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    Claire Karaz

    Claire has dual degrees in English (University of Michigan) and medieval art history (Università di Roma "La Sapienza"). She lived in Rome for a decade where she taught art history at Trinity College and study abroad programs for other American universities. She has lived in Istanbul for the last twelve years. She is presently an adjunct instructor at Yeditepe University and a freelance translator. Originally from Washington, DC, Claire is very interested in social history. She is the author of Topkapı Palace: Inside and Out, published by Citlembik in 2004.

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    ceylan zere

    Ceylan was born and raised in Istanbul and has spent much of her life wandering through its maze of busy streets and alleyways. With a background in engineering, she possesses a good knowledge of the city's built environment. She has spent many years in the United States, and although she continues traveling, her deep love is for Istanbul, its traditions, lives, characters, and the stories of the two great Empires that made the city their capital over the last two thousand years. A licensed guide for Turkey, Ceylan spends much of the year leading expeditions to archeological sites along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey. She is the co-author of "Turkey Guide: Confluence of Civilizations," written for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

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    Zeynep Cetrez

    Zeynep Cetrez studied the diverse populations of Ottoman Turkey and has a special interest in the 19th century travel accounts and urban history. She has a history master's degree from Sabanci University (Istanbul) and art history master's degree from Rice University (Houston).

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    Ebru Gokteke

    Ebru has a background in journalism and was a writer for many years for a variety of Turkish magazines, including Gezi National Geographic Traveler. She has also served as an arts editor at a local publication. A native of Istanbul and a licensed guide, she has a broad range of knowledge, and is extremely interested in art and aesthetics, as well as translating the details of the Istanbul street experience for visitors. Ebru is currently attending an MA program in the history of religions at the School of Theology and working on her thesis on temple liturgy.

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    Carole Woodall

    Carole has been exploring and studying Istanbul for nearly two decades with a specific interest in cultural and sensory urban environments. As a historian of the late-Ottoman and Turkish Republican periods, her specific research interests focus on the nightlife of 1920s Istanbul. Initially moving to Istanbul in 1991 from the United States, she pursued an MA in history from Istanbul's Bogazici University focusing on Seljuk and late-Byzantine history. Later, she completed a PhD in Middle East and Islamic studies/history from New York University, and presently is a faculty member in the Department of History and Women's and Ethnic Studies program at the University of Colorado. Carole actively participates in international workshops, conferences, and has published widely. She is currently working on a forthcoming book on the decadent nightlife in 1920s Beyoglu. Her favorite activity is roaming the streets of this vibrant city at all hours of the day and night.

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    Aylin Oney Tan

    An architect by training, Aylin studied the conservation of historic structures in Turkey, Italy, and the UK. She practiced architectural conservation for thirteen years in her own office, and later became the manager of the Turkey Cultural Heritage Project conducted by The Ministry of Culture and World Bank. Eventually, her passion for travel and food led her to write on the latter, and since 2003 she has written a weekly food column at Cumhuriyet, a prestigious national daily. She contributes to various food magazines and was a jury member of the Slow Food Award 2000-2003. Aylin contributes to Terra Madre and Presidia projects as the leader of the Ankara Convivium. Additionally, she consults for Channel 4 and appeared in the Istanbul episode of ‘Food Lover's Guide to the Planet,' a documentary by Gourmet and broadcast by National Geographic TV. She won the Sophie Coe award on food history in 2008 for her article "Poppy: Potent yet Frail," presented previously at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery where she has become a regular presenter. Lately she contributed to the Food Cultures of the Word Encyclopedia entry on Turkey and is the curator of the Culinary Culture Section of Princess Islands’ City Museum. She is happy to unite her expertise in archaeology and art history from her previous career with her unbounded interest in food culture.

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    Katie Johnson

    Katie Johnson, a native Midwesterner, fell in love with the Middle East more than a decade ago and has been working on archaeological projects throughout the Middle East and the Balkans ever since. She has MAs in Middle East History and Islamic Archaeology (University of Chicago) and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Ottoman Archaeology at the University of Chicago. Presently, she teaches at Istanbul Bilgi University, but she has also been involved with numerous cultural, historical, and archaeological projects in Turkey and the greater Islamic world. She has several published articles and has given numerous guest lectures and conference talks. She researches the influence of empire on material culture and examines the physical expression of identity in urban settings. Her knowledge of and interest in history and modern culture and politics allow her to talk about many aspects of Istanbul, from the ancient to the modern.

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    Suzan Kalayci

    Suzan Kalayci's historical scholarship on Istanbul is far ranging, encompassing Ottoman and modern history and topics as diverse as book collecting, exile, and women's studies. She is a graduate student at Bogazaci University and a frequent lecturer. A docent for the Istanbul Biennale, Suzan has a particular interest and knowledge of the city's contemporary art scene. And, as a dual citizen (German-Turkish) who grew up in Istanbul, she is also an incomparable companion on Pamuk-like adventures through Beyoglu and other parts of the city.

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    Hulya Eksigil

    Lived “best 20 years of her life” as a magazine editor for two life style and decoration magazines -Vizyon, Vizyon Dekorasyon- Hulya knows the Istanbul life style by heart. During those years she developed an irreversible interest on food. Invested her time extensively on food, it became an inseparable part of her life. She read and wrote on food culture, as much as she cooked and shared the fun with family and friends. She had her own culinary show “Lezzet Yolu-” on a major TV channel which was the first tv program to combine cooking with different facts on food. She contributed to various magazines like The Guide Istanbul and keeps writing for an art magazine -Milliyet Sanat Dergisi- on food for the last 12 years.
    Hulya Eksigil was the field coordinator of the Istanbul episode of ‘Food Lover's Guide to the Planet', a documentary for Gourmet magazine and broadcast by National Geographic TV. She is Istanbul correspondent of Chicago based Passport Newsletter. Has a book called “Dilim Gülümsüyo!” on food culture and is working on the second one. She also teaches at "magazine editing" at Bilgi University.

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    Mathilde Pinon Demircivi

    A native of Paris, Mathilde studied Islamic art and archeology at Sorbonne University, writing her Ph.D. on the Grand Bazaar and the hans (workshops) in Ottoman Istanbul. Living in Istanbul for the last decade, Marie focuses her research on commercial buildings during the Ottoman period, Ottoman fountains, hamams and wall paintings. During her research fellowship at the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (2001-2005), she organized an interdisciplinary seminar on trade in the Ottoman Empire, and has lectured widely on historical topics.

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    Yavuz Sezer

    Yavuz Sezer has completed his B.A and M.A at the History Department of Boğaziçi University in Istanbul where he worked as a teaching assistant during his research on Traditional Ottoman Domestic Architecture. He has investigated the nostalgia for old houses, neighborhoods and their architecture in the first quarter of the twentieth century in Turkey as he studied the history of architecture and art. Following his position as an instructor of History of Modern Turkey at the Koç University in Istanbul, he started his PhD studies in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art program of MIT in 2008. He's working on his dissertation on the Ottoman library movement in the eighteenth century which he concentrates his research on libraries as architectural spaces, institutions and archives of reading habits. Yavuz is currently teaching Ottoman Architecture at Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Architecture.

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    Nurcin Ileri

    Nurcin İleri is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Binghamton University and did her Masters work at the Institute of Modern Turkey located at Bogazici University. Her area of research is the late Ottoman and early Turkish Republic period; and she is particularly interested in the emergence and importance of distinctly nocturnal sites of socialization in historic Istanbul—in other words, nightlife. Her project involves the serious consideration of many diverse facets of urban life, including technology, administration, policing, commerce, industry, and popular culture. Nurcin has been teaching history courses on modern urban life in American, European, and Mediterranean cities and urban sociology. Her current teaching position at Bilgi University is on the History of Modern Turkey. She is also an amateur musician in an ethnic-music band.

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    Melike Yazicioglu Taspinar

    Melike holds degrees in Tourism and Guiding from Marmara University and Art History from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. Studying (MA) Museology in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Universiy. Her special interests are Late Antiquity period in Istanbul and Clasiccal Period of Ottoman Empire.

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    Banu Kucuksubasi

    Having her guiding license from the Marmara University in Istanbul, Banu started working at Sakip Sabanci Museum as a museum docent in 2003 where she discovered her interest in art. She started over with studying Art History in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Academy and completed her masters degree of Art Management with her growing passion in art. She's worked as the manager of Istanbul's leading art galleries, art consultant for media and lecturer at several universities in Istanbul about art and cultural policies. Her knowledge of contemporary art enhanced by working as a docent for Istanbul's prominent art museums, and VIP guide at contemporary art shows and Istanbul Modern, giving speeches about Turkish art and culture to various organizations. She is also giving art seminars to corporate groups which their interests are considered to be one of main reasons for the boom in the art scene in Turkey. Banu is passionate about sharing her experience and knowledge with people and introducing the Turkish art to interested visitors.

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    Renan Yucel

    Renan Yücel was born and raised in Istanbul and the nearby Island of Buyukada, where cooking and eating were the most important part of family life. Renan has had a diverse career in culinary arts. She's worked with chef Kenji Kume in a Japanese restaurant in Istanbul while she was studying film and television at Bilgi University. After university Renan worked in the restaurants of several restaurants in five-star hotels in Istanbul where she developed her organizational skills in the kitchen. From here she joined a new Anatolian restaurant to help with its launch, an experience that broadened her knowledge of the many food traditions of Turkey. She also joined the production company of a popular documentary on Turkish cuisine called "Sultans of the Kitchen" as a production coordinator. Today, Renan lives on the Asian side of Istanbul, where she regularly visits Kadikoy Market for fresh vegetables and for her year-old daughter.