Travelling TURKEY over Tea - Part 1

by - 9:55 PM

I want to visit Turkey soon. It's always been on my "bucket list", not because of the Turkish drama rage in Pakistan, it always have been one of my favorite places. It is culturally rich, laden with history while also being modern, a perfect combination for any tourist destination in my opinion.

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TURKEY has an abundance of history, archaeology and natural beauties, the very reason tourist are always swarming there. It is quite easy to find out about this destination through google, a million sites telling you what to do, where to go and cater to all your needs. However, I was lucky enough to get a chance to directly talk to someone who was born and bred in Turkey and holds immense love for it, obviously.

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Mr. Fatih Atacan Temel, General Manager of TURKISH AIRLINES, is a jovial, smart man. He is very communicative and full of wonderful stories about Turkey.

Even though it's not even been a year since he was stationed by in Pakistan by Turkish Airlines as their General Manager he has taken a liking toward's our nation."The international media creates a vague picture of Pakistan but once you come here and experience it, this place is not that bad and I quite like it"- said Mr. Fatih.

Mt. Fatih was in Italy for four years before he moved to Pakistan. This is his second destination for work. Even though it was not too hard for him to adjust in Karachi he did find that life is quite fast here. People are always on the go and so many things are happening like dinners, parties, events whereas in Italy and Turkey it was much more calm for him. I was delighted to learn that he really enjoys eating biryani and his favorite eating place is "KOLACHI".

The only thing that does bug him in Karachi, however, is the traffic and the unnecessary use of high beams in cars. I am totally going to agree with him here and so will many others!

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In all these months he visited Lahore and Islamabad as well. He feels that all three cities have their own personalities. Islamabad is calm, Lahore culturally rich and Karachi, like all major cosmopolitan cities of the worlds, is booming with activity. Even though it was fun chit chatting with him about Pakistan the focus is TURKEY so let's move on to that.

Love for ISTANBUL: 

Obviously we can't cover the entire Country in just one post so we picked the ones you will want to visit, the main city being Istanbul. The city has everything a tourist wants, historical background, architecture, arts and crafts, food, culture, nature, many things in just one place. How can we not visit?

His favorite Places in Istanbul for FOOD:

He grew up in Istanbul so there are a few places which are very special to him. I sat there, sipping my tea and listened to him talk passionately about those places while I made a list of "MUST VISIT".

ISMET BABA: 
Istanbul is a great place for fresh seafood and seaside restaurants. Ismet Baba is one of those places which locals swear by. The place is gritty and old-fashioned, that is what makes it even more unique compared to the other done-up restaurants there. Overlooking the Bosphorus sea, it's an ideal place to chat over some Raki, have your favorite fresh fish of the season (grilled or fried, as you wish) and sit back and relax. "It's like therapy, sitting there, eating and looking out at the sea", said Mr. Fatih, "However, the window seat is very difficult to get so let's hope you are lucky".

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SULTANAHMET KOFTECISI: 
It's not just a little dine in (or take out) place but also one of the largest chains in Istanbul. They take their meatballs quite seriously. Even though the dishes are simple in recipe and presentation, they are of the best found in the city. The meat balls are made in the authentic Turkish recipe served with a loaf of bread and a succulent red chili paste concoction This is another local favorite which the tourist must visit.

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ASIM USTANIN YERI:
This is not a famous place perhaps, as per Mr. Fatih, but has the best Pide'si you will ever taste. Pide is a traditional Turkish pizza. Asim Usta is a really old, local joint which is now run by it's 4th generation. The place itself holds immense history so the food surely must be wonderous. "Their pide is so delicious you will leave fully satisfied and will want to come back for more", exclaimed Mr. Fatih, "Try the Karedeniz (means "Black Sea") pide'si along with the yogurt drink Ayrah and you will thank me for recommending all this".

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TOP 4 Turkish Drinks you Must Try!

1. Raki - Caution, this is an alcoholic drink so not everybody's choice. This drink is deceptive because it's really smooth and you won't know what hit you till its too late. It's made with anise seeds (sounds sweet). It's called Lion's Milk and rightfully so because of it's after punch. The drink is diluted with water and chilled with ice cubes, if preferred and looks milky in appearance.

2. Turkish Tea: Just like us (or at least Karachi) Turkey has a huge Tea and coffee culture. They can drink up to 20 cups of tea a day (or so I have heard). Their tea blend, according to Mr. Fatih, is smoother, not gritty and hard like ours. They prefer drinking the tea without milk. The appearance is reddish brown in color and served in a tulip shaped glass.

3. Turkish Coffee: What makes the coffee special are not the beans but how the coffee is made. The roasted beans are ground right before brewing. The right amount of sugar and coffee are mixed in water and brewed over medium heat. Apparently the amount of sugar MATTERS: sade (plain; no sugar), az şekerli (little sugar; half a level teaspoon of sugar), orta şekerli (medium sugar; one level teaspoon), and çok şekerli (a lot of sugar; one and a half or two level teaspoons). The coffee comes in a small (almost tiny) cup with NO MILK and you drink it slowly, with pleasure.

4. Ayran: I mentioned it earlier as well. Ayran is a refreshing yogurt drink preferred with meals as well as alone. It was also declared Turkey's National drink in 2013. The drink is a mix of yogurt, salt and water (reminds me of the Namkeen Lassi in Pakistan).

The talk of all the food and drink was making me very hungry. Obviously at the moment I can't visit Turkey but I killed my cravings nonetheless by visiting Solen (Turkish eating place in Dolmen Mall, Clifton) by having my favorite Ezogelin soup.

I don't want to overwhelm with just ONE post so going to leave fun some for  Part 2 and Part 3 :) Watch out for the best places to visit in Istanbul, where and what to shop and what NOT to wear or you'll be sorry. 

Till then do LEAVE A COMMENT below on "what you want to eat when you visit Istanbul" and "WHAT food you think MR. Fatih should try in Pakistan" other than Biryani!

P.s: Thank you to Mr. Fatih and TURKISH AIRLINES for making this delightful series of blogs happen. This is not a paid post, more of a passionate post!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The images used in this Post are not mine and have been taken from the internet for reference purpose only. If you happen to be the owner of any of these let me know and will give you full credit.

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20 comments

  1. I enjoyed this so much! The food - oh my! Looks delish!

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    1. Aww I am glad :) Yes the food sounds so Yummy

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  2. i wasnt aware of turkey until their dramas arrived in Pak, after watching their dramas in their own lang i got curios to about their history, culture, tradition, lifestyle and started digging info about their everything and everything just amazed me *-* my father had been in ankara, istanbul for some time so he tell me how was it like to live there and i always dreamed to visit turkey! if i ever happen to be lucky enough to visit turkey i'd like to eat Pide'si and will be so glad to meet and have conversation with Asim usta because you said he is old and they possess history with themselves and will sure visit ismet baba because ive seen that sort of place in drama so it'd be great to be there in real! Please convey my Merhaba and Tesekkurederim for recommendations to Mr Fatih and tell him to try haleem next time
    sorry for the gigantic comment :P

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    1. Ahahaha No Hira its fine I enjoyed it very Much and will definitely tell Mr. Fatih to try Haleem :)

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  3. Maliha I absolutely enjoyed reading your post :) it is very informative. I myself have always wanted to go to Turkey. Your suggestions will help me in planning my trip. Looking forward to the other parts of the blog post.

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    1. Thank you Maha! Your comment meant a Lot <3

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  4. Visiting Turkey would be amazing. It looks like such a beautiful country.

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    1. It Totally is Jessica but I will know better when I visit too :)

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  5. Ahh! lovely post. Turkey sounds as an amazing destination for holiday.

    ❁ ❊ Kanwalikram's Blog ❊ ❁

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  6. I just had dinner and I am hungry all over again! Hehe! I'd love to go to Turkey too! ROFL at the drama rage! :D

    Jadirah Sarmad | Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

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    1. I swear! Before Turkish dramas ppl didnt even TALK about Turkey when its been on my Bucket list since i was a teen!

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  7. I'd love to go there, really enjoyed reading this !

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it :) Thank you for appeciating!

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  8. I would love to try the tea and yogurt and that chicken and rice dish in one of the pictures when I travel someday to Istanbul!

    Ursula aka Blueridge Beauty

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    1. We get it in a restaurant here and its yummy but I am sure trying it in the actual city would be AWESOME
      xx

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  9. wat a great post Mailha .. love it ♡♡
    Makeupoholics

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    1. Aww thanks for always appreciating Sana <3

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  10. Good Article. I am interested with your article. I also have similar articles about Indonesia you can visit Information Regarding Indonesia for more info

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