Evan Pheiffer was born and raised in St Louis and educated in the U.S., France and U.K. A freelance writer and editor, he has lived in Istanbul since 2016.
Latest from Evan Pheiffer
For decades, Red Village in Azerbaijan has remained the only all-Jewish enclave outside Israel and the United States. Its residents are prosperous and pragmatic, fluent in various dialects of Persian, Russian and Turkish — and usually a Western European language, too.
Upon risk of social death, there are three subjects that comedians shy away from in Turkey: Atatürk, religion and homosexuality. Everything else is fair game. The creators of “Gibi,” 33-year-old Feyyaz Yiğit and 41-year-old Aziz Kedi, seem to feel this in their bones.
“The Club” also offers a biting social critique. For the show is less about the arrival of cocktail modernity to Istanbul than about the Turkification of cocktail modernity, i.e., a pincer movement by Kemalist state and society to substitute good secular Muslim Turks for Istanbul’s Greeks, Jews and Armenians.
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote Robert Frost. In this profile of Bağcılar, one of Istanbul’s most misunderstood districts, we look at the riveting history of Turkey’s self-styled “municipality to the world.”