The space is part of who we are. Neither of us are from Istanbul. We arrived to this city many years ago where we meet straight on with its energy and force. The feeling was overwhelming and made us fall for her... After years of traveling back and forth, we finally found a place in beautiful Balat where we hope to transmit that same feeling to newcomers.
Balat is the old Greek and Jewish quarter. Three, four story colorful old buildings pave the small streets winding up towards Fatih and/or winding down to the Golden Horn. Our house is one of them: a high ceiling brick Greek house with wooden floors and a sea view. The top floor is where you will stay.
We chose Balat mainly because it being off the travel path a bit. Based on location we get mainly travelers and not typical tourists. The house is LGBTQ friendly and tolerant toward religions even though we are not really interested in them. I´m a cyclotourist and Bilinc an activitist. The house goes very much with our lifestyle.
My mum (yes, I invited her to move in with me :) ) also lives in the premises. She speaks Spanish and some English. She is always happy to be of assistance.
Turkish, English, Spanish, French, Italian and some Russian and Kurdish are spoken at home.
Balat is the old Jewish – Greek neighborhood of Istanbul. It is located in the European side of Istanbul, near the old city on the historic peninsula, on the western bank of the Golden Horn.
Balat/Fener was one of the first areas of Istanbul to be created, established by the Romans and then developed by Greeks and Turks. The neighborhood has been recognized as a UNESCO World heritage Centre. Its churches, synagogues, and mosques sitting next to each other speak of tolerance while the Roman and Greek artifacts and Ottoman relics speak of the many generations and cultures that lived in this area.
The world famous Church Fener Rum Patrikhanesi, visited by thousands of pilgrims every year, is located but a mere 8 minutes walk.