Istanbul - The Ultimate Guide

Guidebooks, histories, biographies, novels...any good books having to do with Turkey and things Turkish.

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Istanbul - The Ultimate Guide

Post by heraclitus » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:12 am

Just thought I would bring to your attention a new guide published in Turkey by Boyut. It is called Istanbul - The Ultimate Guide by Saffet Emre Tonguç and Pat Yale. I got my copy through but a recent article in the NY Times said that it was supposed to eventually be available through (Currently it is still unavailable there.)

Imagine something with the color and production values of an Eyewitness Guide but with 8-10 times the content! (O.K., so the paper stock is a bit thinner.) This thing is positively encyclopedic. Where a given mosque might be given a token image in the Eyewitness Guide, here you will find 3-5 lavishly illustrated pages. Plus it covers in detail many, many neighborhoods that are given token attention in other books, if that. Actually, I find the total effect a bit exhausting, but pleasantly so.

I don't know that I would bring it with me on my next trip. I consider this book, like the Knopf, Insight, and Eyewitness series to be most useful as what I call "before and after" books. Great for planning stages/inspiration and wonderful for reference/memories upon your return. Perhaps a bit too heavy and awkward for use on the ground, although your mileage may vary. Still, I find Istanbul - the Ultimate Guide to be a marvelous achievement -- well worth the investment.

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Re: Istanbul - The Ultimate Guide

Post by turkeytom » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:51 pm

For the record, Pat Yale was my co-author on the Lonely Planet Turkey guide for many years. She has lived in Göreme for quite a while and of course speaks Turkish fluently. She has been to every part of the country.

Saffet Emre Tonguç is among the most accomplished Turkish travel writers today. Pat and Saffet are longtime friends as well as co-authors, so their guidebook has a powerful team behind it. I would not be surprised if it captures a substantial portion of the market.

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Re: Istanbul - The Ultimate Guide

Post by Yentakvetch » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:14 pm

I used The Lonely Planet Turkey for areas outside of Istanbul and Rick Steves' guide to Istanbul for Istanbul. Both guides were very good. Steves' guide is actually written by a native Turk and is very good. What I liked best was the step by step directions telling you how to get places. On my last day, I was looking for the Jewish Museum in an old synagogue. When I looked at what Steves' book said about it, I realized I had been right by it the previous day and just was unaware of what the sign, which just said "museum" was directing me to (It is adjacent to the tunel stop in Kadakoy). Both books were great.

If I ever return to Turkey to see some of the things I missed, however, you can always use a new guidebook.

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