View Full Version : Teach me about Turkey/Istanbul

02-22-2013, 10:34 PM
I have to go to a family wedding in Istanbul this summer, with my 16-year old daughter.

My 75+ year old father-in-law is the organizer of the expedition. We'll be staying with locals.

What do I need to know? What should I see in my spare time? We'll be there for about a month.



02-22-2013, 11:03 PM
Can I buy a cheap machete there, or somesuch?

02-23-2013, 07:57 AM
Istanbul is an awesome city and some of the best seafood you will ever eat. Gotta remember they are Turks NOT Arabs. They smoke like chimneys, drink like sailors and have a great time. Nice people and don't miss The Grand (Old?) Bazaar, I was shocked the first time I was there how clean it is and the leather is the deal. There are other cool local skills, I was given the plates below by the guy I did the project for, they are glass with gold plating a semi-precious stones. One thing, if in a shop and you are offered tea, it is considered rude to turn it down. As anywhere..head on a swivel but I think you will love it. By the way its a huge city....like the size of Belgium huge. Have fun.



Nick Randall
02-23-2013, 08:20 AM
I haven't watched this yet, but if you have Netflix maybe consider this DVD?:


Nick Randall
02-23-2013, 08:24 AM
There's also good info on various locations to be had at Robert Young Pelton's site:


02-23-2013, 08:31 AM
We have a family friend who is a US/Turkish citizen; I have forwarded your post to him, and should hear back in a couple days. Will post here when I know something useful.


02-23-2013, 01:46 PM
From the horse's mouth, so to speak:

1) If you speak english, you're going to get screwed on prices.
2) You can bargain on almost anything at a market.
3) Locals in smaller towns are friendly as hell
4) Each town/city has it's own market day. Check it out, they are great and have really fresh fruits/vegetables if you end up going on that day.
5) Produce on the side of the road is usually pretty good, check it out.
6) Produce sold at supermarkets is crap compared to the local stuff you can buy and usually more expensive.
7) You WILL hear the call the prayer 5 times a day. No exceptions. Even at 5am.
8) There's a lot of history in Turkey. If you're able to go to Efes(Ephesus in english), go there. In Istanbul, you can't go 10 feet without hitting a historic building.
9) Bigger cities mean people are more out to screw you over than anything else. Especially taxis. So be on the look out.
10) This should go without saying but, don't keep your wallet in your back pocket, lest you want to have it misplaced for you by someone else.
11) Don't be a hero and try to drive in Istanbul, traffic is terrible. [Edit: the guy who wrote this lives in NYC; if he says traffic is terrible, I believe him.]
12) If you happen to be in Ankara or Istanbul, GO TO ULUDAĞ*and order Iskender. Best you'll ever have. (Istanbul location is in Florya and I forget the ankara location as it has changed recently).*
13) Tip is included in the bill. Always. Can leave a little extra if you want, but it's not required.
14) Don't be an idiot and enjoy yourself.