Where do you live?
Istanbul and London.
If money was no object, where would you live?
Machu Picchu. Peru is mystical.
What’s your favourite Istanbul neighbourhood?
What are your favourite stores in Istanbul, and why?
Beymen, because I can find the best fashion items there; Armaggan, as I think this brand explains Turkish culture in a modern way very well, and the Robinson Crusoe bookshop – this store is indispensable for me.
Where are the best bargains to be found?
Horhor antique market in Aksaray.
Which are your favourite restaurants?
Delicatessen in Nişantaşı, which is comfortable and serves delicious food; Vogue in Akaretler, which is a classic, and Hünkar in Nişantaşı and Etiler, which serves traditional Turkish food.
Do you have a favourite local café?
Bej Café in Karaköy.
What local dishes can you recommend to visitors?
I recommend Hacı Abdullah restaurant in Beyoğlu. My favourite dishes are karnıyarık, which is aubergine stuffed with ground meat, and hünkar beğendi, lamb stew on an aubergine puree.
Do you have a favourite Istanbul walk?
Bebek’s coast road, Cevdetpaşa Caddesi.
Which museums do you think are the best in Istanbul?
The Pera and Sabancı museums.
Where do you take out-of-town friends who are visiting Istanbul?
The Tünel and Karaköy neighbourhoods and the Grand Bazaar.
Do you have any advice for visitors?
Visit the Müzedechanga restaurant in the Sabancı Museum.
Is there anywhere you’d recommend visitors avoid?
I recommend they avoid the Istanbul traffic!
Do you have any secret spots in Istanbul?
Aya Yorgi (the church and monastery of St George) on Büyükada in the Princes’ Islands.
Which person from Istanbul do you most admire?
The late Semiha Berksoy. She was a great painter and opera singer.
What can’t you live without?
My friends and water.