February 7, 2012
November 18, 2011

Istanbul On My Mind

July 4, 2011

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It has been 8 months since I stepped foot in Istanbul for the very first time, and little did I know that those 4 short days would ultimately lead to a feeling of homesickness. Except that Istanbul cannot be considered my home, since I don't speak the language, I've not contributed in any significant way […]

Posted in: Istanbul

This Thing They Call ‘Islamist’

February 3, 2011

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Sometimes a word just creeps up on you and you don’t even know where it came from. That was how I felt upon hearing the word ‘Islamist’, a term which has suddenly become the word du jour in international politics and the world media, in light of the popular revoutions in Tunisia and Egypt. The […]

Posted in: Istanbul

A Rare Encounter on the Zeytinburnu tram

January 31, 2011

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I looked around me and noticed a pretty Turkish girl standing about 1 or 2 metres away, in a red top and a yellow jacket. At the next stop, Beyazıt, an old woman, small and hunched and fragile, got on the tram and I quickly offered my seat. The girl seemed to smile, I’m not sure if giving up seats was a rare gesture in Istanbul, but I always appreciate a beautiful smile

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Posted in: Istanbul

The Mosques of Istanbul

January 24, 2011

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One of the highlights of my trip to Istanbul is visiting the many mosques that dot the city and dominate the skyline. The imperial mosques were built during the illustrious period of the Ottoman Empire, when the Sultan and members of his family – in particular the wives and daughters – would build mosques as […]

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Turkish Confidence and ‘Malaysia Boleh!’

January 16, 2011

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One of the reasons for my fascination with Turkey is that I believe they are at a very important crossroads in their modern nation’s history. I remember reading a news article a few years ago, about the quiet revitalisation of Turkey’s economy, spearheaded by the devoutly Muslim mercantile class in the Turkish heartland of Anatolia. […]