The close of the holiday season and the start of the new year can bring along with it the impetus to continue to take part in social events. Luckily, the expat community has a number of entertaining event series that can enable you to meet new people, learn new skills and also have a good laugh while doing so.
Jan. 2 Public Speaking with Toastmasters
The international organization geared toward helping people practice their leadership and public speaking skills, Toastmasters has an active community in Istanbul that get together weekly to discuss predetermined topics in English. Due to the popular demand, there are two different Toastmaster groups, the Istanbul Toastmasters and the Bosphorus Toastmasters that meet on interchanging Wednesdays at the Gönen Hotel in Taksim. On Wednesday, Jan. 2, Istanbul Toastmasters will kick off the year tackling the topic of "Survivor Bias" with the session taking place from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Jan. 4 Standup Turkey at BKM Mutfak Çarşı
Standup Turkey is an English language standup comedy night, which features eight young comedians from all over the world that will be taking place on Friday, Jan. 4 at BKM Mutfak Çarşı in Beşiktaş. Doors open at 7 p.m., the show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are TL 39 ($7.25) and available on Biletix.
Jan. 8 Spoken Word Istanbul at Arsen Lüpen
After a brief holiday hiatus, the city's most popular expat event series Spoken Word Istanbul resumes in the second week of January at their regular venue Arsen Lüpen in Beyoğlu. Spoken Word Istanbul is the only weekly open mike series of international performers, who take the stage for a maximum of six minutes to perform anything they choose for an eager audience. Signups begin for this entertaining and free event at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.
Jan. 19 Karaoke Night: Release Your Inner Star
Yabangee is a volunteer-driven English resource and community platform for foreigners and globally minded locals living in Turkey that not only operates an entertaining website that informs of events and provides reviews and advice, but also organizes a number of events geared to the expat crowd.
On Saturday, Jan. 19, Yabangee will be hosting their now monthly Karaoke Night: Release Your Inner Star event series, which will take place at the new Arsen Lüpen in Beşiktaş. Entry is free to this lively night of karaoke, which will take place from 9:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m.
Jan. 22 Trivia Night #17 A quiz Night for Everyone
On Tuesday, Jan 22, Yabangee will be hosting their monthly Trivia Night at Arsen Lüpen in Beşiktaş starting at 8 p.m. This will be the 17th edition of their quiz night series and is entitled "A Quiz Night for Everyone." Questions are read aloud in English and in Turkish and participants must be over the age of 18 to play. Teams are a maximum of six people each and participants are welcome to come alone or with friends and can be paired with others to play. No cell phones or computers are allowed to be used during the game and the top three teams win prizes.
Jan. 23 Expat Spotlight on Fashion
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, Yabangee returns with their monthly Expat Spotlight talk series, which showcases innovative and inspiring contributions made by the diverse international community in Istanbul to the city's cultural, sporting, humanitarian, and business spheres. Every month, Expat Spotlight focuses on a different theme and hosts half a dozen guest speakers who reflect on personal experiences and participate in a resourceful dialogue which takes place in English at ATÖLYE in Bomonti. This month's focus will be on "Fashion" and this will be the 18th edition of this event series, which is free to attend.
Jan. 20 Pop-Up Dinners Istanbul does 'Jerusalem'
On Saturday, Jan. 20, Pop-Up Dinners Istanbul returns with a meal marrying Israeli and Palestine cuisines. Kay, a Singaporean-Dutch expat and former restaurateur, has been hosting themed gourmet dinners that are wildly popular with the expat crowd for years now. A great opportunity to meet fellow foreigners and to enjoy unique cuisine, at this dinner, Kay will be preparing dishes inspired from Ottolenghi's menus, the well-known chef famed for his revival of this region's cuisine. The dinners start at 8:30 p.m. and are held in Kay's home in Cihangir. Check out the Pop-Up Dinners Istanbul Facebook page for further info.
Women's Lives through the Ages
This exhibition is designed as an intercultural and comparative women's history project of sorts that has been prepared by Meral Akkent, the curator of the Women's Museum Istanbul online platform. The exhibition depicts biographies in English and Turkish of women from Turkey and Austria that have been influential in a variety of fields such as science, art, literature and politics spanning back from the 1800s to present day. This exhibition is being held at the Austrian Cultural Office in Yeniköy until Jan. 18 and is open to visitors between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays.