While Turkey and the rest of the world is beginning to open up the doors to return to life as we once knew it, there are still many wonderful ways of socializing online that will continue this month. Check out all of the great reasons to stay home and all the wonderful things you can still do while practicing social distancing.
June 2: Create Your Own Home Studio
Nadas Istanbul is a creative space and activity center located in Kadıköy’s colorful Yeldeğirmeni neighborhood that was spearheaded by a group of talented ladies, including an expat who leads many of their classes, which at present are held online. In addition to hosting online yoga courses, which are held five days a week at various times, Nadas is also showcasing a special “Home Studio for Beginners” series, which is held on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the month of June and is led in English and Turkish by artist and art teacher Gabrielle Reeves. In this unique event series, participants will learn how to set up a comfortable working environment and will develop a series of artworks working one-on-one with Reeves developing techniques specific to their projects. Each session will also begin with an introduction from a Nadas resident or guest artist who will share their own home studio practices.
June 3: Social Distancing Movie Night
Luckily for expats in Istanbul, there is Yabangee, a volunteer-run website and community that informs of ongoings in the city, doles out advice to foreigners and hosts a number of entertaining event series, where expats can mingle. Over the past few months, Yabangee has reshuffled some of its popular event series and added a few new ones to the mix, all to transpire online and from the safety of your home. Their “Social Distancing Movie Night” is just one of their weekly events that were created to combat the idleness felt by many an expat stuck at home away from home. Taking place every Wednesday evening, its 10th edition will go online this June 3 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Participants select a movie, which is announced a few days prior to the Facebook event page. In the evening, the selected film is viewed by all participants simultaneously who can also interact through a temporary live chatroom. Films viewed thus far have included: "7.Koğuştaki Mucize," "Hababam Sınıfı," "Life in a Day," "The Kid," "Beauty in the Broken" and "Kelebeğin Rüyası."
June 5: Istanbul&I’s Virtual Film Club
Istanbul&I is a multicultural youth organization devoted to social empowerment through volunteering, which operates out of a center in Karakoy where they host a variety of events and educational clubs. In addition to their weekly speaking clubs in English, French and Turkish, which have gone virtual over the past few months, there is also a Virtual Book Club and Virtual Film Club, the latter of which will be held this June 5. Taking place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., this week’s film will be the highly acclaimed “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind,” which tells the true story of a boy in Malawi who uses his knowledge of physics to create a windmill, which saves his village from famine and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor. Held over Zoom from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., participants are advised to watch the film first and then join others for a live online discussion on the film.
June 8: English group support sessions
One of the most helpful event series created by Yabangee during the era of COVID-19 self-quarantine has been their weekly Monday evening “Group Support Sessions” led by clinical psychologist Julia Özdemir in English. These weekly meetings, which are held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., take place over Zoom in a question-and-answer format, so feel free to ask any questions you may have ready on topics such as coping with stress, anxiety and loneliness during these trying times.
June 9: Stop Addictions Talk
Whatever your addiction may be, sugar or tobacco, there will be a supportive one-hour webinar organized by the Istanbul branch of InterNations that will be taking place on Tuesday, June 9, starting at 7 p.m. Led by Philip Maziere, who is a certified practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnosis, and uses emotion-focused therapy and breathwork, this will be a unique opportunity to tackle any addictions you may be battling, in order to take care of your health and “joie de vivre,” in other words, “love of life.” InterNations is the world’s largest expat networking community that is a member-based organization with branches in cities all over the world. In addition to hosting monthly meetups exclusively for expats, which they have halted, for the time being, there are also a number of special interest groups catering to a wide variety of interests that make for a great way to meet new people and mingle with fellow foreigners.
June 11: Trivia Night, Social Distancing Edition
Yabangee’s popular Trivia Night event series was quickly adapted to an online version that has been held monthly since the pandemic was announced. Social solidarity while physically distancing has been a motto adopted by Yabangee, which will be hosting the 34th edition of the event series on Thursday, June 11. Held over Zoom, with the questions read aloud in English and in Turkish, the chat session begins at 7 p.m. with the trivia questions read aloud starting at 7 p.m.
June 14: Speed Socializing Party
On Sunday, June 14, Inter Nations will be hosting the eighth edition of their online “Speed Socializing Party” for its members in which participants will switch from different chat rooms, in which they will spend 10 to 15 minutes with six to seven people. The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will kick off with an introduction from the main chat room, after which participants will break off into smaller parties. No negativity or politics, this event is intended to be an opportunity for small talk and light banter and to socialize by meeting new people from the comfort of your couch.
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