The apartment's 'spine': all the rooms bar one open up from this hallway
Elegant library flat with panoramic Istanbul vista
Elegant library flat with panoramic Istanbul vista

Entire home/apt

3 guests

2 bedrooms

2 beds
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Ages 2 - 12
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Under 2
3 guests maximum. Infants don’t count toward the number of guests.
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Perched on the 4th floor of a listed, historical 1913 walk-up, 5' walk from Istiklal Street, this fully-equipped and tastefully decorated apartment boasting a huge library and rare documentary photography travels you back to Istanbul's 19th century. The library spans East Mediterranean/Middle East/North Africa/Central Asia-specific literature, philosophy, travel writing and current affairs. Just renovated and 5' walk from Istiklal, 10' from trendy Cihangir and Galata districts.

The space

Many apartments are located around Taksim but it's rare to get access to an architect-designed one with such a well-stocked library and furnished with custom-built bookcases, Ottoman sedir seating and Levantine, North African and Viennese antique furniture. Rounded off with a modern kitchen and bathroom, this beautiful apartment is decorated with antiques from around the Middle East and Central Asia, and illustrated with documentary photography shot by its owner, a Mediterraneanist who employs print, photography and video to highlight little-known aspects of the region's shared past.
This fully-equipped 100m2 flat is part of a network of centrally-located properties in Athens, Beirut, Istanbul and Tunis, dedicated to reminding us of an earlier, kinder period of cosmopolitan coexistence in the Mediterranean.

Guest access

High-end electrical appliances (washing machine, gas stove, oven grill, electric juicer, fridge), plasma LED TV with international and Turkish channels, laptop hookup, free Internet included.

Interaction with guests

I am usually travelling when renting out the flat but the wonderful Melek will do your check-in and check-out, lives locally, and is on call during the day. Both myself and my cohost Semi will be available should something come up.

Other things to note

When you book to stay here, you get the owner's personal, 30-page guide to Vintage Istanbul, a compendium of epicurean information about the city's lesser-known neighbourhoods, pleasures and absences.

The space
Accommodates: 3
Bathrooms: 1
Bedrooms: 2
Beds: 2
Check In: 2PM - 11PM
Check Out: 12PM (noon)
Room type: Entire home/apt


Extra people: 38 / night after 2 guests
Cleaning Fee: 61
Security Deposit: 1220
Weekly Discount: 15%
Weekend Price: 122 / night
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Sleeping arrangements
Bedroom 1
1 queen bed
Bedroom 2
1 sofa bed
Common spaces
2 sofa beds

House Rules
No smoking
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Not safe or suitable for children (0-12 years)
Check in time is 2PM - 11PM

Children, pets, smoking, anything more raucous than a dinner party unwelcome. The apartment is over a hundred years old and much loved, so please remove shoes at the entrance, don't throw paper into the toilet or semi-waste solids (like coffee) down the sink to avoid blocked plumbing.
Appropriate for academics, lovers of libraries, photography and architecture, cultural purists and ethical symmetrists. Unsuited to party animals and families with children.
In line with Turkish government legislation, all guests staying on the property must present their passports upon checkin for registration.



Cancel up to 7 days before your trip and get a 50% refund. Cancel within 7 days of your trip and the reservation is non-refundable.

Safety features
First aid kit
Safety card

3 nights minimum stay

16 Reviews

Check In
Jonathan User Profile
July 2017
The Old Lady welcomes you with a calm embrace. Her book-lined walls and elegant aesthetic make you feel as if you have stepped into a different Istanbul - and indeed, you have! Reminiscent of an older, more intellectually curious and tolerant city, this apartment will allow you to recharge not only your bodies but your souls after a long day of experiencing Istanbul in all is glorious contradictions. Like me you may be tempted to stay indoors some days for a grasse matinée to lounge in the salon, book in hand, a pot of Turkish tea warming in the kitchen. As Henry James once said about Venice, some (all?) cities require the true explorer (rather than the tourist) to slow down and feel the local pulse. You could pretend to do this at any of the thousands of hotels in Istanbul, but the Old Lady of Tarlabaşı gives you the rare opportunity of vicariously living the life of a bygone Istanbullu era. Step outside and you are in a vibrant and rapidly changing neighborhood with modern stores and a famous Sunday market. You are a mere five minute walk to the tumult of Istiklal Caddesi and the faint whispers of a dying old Pera. Transportation options abound should you wish to bop over to the Asian side or out to other neighborhoods. However the highlight of my days here has been the moment when I close the heavy door, flip on the light and put on my slippers for a evening beside the window, a cool breeze and even cooler glass of rakı soothing the nerves. Enjoy! Slow down. Listen. Learn.
Iason User Profile
Response from Iason:
That moment when the heavy door closes and the apartment envelops you in its atmosphere is what I miss most about it. Thank you for your beautiful text Jonathan, and for feeling so intensely.
July 2017

Natalie User Profile
June 2017
This is a fabulous flat which has been renovated to a high standard - has all facilities - and is full of wonderful books. It is also very close to Istiklal Cad. and all that that has to offer. The neighbourhood of the flat however is "up and coming" rather than "arrivee". Although I never felt unsafe I think this could have been made clearer.

Daniel User Profile
June 2017
This book-filled apartment is full of character, light, and good vibes. It's situated in an innocuous residential neighborhood that is only a stone's throw from the many restaurants and bars of the Istiklal area. Iason and Semih were great hosts, and responded to communications super quickly. I arrived late at night and - not speaking Turkish - couldn't find the apartment immediately. Semih was hugely helpful (and very patient!) in helping me navigate, and even spoke to the taxi driver over the phone on my behalf. Thanks guys!
Iason User Profile
Response from Iason:
Always wonderful to host scholars both from and of the region. In addition, thank you for your kindness and flexibility.
June 2017

Alfredo User Profile
May 2017
I don't think enough can be said about the experience at the Old Lady (the name of the apt). Iason (even though was unable to be present) was one of the most accommodating and hospitable hosts I've had through AirBB. The pictures of the home don't do it justice to the actual sentiment of it, once you're inside. We enjoyed quiet reading time in the mornings from his vast selection of books. The apartment is very well located and quiet at night. The shower is nice and warm. But what makes his home so unique is the guide and assistance that Iason provides you with. We asked Iason for suggestions that were not "too" touristy. We wanted more of a raw and historic experience of Istanbul and sure enough, he had an entire guide built around exactly that. He is very knowledgeable of his city and the guide was perfectly paired for the experience we wanted. I highly recommend your visit to Istanbul to include a stay at The Old Lady. You'd be a fool not to stay here. Without the Old Lady, our experience may have been a bit different. The Old Lady is reason enough to make you want to come back!
Iason User Profile
Response from Iason:
That's an incredibly gracious review Alfredo - thank you for appreciating the Old Lady in such a deep and thoughtful way. As you know she's much-loved, so only a tiny number of people even come across her when searching for a place in Istanbul, and of those who book her, not all necessarily understand what she's about. It was obvious from our first exchange that you would be one of the special guests, and Melek, Semi and myself are just very very happy to have shaped your visit to Istanbul in this manner.
May 2017

Rochelle Del User Profile
April 2017
What a lovingly curated piece of art this apartment is, and full of literary delights. I found a translated copy of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's A Mind At Peace, this is rather hard to find and I enjoyed making a start on it. The apartment is beautifully restored, spacious and very comfortable with a fantastic shower and a well-equipped kitchen. As previous reviewers have mentioned, Iason's pieces of his reflective photographic work grace the walls and seal the spirit and energy of the apartment and it's place in the wonderful multi-layered and complex city of Istanbul. Don't hesitate to book, and gratitude to Iason for opening his home to us.

Jasmin User Profile
April 2017
Iason's apartment is a fusion of old meets new. The apartment still retains a historic charm of the early 20th century and recent modern renovation of the kitchen and bathroom. The latter both being efficient and tasteful. We enjoyed spending time in the two small living areas which were perfect for computer work or just reading away. Iason has beautiful shelving and a collection of fascinating books, many on the modern Middle East. We did not cook despite the complete kitchen because there are so many fantastic restaurants and excellent coffee shops in Istanbul.

Jing User Profile
April 2017
Room is suitable for group people. Very clean and comfortable to stay. I would recommend to my friends.

This host has 9 reviews for other properties.

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Istanbul, TurkeyJoined in January 2014
Iason User Profile

I've been travelling since my mother bundled me onto a bumpy transatlantic Olympic Airways flight in 1979, a few months after I was born. Since then, I've learned to share less of my tears, screams, and dinner portions with fellow travellers.
Now, I work as a Mediterraneanist, meaning that I write and make films seeking to raise awareness about the heritage-at-risk of the body of water connecting the three cities I live in: Athens, Istanbul and Tunis.

Hosted 1 guest from Canada
Languages: English, Türkçe, Ελληνικά, العربية
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within an hour

About the home

When you stay in an Airbnb, you’re staying in someone’s home.

This is Iason’s place.
Sami helps host.
Exact location information is provided after a booking is confirmed.
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