KarDes is a mobile application designed as a personal tour guide in Turkish and English languages for users who wish to discover the multicultural legacy and multilayered fabric of Istanbul.
With this application, KarDes users can discover a cultural inventory consisting of close to nine hundred sites such as mosques, synagogues, schools and cemeteries. As they walk along routes that make this multicultural legacy visible, they can hear Istanbul’s hidden stories, told by well-known Turkish artists.
Istanbul is a crossroads for many different cultures, with a history going back many centuries. Although the sites we use, the buildings we pass by and the streets we walk down every day are all parts of rich stories, these stories usually lose that richness, forced into the shadow of standardized official narratives.
The “Discover” feature on the application helps users access the location, construction dates, and in some cases, brief information about cultural sites that they may encounter every day unawares, along with a comprehensive inventory of Istanbul’s cultural legacy.
Working with the goal of making unknown sites in well-known neighborhoods visible and
allowing their stories to be told, KarDes’ twelve memory tours, each of which lasts an
average of two hours, reveals the multicultural pasts of the various areas. Prepared
through detailed research and consisting of nine to fifteen stops within walking distance
of each other, the texts of the memory tours have narrated voluntarily by artists Hayko
Cepkin, Ece Dizdar, Ceylan Ertem, Mahir Günşıray, Banu Güven, Nejat İşler, Simon
Johns, Ercan Kesal, Yekta Kopan, Lale Mansur, Eric Nazarian, Songül Öden, Tülin
Özen, Tilbe Saran, Serra Yılmaz, Shakeh Major Tchilingirian and Ayla Jean Yackley.
Presenting a powerful narrative through the nearly forty oral history interviews, and continually updated with new tours, you can discover places like Yorgo’s Rose Garden, the Büyükdere Ice Cream Parlor, Apoyevmatini Newspaper, and hear the stories of Eftalya the Mermaid, Abdi Çelebi Mosque, Knar Sıvacıyan, the Narmanlı Han, the Galata Mevlevi Lodge, the Büyükada Clock Tower and the Anatolia Club.