Archive for October, 2005

Get it on R’N’B style @ Riddim,Taksim

Want to get it on ghetto style? Dance all night to the sounds of the bass whilst watching pretty girls get on the bars and dance to the latest Bow wow or Jay Z? Well then Riddim is surely your venue.
First time I went to Riddim it was at a different location (next to the McDonalds on Istiklal I think..). We got in and the place was so empty I had wondered if it was the right choice of location to spend the night. After having a couple of drinks, the place started filling up slowly but surely (no, it wasn’t the drinks and I wasn’t drunk.). Before I knew it, the place was packed and everyone was dancing to the sounds of DJ Bambi. He’s the inhouse DJ at Riddim and surely deserves the time of the day. Carribean, hiphop, reggae – the guy knows how to make you dance! Riddim changed locations, its now in the old “Kemanci, underground” on SiraSelviler. If you want to get a good spot before the crowd gets in, you should get there latest 11pm otherwise you won’t even be able to step in the place.
Visit their website for more info on the entrance fee (which last time I checked was 10YTL) or to see the pictures of the club. (They’ve got a funky video showing the club)
RiddimSira Selviler Avenue No 69/1 (same place as Kemanci)

Edit: You may see a couple of your favourite metblog authors at this venue ( Mert Mavis was spotted there by the paparazzis just this friday!)

H5N, bird flu and and the evil of politics.

This isn’t an entry about Istanbul but I feel that it still has its place here on Istanbul @ Metblogs.
As many of you already know, Turkey is on red alert due to the H5N virus, the deadly bird flu.
Farmers all over the country are forced to exterminate sick birds and take extra precautions about the ones that aren’t contaminated. If a human comes in contact with the disease through a sick animal, then it can contract the disease as well. A couple of farmers have been taken into medical custody for their own safety because dead birds we’re found on their land in Kiziksa, not far from Istanbul.
The sarcasm in all of this is the reaction of the current government to this issue. Obviously chicken sales have gone down drastically and the sector is in peril but our very smart and imaginative politicians decided to promote chicken and the fact that it’s totally safe to eat it by inviting the Turkish media to conferences and eating chicken in front of them, sometimes even sharing with the members of the press.
This is funny.
It is said that the poultry sector is at the brink of bankruptcy and that if this crisis goes on for long, it won’t take much for major companies to close down their farms and hand the keys back to the banks.
It has been reported that there is no deadly risk for now but that doesn’t stop the civilians from being extremely scared. There is a general sense of panic and sales of flu medications have risen. The swiss pharmaceutical company ROCHE is busy donating alot of meds to Turkey (hopefully as a prevention);

“Roche donates doses of bird flu drug to Turkey, WHO: Meanwhile, the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG is donating 20,000 packs of its Tamiflu drug to Turkey to protect workers who may come into contact with poultry infected with bird flu, a spokesman said Saturday. Roche is also giving 2 million packs of the antiviral oseltamivir, known commercially as Tamiflu to the World Health Organization (WHO) as an emergency response stockpile, said company spokesman Daniel Piller. The Basel-based company has already given 2,400 packs of Tamiflu — the only drug that may be able to treat human cases of bird flu or a human flu pandemic stemming from it — to Romania, Piller said.”
Courtesy of The Turkish Daily News

I believe this is, unfortunatly, a historical period of this country so it deserves to be forged into the archives of this site.

How to know about the city?

For foreigners it is hard to know a city because the city is not only what the tour guides shows you, it is not just postcards or some selected photos that make you learn about the city, it is the people and their experiences in the city that creates the atmosphere.

Since I am so far away from my hometown Istanbul, I miss it a lot and yesterday I found myself looking for photos of Istanbul over the net in the middle of the night. I didn’t want some selected tourist photos of it, I wanted to have it from the eyes of the people living in it. Well the best cure for me was the deviantart. Deviantart is an online art community and I guess it is quite popular in Istanbul as I found around 5,912 results when I searched for Istanbul. It really helped me to keep my memories alive and I am sure it will help you to know the city better. There is also this forum which also has a quite large database of photos of Istanbul from almost all neighborhoods of Istanbul.

Oh let’s not forget the flickr and thanks to tagging it returned 17091 photos tagged as Istanbul. I am looking forward to return to my hometown (and turkish food :)

no to mobese

nobese.jpg they call themselves the surveillance camera actors and only perform within the scope of the nobese festival. the name is inspired from mobese (short for mobile electronic systems integration), our totally modern, new security system, as part of which 4000 surveillance cameras to safeguard the streets of istanbul are being installed at various places.

since the beginning of 2005, 570 surveillance cameras have been installed, the others are on the way. most of us barely notice the cameras mounted on top of lampposts. well i certainly have not, until i heard about the nobese people on a mailing list.

they are a group of anti-authoritarian / anti-capitalist university students and gather each month and go perform in front of one of the surveillance cameras. the intended audience is those officers at the camera control rooms. hope they are having fun “up there”. the motto of nobese is “madem ki izleniyoruz, bari oynayalim” / “since we are being watched, why not perform?” and their next performance will take place on october, 25th in sultanahmet. anyone can join the performance and protest being treated as a potential criminal as well as perform, who knows, maybe the role of a life time. more info and pictures from past performances are here and here is a report on one of the performances.

There is no place like home

I can’t remember when it started but I was around 17-18 (and am now 26ish) and like many others I explored Gizli Bah祠(Secret Garden), a place where you can be out and still have the luxury of home. It is the place where i turn off the lights when i leave WC and carry my empty glasses to the bar.
Situated in Taksim-Nevizade, Gizli Bah祠is the place where you can lie on one of the many couches and drink your coffee-tea while watching the rain and listening to Edith Piaf or have a night out and listen to the djs, dance-drink-dance, or simply experience a somewhat pub culture -the place where you can see everyone after 1800- There is a bunch of people who have not given up going to Gizli B for years and still there are new explorers. What is suprising for me is it has not changed a little bit since it was opened. Maybe you’ll see one or two new second-hand couch once a year – that is all and that what gives its uniqueness. Gizli B is old looking – and we – the genuine explorers – are getting older and it is relaxing to see your favorite couch. Go on, turn the pages of your book, no one will bother you.
Seeing so many foreigners in there for years, i have recently heard that Lonely Planet rated it as a “must see”. It is hard to find Gizli B as the name suggests, cause there is no sign, no nothing. You should ask and find it out. But do find it, as i was jotting these lines, i already missed being there.

We wanna know what turns you on.

Well, not literally. We’d like to know more about our readers, we’d like to know what they’d like to read about or what they totally hate about our blog. Voice your opinion and tell us what you’d like to see us cover on Istanbul @ MetBlogs.
You can contact us by email, comment, pigeon, snail mail, smoke signals.. It’s totally up to you.

Thanks in advance!

Edit 16/10/05: Please note that we also have a forum for this blog and we would welcome all your suggestions directly on that forum also. Thanks in advance.

Two days – Two reviews

This weekend I decided, for the good of mankind and humanity, to go test two restaurants that I had heard of.

Lets start our tour with Viktor Levi in Beyoglu to which we went on Saturday might with Dee. Please let me quote what their brochure says;

Historical Wine House 1914 – Historical Viktor Levi Wine House is a restaurant in istanbul with quality of service, local cheese kinds, international cuisines in which Turkish and Greek appetizers are rich, where you can have wine and food with low prices in a confortable atmosphere.

Historical Viktor Levi Wine House has the property of being of the oldest wine houses since 1914. It has the conscions of being able to serve you smiling face, a beter flavour in protect this feature and gain your favour.

(the nonsense, spelling mistakes and grammatical faults have been copied directly from the restaurants brochure)

This place was terrible. The decoration reminded me of the tacky touristic Greek restaurants you’d find in every capital city in Europe (maybe we are finally ready to enter the EU?). You will dine with mosaics of Greek Goddesses looking down upon your meal and rude waiters which don’t have much consideration for the service they are supposed to provide to their customer.

My friend and I weren’t welcomed when we entered the restaurant, the waiters thought that standing and staring was much more productive, so we decided to pick out our places ourselves. Once seated, we were given two menus and fifteen minutes later our orders were taken. My friend ordered Gourmet Steak and I ordered Chicken Siciliana (God forbid any Sicilians hearing this part, they’d probably tear the place apart). When confronted to the menu, the prices are so high that you would think the food would be beyond delicious. That’s where you’d be wrong my friend! Dee got served semi cold meat that was grilled on a grill where fish had been grilled before hand (either that or the sauce that was on the meat had been flavored with some fish stock.) Her meat was small and the plates were extremely badly presented. For 17 YTL you would think they would put more effort in the presentation of their dishes. My chicken Siciliana was nice, it was filled with melted cheese and pine nuts. It was served alongside cold rice and cold vegetables.

Obviously Viktor Levi is a wine house but if you decide to put a choice of dishes on your menu, maybe you should consider making these edible and decorate them so that they don’t remind you of food served in school cantines. I hear the wine is decent, so if you still decide to go to Viktor Levi, stay away from the food and stick to getting yourself drunk on cheap wine. (the brochure said so!)

The only thing I really liked about the place was all the f

where does this ocean go

harvard hosts intresting web site called global voices online. in this blog entry they are talking about turkish blogosphere, blog kardeşliği and the istanbul metblogs.

thank guys!

Quake in South Asia

authors at our sister sites lahore and karachi metblogs are covering the situation there after the massive earthquake that hit South Asia yesterday. donations and help needed, so please visit to see if you can contribute in anyway.

What’s on this Saturday

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.