Why it’s time to visit Turkey

Expect to see Turkey in the limelight over the next year, with major events, anniversaries and exciting hotel openings

With the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing taking place in April 2015, Turkey will be in sharp focus leading up to the event. But the past is not the sum total of this fascinating and ancient country: the future is definitely now, with a swag of hotel openings, design festivals and the odd celebrity visit on the horizon.

The Shangri-La Bosphorus made a big noise when it opened last year with its Asian influences and luxe CHI Spa, but it is set to be joined in the rarefied five-star space by the likes of Raffles, St Regis and Hilton.

Viceroy Istanbul is one of the most interesting new prospects: it will be spread over 10 separate buildings, including a former monastery, dating back to the Ottoman Empire on a hillside overlooking the Bosphorus Strait.

The Istanbul Design Biennial will be held at various locations around the city between 18 October and 14 December with talks, design walks, exhibitions and film screenings.

And with so many shiny new hotels to choose from, Justin Timberlake and his entourage will be spoilt for choice when they roll in to town in May as part of the singer’s 20/20 Experience World Tour.


When you visit: No trip to Istanbul would be complete without visiting the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world: get a sumptuous glimpse at things to come in The Grand Bazaar by writer Serdar Gulgun and photographer Laziz Hamani (Assouline, $280).