Though summer is in full swing, there is still a strong expat community in Istanbul that hosts regular social, entertaining and educational events to help you beat the sweltering heat.
Whether you choose to enjoy the great outdoors with others, head to the beach or become a night owl, there is something fun coming up this month for everyone.
July 2 - Multicultural Open Mic Night: Spoken Word Istanbul is Turkey's biggest multicultural open mic event that has been going on for seven years now. Taking place every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Taksim's Arsen Lüpen, Spoken Word Istanbul serves as a stage for those who want to sign up to perform anything of their choice for a duration of six minutes and in front of an eager audience that regularly includes members of Istanbul's expat community.
July 6 - Public Speaking Workshop: Istanbul&I is a volunteer youth community that aims to assist the displaced and disadvantaged and holds regular poetry, book and speaking clubs as well as informative seminars from their center in Karaköy.
On Saturday, July 6, starting at 2 p.m., Istanbul&I will be hosting a special workshop on enhancing public speaking and presentation skills. Led by Italian expat and professional coach, improvisation theater and performance artist Martina Pavone, this will be a wonderful opportunity to hone your skills in speaking in front of an audience through a number of activities, games and role-playing techniques.
July 6 - English Standup Comedy Night: Held monthly, English Standup Comedy Night features a line-up of eight international comedians, many of which whom hail from Istanbul's "Spoken Word" scene that perform standup comedy in English. This month, the show begins at 10 p.m. and will take place at BKM Mutfak in Beşiktaş.
July 8 - Yogurt Stand Up Open Mic Night: The newest edition of international stand-up comedy open mic nights is a series held on Monday evenings at Aylak Kadıköy. Anyone interested in testing their stand-up comedy skills is welcome to take the stage in English for five minutes. Sign-ups open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m.
July 11 - Trivia Night - A Quiz for Everyone: Every month, Yabangee hosts a popular Trivia Night in which teams of maximum six people test their knowledge of questions that are asked in English and in Turkish. Yabangee is a volunteer website and community geared towards informing foreigners in Istanbul of events and also hosts a number of entertaining event series themselves, including their "Trivia Night" series, which will take place this month on Thursday, July 11, starting at 7 p.m., with the quiz kicking off at 8 p.m.
July 14 - Potluck Style Picnic at Maçka Park: On Sunday, July 14, the Yabangee community will be gathering for the first of two "Potluck Picnics" planned for this month. Starting at 5:30 p.m. at Maçka Park and as per the potluck' style, participants will be bringing a dish and snacks to share, which will be coordinated via the Facebook event page as will the final destination for the picnic.
July 28 - Potluck Style Picnic at Moda: On Sunday, July 28, Yabangee returns with another 'Potluck Style Picnic' this time taking place on the Asian side of the city on the shore of Moda. Bring a blanket or a frisbee and a dish to share amongst guests to this relaxing opportunity to mingle with the expat community while enjoying the great outdoors. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and the final location of the picnic spot will be announced on the Facebook event page.
July 28 - Şile Clean-Up Day: Tidy Turkey aka Türkiye'yi Temizle is a community that hosts social clean-ups in which participants gather to clear litter from a designated area of nature or significance and afterward celebrates their success with various activities.
Spearheaded by Australian expat Lucy Tooze, there is also a blog of the same name in which there is a review of each event and photos shared of their progress.
On Sunday, July 28, Tidy Turkey will team up with Eco Istanbul, another environment-focused organization started by British expat Jodie Harburt, who has made Şile her home.
Together, they will be hosting a full day of workshops, a potluck picnic, and a beach swim and clean up event. Check out the Facebook event page for information on transportation to Şile, which is a wonderful coastal area of the Black Sea, located approximately an hour or so from Istanbul proper.
During the event, Jodie Harburt will be giving a "Conscious Living/Zero Waste Workshop" in which she will be demonstrating how to make everyday products, such as toothpaste in an ecologically-minded way. Participants are asked to not bring disposable items and to pay heed to the "Zero Waste" concept, which Jodie through her Eco Istanbul organizati on has been promoting and sharing knowledge on to schools on how to transition to zero waste and businesses on how to incorporate clean-up events in team building exercises.
For those in Fethiye, Jodie Harburt will be giving a three-hour "Conscious Living Workshop" this Wednesday, July 3, starting at 6 p.m. at The Aware Co.