Istanbul, Turkey
Zeynep, 29
Marketing Executive at Estee Lauder
see her Istanbul city guide

a bit about Zeynep

What do you do and why do you do it?

Right now I am Marketing Executive at Estee Lauder, Turkey. I have always been a good observer and early adopter of many things, especially the social media platforms. So I guess who I am led me to my current job and I understand that I can never do anything better than Marketing, especially social media marketing 🙂

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

Actually, all my professional experience is in Marketing and I love marketing but, the worst job I had was when I was the Product Marketing Assistant. I believe this area of Marketing lacks creativity, which is totally against my character, however the worst part was definitely my manager. She was super pushy, never understanding her teams needs and she lacked all the managerial skills to lead us. What I understood from this experience was, you can have a slightly boring role at some point in your life but, the most important thing is the people you work with. If they are hard to work with it’s impossible to bear.

Were you born and raised in Istanbul?

I was born and raised in Izmir, the city on the Aegean side of Turkey. It is famous for its beaches, sun and laid back lifestyle, kind of like the Cali of Turkey actually 🙂 It was a great place to spend my childhood, however in order to go to college or have a career, Izmir doesn’t have many options. I moved to Istanbul when I was 19 for college and started a new life here. I can say this was the best decision I have ever made, because I fell in love with Istanbul immediately. The culture, sense of art, restaurants and night life in Istanbul, it’s a magical city.

What’s your current hood in Istanbul and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

I live in Bomonti right now. The best part is many young people live here and there are great places to hang out for us. Worst part is, it is very close to city center so there can be huge traffic jams from time to time.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

I absolutely hate pop but other than that I am open to all kinds.

You’re broken hearted – what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Home- Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeroes, Bonobo- First Fires, Barcelona- Henry Green, It’s Alright – Bang Gang.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

The best TV show for me is definitely Breaking Bad. It never failed to shock me until the very end. Besides, the director was incredibly talented and the scenario was clever, telling the audience how a person can change entirely.

Name some spots in Istanbul that are good for a Tinder date.

Anywhere in Moda. There are nice places for coffee or drinks or places to grab a bite, it is easy to continue the night if you liked your date or the opposite, easy to run away from there by blaming public transportation.

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

Kardashian’s probably. I would like to see them cry 🙂

Who’s your hero and where in Istanbul would you take them out for a serious hang?

My hero is my father I guess like most of the girls 🙂 I love to spend time with him even though he lives in İzmir, my hometown. When he comes to Istanbul, the first thing we do is to go to Mira Balık restaurant by the Bosphorus, where you can have amazing seafood with drinks. We talk all night and watch the beautiful Bosphorus together.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Souq Dükkan, pop.see.cul, Zara (because you know, you kind of have to…) , Vintage Istanbul for some hidden treasures.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

I guess I have to say it is Nişantaşı area 🙂

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Well I never get to do a private Bosphorus boat tour with candle lit dinner. It would be super romantic 🙂

Where do you go in Istanbul for a casual night out?

Dirty Hands Etiler, Populist Bomontiada, Latife Hanım Meyhanesi.

Where would you go in Istanbul to celebrate some freaking good news?

Soho House Istanbul or Lucca Bebek.

What’s your choice of transportation in Istanbul and why?

Metro for sure. The place I live and generally the places I hang out are all connected with metro stations. Besides, in Istanbul, the traffic is crazy. The best way to avoid that is to use the metro. If the place I have to go to is hard to reach with metro, I take a cab.

What are the Istanbul spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Topkapı and Dolmabahçe Palaces, Prince Islands, Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Moda, Kadıköy, Nişantaşı, Cihangir…. Millions of places not to miss!

What are the Istanbul spots tourists should run from screaming?

Well Istanbul is a very mixed city. It is always better for tourists to stay in central areas.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Istanbul. How do you spend it?

I would go to one of the Prince Islands, Burgazada and enjoy Rakı with seafood while watching the sunset.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

New York City. I don’t know I think I just love the crowded cosmopolitan cities. I hate to be alone and always like to have many things to do. In NYC, you never know what you could discover around the corner, a nice place to eat or a cool art gallery.

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