Turks and Europeans
Past and Present
Is this tour walking intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible?
We do cover extensive territory on this tour. Please contact us with any questions; we will be happy to advise if this tour will be appropriate for you, and can discuss possible adjustments for visitors with mobility concerns.
Does this tour take the Istiklal tram?
No, we generally do not take the tram together, however, we will likely see it during the tour.
Does the tour go up the Galata Tower?
No, however, you will not be far from the tower at the end of the tour and can visit it afterwards.
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.
Ebru has a BA in English Literature at Bosphorus University. After finishing her studies, she worked as an arts correspondent for a local newspaper, and then had a career as a managing editor for a monthly travel magazine: Gezi / National Geographic Traveler. A native of Istanbul and a licensed guide, she has a broad range of knowledge, and is extremely interested in history of art, architecture and religions with special emphasis on Greek Orthodoxy and Byzantine history. Ebru finished an MA program in the history of religions at the School of Theology and has been working on her thesis on prophecy in ancient Greece. Apart from guiding, she gives seminars on early Christianity, origins of Christmas, ancient Greek mythology and Vikings of the Byzantine Empire: the Varangian Guards. Currently she is studying art history at Istanbul University, and taking modern Greek and Ottoman script classes in her free-time.
Renan was born and raised in Istanbul and the nearby island of Buyukada, where cooking and eating were the most important part of family life. She has had a diverse career in culinary arts, having 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 five-star hotels in Istanbul, where she developed her organizational skills in the kitchen. Thereafter, 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 young daughter.
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