Istanbul self catering apartment, Turkey

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Istanbul self catering apartment, Turkey

Environment

This area is a quiet suburb on the Bosphorus and here visitors can experience real Istanbul, the local shops and restaurants offer a wide range of Turkish foods from traditional vegetables cooked in olive oil to apricots stuffed with clotted cream and walnuts. These can all be purchased along with Turkish wines from the neighbourhood delicatessen. Locally sourced fresh fruit and vegetables are available one minute from the flat.

There are a number of diverse restaurants within easy reach of the Studio flat, offering a wide range of food from freshly caught fish to pizza as well as small family run restaurants offering Istanbul favourites.

Community

This flat has been restored using natural materials as much as possible. We renovated the original wooden window frames rather than replacing them with modern plastic equivalents. We double glazed all the windows to conserve energy and used beach pebbles for the flooring in the bathroom. On the walls we created texture by using natural marble and we restored and re-varnished the original hard wood parquet rather than replacing it. The flat is centrally heated using natural gas and once again retaining the period radiators rather than replacing them. The air conditioning unit has been chosen for its excellent ecological record causing minimum damage to the environment and also for being extremely quiet.

The whole restoration was done by a team of local builders who tried to create a space with light and charm and make use of the existing infrastructure of the building. The flat looks the same from outside as it did before and the local plumbers made use of the internal pipe structures. We kept the solid wood frames but put insulating double glazing in to avoid heat loss. The builders, plumbers and plasterers were all locals who live in Istanbul. We use natural gas to heat the flat in the Winter . We have included antique doors which we restored and built an oak frame for from recycled wood. All the linens and towels provided are 100 percent Turkish cotton.

We have made an effort to use energy saving light bulbs wherever possible and to provide a lot of indoor plants within the flat. The housekeeper has worked for the family that restored this property and lives locally, looking after the Studio has provided her with supplementary income.

When our guests arrive they will find an information booklet advising them on:
- The local greengrocer who sells locally sourced and in season vegetables, his products are organic and all fresh
- The delicatessen where they can find a large selection of Turkish wines and freshly made local foodstuffs
- Information about the large range of restaurants available within waking distance
- Directions to the nearby museums
- Information about the public transport links right outside the flat
- Information on the Rumeli Hisar fortress only 3 minutes walk from the flat which is a major tourist attraction.

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