Stories about Istanbul

Istanbul: A glimpse into what can be accomplished

On a recent assignment, I had a few hours layover in Istanbul, en route to Pakistan. The human landscape at Ataturk Airport was thought-provoking. Over the past decade, Istanbul has been making rapid progress towards affirming its position as a modern-day international crossroads. A great place to witness this is at the city’s main airport, where you can spot people from all parts of the world and many different backgrounds. One pleasing aspect of this is that this melting pot is to be found in a country with a majority Muslim population. At the airport, Hajis in traditional white robes ...

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Ditch the malls; The bazaars are where the fun is at!

I remember the first time went to a mall; it was way back in 1977. The place was called Brent Mall. Hindsight tells me it was not too big and probably inconsequential, but it looked huge and I hated it. It was a sanitised place of shopping, crowd dressed every which way to impress, straight lines, homogeneous construction, and uniformity of thought. No culture or creativity. Today, commencing from USA, expanding to Europe, Middle East and now Asia, the mall is the ‘in’ place. It’s a destination, where you can spend the day. shop, eat, snack, have coffee, watch a movie ...

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Aşk-ı Memnu: A must-watch for soap followers

I started following “Aşk-ı Memnu” out of sheer boredom. I had always poked fun at my sister for watching it and never had I imagined that I would become an avid viewer of the show – even more so than my sister.  “Aşk-ı Memnu” is a Turkish TV serial currently being aired in Urdu on Urdu1. It is often referred to as the next “Humsafar”, possibly because of the appealing star cast. It lists among the classics and has apparently been translated into 39 languages worldwide! Speaking of popularity, who can forget the time when TV shows featuring on Hum TV were the talk ...

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On the shores of the Bosphorus

In a photograph laced with references, thirty-odd men, and two women, squint at the glaring sun as they pose on the European shores of Istanbul, the Asian side of the city rising over the choppy Bosphorus in the background. The subjects in the photograph were foreign ministers and representatives of 20 countries that participated in the Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan this past week. Pakistan stands out in the setting not just metaphorically, given its regional role post-US withdrawal from Afghanistan, but also quite literally — its foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, is one of the two women, and possibly the ...

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