(not to be) Missed Turkey & Istanbul Sites and Facts

summer 2009 / more feed with intelligence to refine your tours

Statistical info on my blog

As you will find its details below, so far, as of March 2012 my blog welcomed over 10.000 visitors, from all around the world, thank you for your interest!
Oguz Kosebalaban

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Did Amazons live in Turkey?

Smyrna , the ancient name of the third largest city of Turkey is the name of an Amazon  commandent as mentioned in sources from Ephesus. In the Archaeological museum of  Selcuk ( today’s Ephesus )  of  Turkey there is a relief scene showing Amazons with exposed chests =)  making a definite remark on the gender. Ephesus in history is where the main warship is Artemis , and she is the patron goddess of the amazons who were according to the local clues were leaving in Ephesus.

There are sources  telling  that Amazons later  settled down in Turkish Black Sea coast. So you may wonder whether Amazons are alive in the blood of Turkish women in Black Sea region of Turkey ; this photo is published in Sabah – reliable =)  state owned daily newspaper’s web site ( http://www.sabah.com.tr/multimedya/galeri/yasam/gulmekten-olduren-yorumlar-523238154955?tc=124&page=48&albumId=39216  )

The photo shows these incredible American soldiers in action and a  woman  from Turkish  Black Sea coast. The city named Trabzon as the subtitle is a famous large city along black sea coastal line. ( For the naive reader, let’s mention  that , Turks also have a good sense of humour ) .

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

At a Short Glance – Mosque visit procedures , finer restaurants etc

* Procedures to visit Blue Mosque

No admission at prayer time , they close the visitor’s door half an hour prior to the prayer, open it up half an hour fllowing  the prayer. So find out the prayer times before you get there.


You may use translate.google.com.tr/   page to translate the link I gave that is in Turkjish. Though the tranalation lacks;  Correction : The morning prayer is begins at dawn , finishes with the Sun (rise ) .

* Summer time  with the crowd of the  cruiseship passengers  morning visits are painful, long cues. Best time to visit would be late late afternoon; most  8 hours  tours end by 5 pm ; and by 4 pm most tours are finished with Blue Mosque.

Go see Suleymaniye Mosque, most tours miss it and it is superior to Blue Mosque.

Go see Sokullu Mosque; it is the most impressive mosque visit for a visitor to Istanbul, in regards to aauthentic mosque visit. The difference between a visit to this mosque and the other larger more famous mosques will be like looking at Spoonmaker’s Diamond of Topkapi Palace behind the glass of the display case as opposed to holding bunch of attractive diamonds to get one, or watching a documentary on tv versus going there and actually seeing it ( this applies less to going to Cairo and seeing the pyramids, with the invasion of tourists on documentaries they look more charming, so is Blue Mosque ( yet still you will enjoy seeing it for yourself ) .

Procedures to visit Sakirin Mosque of Asiatic Istanbul

Unlike the Blue Mosque info above; a visitor can visit    non touristy neighborhood  mosques even during prayer time; provided you are dressed properly; no shorts, headcover for women / though if you do not have it most mosques provide one;  since a number of Turkish woman  visitors also need to borrow one from the mosque, the mosques are used to proved one.

Try to avoid weekends for Sakirin Mosque, it gets too crowded; if you have your own car, during the week there is easy free parking next to the mosque, within the cemetery ground.

Advise : It is better to put the scarf on as soon as you get close to the gate into the courtyard of the mosque especially in conservative districts like Eyup, that is more proper.

Sakirin Mosque is on the grounds of a cemetery, frequently a funeral ceremony takes place ,  the rear courtyard is where it takes place.  There will be a number of sad visitors. Wearing a scarf , accompanied by kids there would be reasons to make a small joke and so a small laughter may take place:

This is the place to be more careful, not a place to make a joke. A small smile is just  fine.


If you do not have a car take the kadikoy or Uskudar  ferry. If you do not intend to visit Kadikoy, prefer Uskudar with a stop at the courtyard of Mihrimah Mosque across the pier.

Dining in Asiatic Istanbul

Sakirin Mosque visit should be combined with a Kadikoy non touristy walking street market;  produce, fish, veggies, fine dining ( Ottoman Fehmi, and undeservingly famous Ciya are here . In Ciya , the no more fresh – had been simmering small pide ( turkish pizza )  varieties are to be avoided, the copy paste –  many similar in cooking style to one another  veggy meals ( we call them pan meals )  are fairly fine, the appetizers are , ehh.  I like  the larger selection and freshness and steam from the meals at Canak of Acibadem district of Kadikoy much much better. Ciya simply fails when they need to microwave heat or reheat the getting cold meals. Visitors need more accurate advise then the fancy commercials dressed as    news cheating them.  Canak makes its own bread , they have a real large capable kitchen. Ciya does not. That makes the initial difference.

Top of the line best Baklava & Sobiyet experience is also at Canak ( that is at Hamdi near Spice Market in European Istanbul )   ; on the contrary to the fame of Gulluoglu of Karakoy which is just fine; the difference is attentiveness to the few trays of Baklava to be consumed on the same day versus tons of trays for large scale marketing.

Develi  Kebab restaurant http://www.develikebap.com/KalamisFotografGalerisi.aspx   at Kalamis Marina is also a fine experience.  They also make and serve fresh out of bread sesami dressed pide or puf  bread like Canak.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Few words on the new James Bond movie to be filmed in Turkey, and open invitation to movie makers for incredible Istanbul action movie sequences

( Else than being a member of the Turkish  travel industry,  I am also an independent short movie maker; and a photographer.  In other words I   have an eye for locations. I see these million dollar bueget movies wasting their sources with  Istanbul location advice that is not superior; so I am also making my humble but not inexpensive,  and so , valuable location advices available, especially for movie makers who will use the old town in their movies, so far I have sequence advises for chase scenes never used in a movie before; and yet, these are the words from a person with common sense and some ( short) movie making experience)

I think at times the best suggestion for a great location for an incredible movie sequence is yet to come; in this case for you the  makers of the James Bond movie  :  You do all right with your great Turkish contacts , however the best Istanbul chase seqeunce in the old town Istanbul will not be filmed until the movie makers contact me, may it be this one, or another. ( Personally I prefer realistic action movies like the ones with ………….    ) So my valuable feed could actually be waiting for them. No hurries.

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment