Where were you born?
Istanbul, in Süleymaniye.
Where do you live?
What’s best about your neighbourhood?
It’s the best area of the city. It’s still a place with a mahalle (neighbourhood) atmosphere. While walking on the streets, people still say, ‘Hello, how are you?’ and ‘Are you well?’ Also, there are wonderful restaurants. Whenever I’m hungry, I don’t need to cook. It’s very much a part of old Istanbul too: a historical place.
If money was no object, where would you live?
Rome, if I wasn’t in Istanbul. I love Italy.
Which is your favourite Istanbul neighbourhood?
Bağdat Caddesi, by the sea.
Which are your favourite Istanbul stores?
Lilipud, because it’s mine! In Cihangir, La Cave, which sells wine. In the Beşiktaş fish market, Beşiktaş Kaymakçı sells wonderful kaymak (cream) and yoghurt. They make it from buffalo milk.
Is there a local bar you visit?
I like going to bars a lot. I’m a rakı and wine person. My friend has a bar in Beyoğlu, Quit, which I like going to. The music is really good: punk, funk, jazz. It’s a small bar, but highly recommended.
Where do you take out-of-town friends?
The same places that I go to myself because the places I’m used to are much better. I don’t risk going to a place where I don’t know the waiter. For lunch I’d take them to Lades on İstiklal Caddesi, which has wonderful fresh beans.
Do you have a favourite Istanbul walk?
The coastal road.
Where are the best bargains to be found?
It’s still perhaps possible to find a bargain in the Grand Bazaar and from the gypsy and used book sellers.