Where do you live?
In Cihangir, Istanbul.
What’s the best thing about your neighbourhood?
It is very much alive, with cafés, antique shops and boutiques; it is a little summary of the entire city. The sloping, narrow streets all lead to discoveries, and a wonderful view can surprise you at any moment.
Which are your favourite restaurants?
Hacı Abdullah in Beyoğlu and Borsa Restaurant, which has several locations, for classic Turkish cuisine. Another favourite is Kaktüs in Cihangir, a bistro where patrons will encounter friendly cats as their hosts. For more fashionable places, the restaurants in Nişantaşı are wonderful.
And your favourite shops?
All the little shops in the Cihangir and Beyoğlu areas; these are little gems for those looking for unique pieces. The shops in Çukurcuma also have very interesting things. The Grand Bazaar is another well-known alternative.
Where do you like to walk?
I always walk in Cihangir and Beyoğlu, where you really feel the pulse of the city; each step is an inspiration for me.
What’s the best historical site?
The Hagia Sophia. This amazing structure is an engineering wonder, and its legends are the true spices of the city.
And your favourite museums?
The Dogançay Museum, of course! It is one of the first contemporary art museums and the first single-artist museum in Turkey. As it is located in Beyoğlu, it is well placed to show the current face of Istanbul, to give a complete impression of the city. Three other favourites of mine are the Istanbul Modern, Topkapı Palace and the Archaeological Museum.
Which person from Istanbul do you admire most?
I can name many, but the late opera singer Leyla Gencer was a pioneer in showing Turkish talent to the world. And my father Adil Doğançay: he is the person who taught me the basics of drawing and painting and how to be a decent human being.
What can’t you live without?
My beloved wife Angela and my work, the creative process.