elsewhere..

There are quiet number of shopping alternatives at the street. All famous brands have their brand shops and also some smaller shops with very reasonable cheap prices. Street sellers are also available and they are credited from the municipality. Many people call bagdat street as a big open air shopping mall. And that shall be the reality.

While touring on the street sometimes you can also spot open air Fair shows. Bagdat street from one end to the other is around 10 km, however the main spots are between Suadiye district and Erenkoy district..

Friday, 12-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Princess islands

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Princess islands: Also known as Istanbul Islands, there are eight within one hour from the city, in the Marmara Sea. Boats ply the islands from Sirkeci, Kabatas and Bostanci, with more services during the summer. These islands, on which monasteries were established during the Byzantine period, was a popular summer retreat for palace officials. It is still a popular escape from the city, with wealthier owning summer houses.
Buyukada The largest and most popular is Buyukada (the Great Island). Large wooden mansions still remain from the 19th century when wealthy Greek and Armenian bankers built them as holiday villas. The island has always been a place predominantly inhabited by minorities, hence Islam has never had a strong presence here.
Buyukada has long had a history of people coming here in exile or retreat; its most famous guest being Leon Trotsky, who stayed for four years writing ‘The History of the Russian Revolution’. The monastery of St George also played host to the granddaughter of Empress Irene, and the royal princess Zoe, in 1012.
The island consists of two hills, both surmounted by monasteries, with a valley between. Motor vehicles are banned, so getting around the island can be done by graceful horse and carriage, leaving from the main square off Isa Celebi Sokak. Bicycles can also be hired.
The southern hill, Yule Tepe, is the quieter of the two and also home of St George’s Monastery. It consists of a series of chapels on three levels, the site of which is a building dating back to the 12th century. In Byzantine times it was used as an asylum, with iron rings on the church floors used to restrain patients. On the northern hill is the monastery Isa Tepe, a 19th century house.
The entire island is lively and colorful, with many restaurants, hotels, tea houses and shops. There are huge well-kept houses, trim gardens, and pine groves, as well as plenty of beach and picnic areas.
Burgazada Smaller and less of a tourist infrastructure is Burgazada. The famous Turkish novelist, Sait Faik Abasıyanık lived here, and his house has been turned into a museum dedicated to his work, and retains a remarkable tranquil and hallowed atmosphere.
Heybeliada ‘Island of the Saddlebag’, because of its shape, is loved for its natural beauty and beaches. It also has a highly prestigious and fashionable water sports club in the northwest of the island. One of its best-known landmarks is the Greek Orthodox School of Theology, with an important collection of Byzantine manuscripts. The school sits loftily on the northern hill, but permission is needed to enter, from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Fener. The Deniz Harp Okulu, the Naval High School, is on the east side of the waterfront near the jetty, which was originally the Naval War Academy set up in 1852, then a high school since 1985. Walking and cycling are popular here, plus isolated beaches as well as the public Yoruk Beach, set in a magnificent bay. There are plenty of good local restaurants and tea houses, especially along Ayyıldız Caddesi, and the atmosphere is one of a close community

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