Family accommodation in Istanbul, Turkey

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Family accommodation in Istanbul, Turkey

Environment

It is early days for the environmental movement in Turkey. Our apartment project is a rare example of a small business in which environmental issues have been consciously addressed.

For each confirmed booking we arrange for a tree to be planted in Turkey, to offset part of the carbon dioxide emission from the resulting flight. This is done through TEMA (the Turkish foundation for combating soil erosion, for reforestation and the protection of natural habitats). We also encourage our visitors to offset any additional emission via the TEMA web site.

The apartments are uniquely situated amongst mosques, churches, synagogues, a mevlevi ‘whirling dervish’ hall and other sites of religious significance. We encourage guests to sense a history of religious tolerance and to (hopefully!) experience something of it themselves during their stay.

While staying at these apartments, the rest of Istanbul is completely accessible by public transport. We inform our guests of the tram, metro and ferry links, all of which are within easy walking distance.

Community

During renovation of the apartments we employ local crafts-people who show sensitivity to the restoration skills that are needed for these unique buildings. In this way we feel we contribute to the restoration ‘skills pool’ in this location and encourage appreciation of historical architecture and original features.

Central Istanbul has many beautiful old buildings that are neglected and on the verge of dereliction. We hope to show, in a small way, how a sense of history in a building and original architectural features can be assets in tourism.

We preserve all the original building features and materials that we possibly can. Where new products are needed (bathrooms and kitchens primarily), we source them locally and use items designed and made in Turkey. All new wood used (kitchen worktops, restored windows and doorways) is local. Our furnishings are often antique, mixed with modern pieces which are as ethically sourced as possible.

We use local maintenance and cleaning services, through which we hope to be spreading awareness. Our guests use the many local shops, restaurants and services in the district for their daily needs, and we dare to hope that this encourages cross-cultural understanding. We supply reference books for context.

We also encourage guests to use the fish and vegetables markets in the surrounding streets. The produce is local and seasonal. The family-run restaurants nearby also use this produce.

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