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On the Istanbul waterfront 23 mars 2013

Posted by Acturca in Art-Culture, Istanbul, Turkey / Turquie.
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The Guardian (UK) Saturday, March 23, 2013
Travel ~ Holiday guide to Greece and Turkey, p. 10

Sevil Delin

Karaköy, just over the Golden Horn, is Istanbul’s latest upcoming neighbourhood. City isider Sevil Delin lists the new spots to explore.

Once a thriving port, Karakoy fell on hard times in the 20th century, and magnificent commercial edifices were divided into workshops. The opening of the nearby Istanbul Modern art gallery in 2004 sparked a renaissance that has gained momentum in the past couple of years. Now, hardware stores rub shoulders with galleries, restaurants and boutiques, creating a dynamic blend of urban grit and glitter. Hoping to cash in on this cachet is a swath of soon-to-open hotels, so Karakoy’s days as an « in-the-know » hideout may be numbered.


Power couple Demet Muftuoglu Eseli – long affiliated with Turkish luxury fashion label Vakko – and filmmaker Alphan Eseli established Istanbul’74, a thriving international arts and cultural platform, in late 2009. Headquartered at its art gallery and office in Karakoy, Istanbul’74 organises world-class exhibitions, workshops and festivals such as Istancool, each May. The latter has attracted luminaries such as Gore Vidal, Tilda Swinton and Zaha Hadid. Istanbul’74 itself has helped put Istanbul on the global artistic map, exhibiting works by Tracey Emin, Robin Rhode and Angel Otero.

Galata Sarap Iskelesi Sokak, Suha Fazlı Han 8/3, istanbul74.com, open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm

Kılıç Ali Pasa Hamam

Designed by Mimar Sinan – architect to Suleiman the Magnificent – this hammam dates from the 1580s, and had fallen into ruin before it was saved by Ergin Iren, who devoted seven years to its meticulous restoration. It reopened in 2012 as a luxury hammam with an unexpectedly minimalist interior. After a revitalising bath, wrap up in fresh towels and rehydrate under the stunning 17-metre-high dome with a cool glass of sweet serbet

Hamam Sokak 1, book in advance on +90 212 393 8010, kilicalipasahamami.com, entry is around pounds 50pp, open daily, 8am-4.30pm (women), 4.30pm-midnight (men)

Karakoy Rooms

A boutique guesthouse with just nine bedrooms, Karakoy Rooms is in a renovated building upstairs from Karaköy Lokantası – one of Istanbul’s finest Turkish restaurants. Both are run by husband and wife team Aylin Okutan and Oral Kurt. The retro-styled rooms are elegant, rates are reasonable, and the traditional Turkish breakfast served downstairs is a snip.

Galata Sarap Iskelesi Sokak 10, +90 212 252 5422, karakoyrooms.com, doubles from pounds 108


An ellipsis is the three dots (. . .) that follow an incomplete statement. Sinem Yoruk, the young and stylish founder of Elipsis, Istanbul’s only dedicated photography gallery, chose the name to reflect her desire to leave visitors speechless. Born and raised in London, Yoruk can date her passion for photography to her family’s professional photo lab. Founded in 2007, Elipsis moved to Karakoy in summer 2012, and represents both internationally renowned artists and emerging Turkish talents.

Hoca Tahsin Sokak, Akce Han 10, elipsisgallery.com, open Tues-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat noon-6pm

Ops Cafe

Nautical touches such as a hanging rope ladder and lanyard curtain ties reveal that the proprietor, Yasin Kalender, was a sea captain before opening this relaxed cafe last year. His wife, Esin, designed the interior, and named it Ops after the Roman goddess of plenty. The simple yet hearty menu includes a traditional Turkish breakfast, classic cafe fare and wines. All dishes prefaced by the « Ops » name feature the house speciality: delicious Albanian smoked beef.

Mumhane Caddesi Nimet han 45B, opscafekarakoy.com, mains pounds 10, open Sun-Mon 8.30am-8pm, Tues-Sat 8.30am-10.30pm

See the full list of Karakoy hotspots at guardian.co.uk/travel/istanbul


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