Take your nose out of that book and head to Istanbul this October for the annual Istanbul Tanpinar Literature Festival, running from the 30th October – 3rd November. Started in 2009, the festival is organised by the Kalem Culture Association, and is an annual event bringing together lovers of Turkish and international literature.
Authors, critics, publishers, reviewers and the press meet to exchange ideas and have the opportunity to discuss and discover more about some of Turkey’s newest literary talents. Taking place at various venues across the city, the event will feature 45 authors from 15 different countries.
You can fly with Air France or British Airways to Istanbul from most major UK airports, and flight time from London is just under 4 hours. Istanbul is hottest during the summer months, and October can be a pleasant time to visit, with temperatures averaging around 20 degrees. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in the city tailored to suit both couples and families, from contemporary boutique hotels and stylish self-catering apartments to hotels and traditional family-run guesthouses. Tour operators such as Thomas Cook, First Choice or Exodus are sure to offer holiday packages. With accommodation being easy to find off-season, especially when the city is a little quieter than during the summer months, the whole experience is well worth doing.
Istanbul has plenty to explore:
This year’s festival theme will be ‘City and Game’ and there will be discussions, readings and literary panels as well as board games to tie in with the theme. The festival will investigate storytelling’s ancient roots and the relationship between reader and author as well as literature’s influences, and venues across the city will open their doors for events including the Amsterdam Café, kargArt and the Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar Literature Museum and Library. This year, highlights include the attendance of three Austrian authors to inaugurate the festival – Thomas Stangl, Andrea Winkler and Teresa Praauer. One of the most exciting events will see Patrice Desilet, creator of the video game ‘Assassin’s Creed’ meet Ahmet Umit, the master of Turkish crime fiction. The event will invite the audience to rediscover the city through video games and novels.
Aside from the festival’s events, there are plenty of things to see and do in bustling Istanbul. From the cosy Turkish meyhanes (taverns) and çay bachesis (local tea gardens) to the stunning architecture of the city, Istanbul is a blend of old and new, with friendly locals who offer a warm welcome to tourists. Make sure you visit the city’s world famous Hamams (Turkish baths) and head for the Aya Soya, Istanbul’s most famous monument, built in 537 by the Emperor Justinian in a bid to restore the Roman Empire’s greatness. Explore Topkapi Palace then head for dinner at the eccentric Galata House – it’s housed just down the road from the Galata Tower in the Old British Jail, and serves simple comfort food created from recipes handed down to the owner by her Georgian mother. The owner will even play the piano and sing for guests! For an evening activity with a difference, you can’t beat a Bosporus ferry cruise at night-time, with views of the twinkling lights of the old city. Catch the ferry from Karaköy to Kadiköy and enjoy a bite to eat in one of Kadiköy’s quaint backstreet restaurants before you head back to the city.
©Lifecruiser Love Festival Travel