Things to Do

Events, places and people to get you in-the-know

The Four-Legged Municipality: Street Dogs of Istanbul
Things to do

The Four-Legged Municipality: Street Dogs of Istanbul

To some, they're terrifying beasts, while to others they’re the best friend anyone could ask for. Whatever feelings you may have about street dogs, the undeniable fact is that the four-legged creatures with whom we share the city’s streets play an important role in our social life. “How?” you may ask. Well, the answer to that question can be found in Istanbul Research Institute’s latest exhibition, The Four-Legged Municipality: Street Dogs of Istanbul. The exhibition looks at the fate of dogs in the city by dividing history into two periods. From the Conquest of Istanbul until the Tanzimat Era, dogs served faithfully as the guardians of public property, but once modernization took off in the 19th century, so did the banishment of these animals begin. This mistreatment of street dogs reached its peak with the Hayırsızada Dog Massacre in 1910, which saw around 80,000 strays exiled to Sivriada, many of them dying on the boat ride over there. The exhibition recounts all of this history with photographs, travelogues, postcards, magazines and engravings. The dogs are obviously the focal point of the exhibition, but the works on display also provide glimpses into Istanbul’s history, with certain images – like those that depict the murder of dogs in gas chambers – proving to be both saddening and thought provoking for the viewer. The exhibition’s curator Ekrem Işın believes Street dogs have developed their own philosophy of life, just as we have. To him, dogs are multifunctional resi

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Nat Geo Live: Living on Mars
Things to do Buy tickets

Nat Geo Live: Living on Mars

For those who are interested in the ongoing debate about life on Mars, it doesn’t get much better than the “Living on Mars” conference organized by National Geographic Channel. Inspired by the channel’s popular miniseries Mars, this first event of the Nat Geo Live series features discussions with How We’ll Live on Mars author Stephen Petranek and Mars miniseries actress Clémentine Poidatz about the Mars voyage planned for 2032 and what lies in store for humankind afterward.

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The Royal Opera House
Things to do

The Royal Opera House

This month, Zorlu PSM hosts screening events for some of the new season’s productions for those who don’t have the luxury of hopping on the first plane to visit the historic performing arts venue. Don’t miss the chance to see Cosi fan tutte on December 1, Anastasia on December 14 and Les Contes D’Hoffmann on December 29.

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Limbo
Art

Limbo

The images taken by photojournalist Emin Özmen depict Middle Eastern refugees from 2012 onward. Özmen received support from the Magnum Photos Photographer Fund for this project, which evokes a multitude of feelings such as hope, anxiety and fear in the viewer. Admission to the exhibition is free of charge, but don’t forget to register online for entrance to the French Cultural Center.

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19. Istanbul International Puppet Festival
Art

19. Istanbul International Puppet Festival

How did you decide to organize the festival 19 years ago?“Some of our goals were to revive our country’s puppetry tradition, to do a better job of promoting Karagöz internationally, to help Istanbul stand out among other metropolises in this area of arts and culture, to boost tourism, and to bring world-renowned artists to our city. The first festival was more academic in nature, with conference series and exhibitions on Turkish shadow puppet theater in addition to puppetry shows. Now the festival boasts a jam-packed program and is spread across many more venues.” What were some of the challenges you faced over the last 19 years?“In the first years we had trouble finding Turkish puppetry groups; now there are dozens of them wanting to participate in the festival. We brought the best puppetry artists in the world to Istanbul to form a dialogue between them and Turkish artists. We had scarcely any education opportunities for puppetry; now we see there’s great demand for puppetry education and workshops in educational institutions. We also receive more requests for puppetry shows from shopping malls. Most importantly, there is now an audience with an interest in puppetry. When you consider these developments, the festival contributes greatly to the prestige of puppetry as an art form.” How did you discover you were passionate about puppets?“When I was 13, I became involved with the Karagöz shadow puppet theater on the recommendation of my art teacher Ali Kıyak, who was a stude

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What's on in Istanbul

From Crafts to Design at Istanbul Modern
Things to do

From Crafts to Design at Istanbul Modern

The first project by the Istanbul Modern Platform for Crafts, Art and Design, 'From Crafts to Design' focuses on five materials: bone, copper, wood, glass and mother of pearl. This new initiative highlights nearly forgotten handicraft customs by bringing together craftspeople with artists and designers to put a modern spin on materials that have been shaped using traditional methods thus far. What makes the project even more fascinating is that the artists used materials they hadn’t worked with before. In theory, furniture designer Adnan Serbest teaming up with master woodcarver Sezgin Yalçın makes sense, but the result of their collaboration is far from predictable: the wooden bowl designed by the duo, 'Fraxinus', is an impressive piece for a designer with no prior experience creating decorative objects. Perhaps the most notable member of 'From Crafts to Design' is Fatma Ayran, the only female mother of pearl crafter in Turkey. Despite her young age, Ayran has already mastered the art of working with both mother of pearl and bone. Her contributions to the project include the mother of pearl cufflinks created with painter Ekrem Yalçındağ as well as the bone shaving brush named 'Blackcrow' created with fashion designer Hatice Gökçe. Other must-see works include the glass napkin rings created by Camekan Glassworks cofounder Gamze Araz Eskinazi and sculptor Seyhun Topuz as well as the copper tray crafted by designer Atilla Kuzu and coppersmith Battal Yakut. These items will rem

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Ernani
Music

Ernani

The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet presents Verdi’s famous opera about the tragic love story between Ernani and Elvira, was first staged in Turkey in 1846 by Italian artists at the historic Naum Theater (which stood in the spot currently occupied by Çiçek Pasajı).

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Layer by Layer Excavating the Anatolian Side of Istanbul
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Layer by Layer Excavating the Anatolian Side of Istanbul

If your knowledge of historic Istanbul is limited to the Topkapı Palace and the Hagia Sophia, you won’t want to miss this exhibition, which highlights the cultural wealth and diversity of Istanbul’s suburbs in the Late Antiquity, Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman eras.

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The Comet is Coming

The Comet is Coming

An influential and exciting figure in British jazz, Shabaka Hutchings continues to keep the tradition of Afrofuturism alive with The Comet is Coming, his third project after Sons of Kemet and Melt Yourself Down. Comprised of Danalogue the Conqueror, Betamax Killer and King Shabaka, The Comet is Coming makes music with a mystical, sci-fi feel thanks to a multitude of influences ranging from psychedelia to electropunk.

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The best of Istanbul

Istanbul’s best tattoo parlors
Shopping

Istanbul’s best tattoo parlors

The dozens of tattoo artists in Istanbul, each with their own style, create portable works of art that last a lifetime. Perhaps it’s time to finally get that tattoo you’ve been thinking about for years.

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Istanbul's best musical instrument stores
Shopping

Istanbul's best musical instrument stores

Whether you're a virtuoso or an amateur, here are the top places to help you discover your own sound

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Istanbul's best places for kids activities
Kids

Istanbul's best places for kids activities

The best activities for kids to spend their holiday break in the city; in fact there are dozens of activities you can enjoy together.  

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Istanbul’s best venues to watch a game!
Restaurants

Istanbul’s best venues to watch a game!

We wanted to partake in the excitement that surrounds game days so we prepared this list of venues to enjoy the game with friends! 

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