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Old Jun 8th 2015, 10:56 am   #1
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Default Istanbul

Hello everyone,

I have been in Istanbul for a month and I felt definitely in love with this city. If you have any question about what to do, what is worth to see? Do not hesitate to contact me. I was staying in Besiktas neighbourhood which is by the sea, it was amazing. You should eat at least one time Kumpir (a wonderful stuffed potato) and Balik Ekmek (grilled fresh fish in a sandwich with some veggies).
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Old Jun 20th 2015, 1:38 pm   #2
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Istanbul is truly amazing. When I worked in the Middle East, my home was in Bulgaria, and I would use Istanbul as a transit point. Amazing food. Great climate. Much improved tram system in the years that I travelled there (1992-2012), making it easier to get around the European side.

Some bargains in hotels if you shop around.
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Old Jul 3rd 2015, 9:03 pm   #3
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My wife and I (she was then merely a new travel companion, picked up at the Youth Hostel in Thessaloniki) spent a few days in Istanbul (Stamboul, I know!) in 1964 on our way to Ankara in my VW Beetle. There, we parked it for the winter, and returned the next year. There wasn't even a bridge across the Bosphorus, if I recall; we must have taken a vehicle-ferry both ways. I'm old now, and my memory is fading, but I well remember the Santa Sophia as a spectacular beauty. Many years later, we saw the movie "Topkapi" - every lover of the City should see that movie!

We stayed in cheapo hotels everywhere we went in Turkey. The hospitality was wonderful, wherever we went. Fond, fond memories.
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Old Jun 16th 2016, 2:51 am   #4
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I read today somewhere that there is an attempt by some anti-Turkish group to campaign for the name of Istanbul to be changed back to Constantinople. What a silly idea. Istanbul is just a version of the usual Turkish name Stamboul, and a simple Turkish variant of the Greek name! Greek Adrianople/Adrianopolis became Edirne in Turkish; Greek Alexandria became Iskenderun; and so on.

I hope the attempt fails.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 10:57 am   #5
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Probably the same group that thinks they can recreate the Byzantine Empire with Constantinople as the capital. "The "Meghala Idea" that last surfaced in the 1920s after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.


Erdogan is worrying though - he really believes that he is rebuilding the Ottoman State in a new guise.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 6:01 pm   #6
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I read today somewhere that there is an attempt by some anti-Turkish group to campaign for the name of Istanbul to be changed back to Constantinople.
Here in Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot people use the name Constantinople. The first time I heard a person use this name I thought it was just a slip of the tongue. As it continued, I realised it was deliberate. I suspect the name Istanbul never caught on in this part of the world.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 6:22 pm   #7
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Here in Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot people use the name Constantinople. The first time I heard a person use this name I thought it was just a slip of the tongue. As it continued, I realised it was deliberate. I suspect the name Istanbul never caught on in this part of the world.
It probably never will catch on among Greek Cypriots, since Istanbul is a Turkish corruption of the Greek name. Even the respective parts of the island have different names. The Greek name translates as Democratic Cyprus and the Turkish one as Republic of Cyprus, as far as I can tell, while the British Overseas Territory has its own name in English, doesn't it? Poor Cyprus: I wonder if its three divisions will ever be united.

My now-wife and I spent a week in Cyprus in 1965, before Turkey invaded but when there were barbed-wire fences between the two native communities, and specific entry and exit points. Such a beautiful island! We have fond memories of it.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 7:18 pm   #8
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Poor Cyprus: I wonder if its three divisions will ever be united.
There seems to be no prospect of unification in sight. I tend to avoid discussing the situation with the Greek Cypriots I meet, but when the topic does come up, they assure me they have no problem with the two UK Sovereign Base Areas, but of course they do have a problem with the Turkish occupation.

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My now-wife and I spent a week in Cyprus in 1965, before Turkey invaded but when there were barbed-wire fences between the two native communities, and specific entry and exit points. Such a beautiful island! We have fond memories of it.
Yes, it is a beautiful island. I'm here to check it with a view to retiring here. I've been here a couple of months, and haven't yet decided one way or the other. The people are very friendly and welcoming, so that's a plus point. The tax situation is also very favourable; the government recently introduced a non-dom status, making tax-free living a real possibility.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 7:47 pm   #9
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the government recently introduced a non-dom status, making tax-free living a real possibility.
Not a place to keep too much of your bank balance, if I recall. Didn't the government steal a slice of everything over $100K a couple of years ago? Gulp...

We've got Cyprus on our list as a prospective retirement place, but would never buy property there. Also, we lean towards the Turkish part, or we did before Erdogan went all Ottoman-ish!
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Old Jun 19th 2016, 8:24 am   #10
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Not a place to keep too much of your bank balance, if I recall.
True. Offshore accounts and investments are the way to conduct one's finances here. Probably a good idea in any Eurozone country.

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Didn't the government steal a slice of everything over $100K a couple of years ago? Gulp...
Yes, the famous "haircut". The legacy of the financial problems are still very much evident; closed shops, empty villas and apartment blocks; abandoned half-finished office blocks, etc.

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We've got Cyprus on our list as a prospective retirement place, but would never buy property there. Also, we lean towards the Turkish part, or we did before Erdogan went all Ottoman-ish!
The property issue is a big one. Not only is the absence of title deeds for many properties a major problem, since the financial crash there are lots of unsold properties for sale. I was looking in an estate agent's window last week and the were villas which were reduced in price from €395k to €195k. I doubt they were ever worth the higher price, and there seems to be no takers even at the lower price. Property prices have yet to stabilize post-crash, and the market seems to be struggling to find a floor. Luckily there are lots of rental properties available, and all the British expats I have met are renting.

I have not ventured into the Turkish part, but those who have tell me the standard of living is lower, the infrastructure is weaker, but the countryside and coastline is very pretty.

I think you would enjoy the lower taxes in the Greek part. In theory, the Turkish part collects tax at normal Turkish rates, which are comparatively high.

I would also speculate that the degree of English-speaking is greater in the Greek part.
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Old Jun 19th 2016, 9:59 pm   #11
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Probably the same group that thinks they can recreate the Byzantine Empire with Constantinople as the capital. "The "Meghala Idea" that last surfaced in the 1920s after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Erdogan is worrying though - he really believes that he is rebuilding the Ottoman State in a new guise.
Thanks, Scot. I'd never even heard of the Megali Idea before (as Wiki spells it), and very interesting it is, the whole story of the Greek-Ottoman wrangling over the Centuries. The basic Idea was to gather all the ethnic Greeks together, and that explains the title "King of the Hellenes", which always used to puzzle me when I found it on the stamps of Greece, as a young collector.
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