Bahçeşehir University – The Venue

The 2011 HPCS Conference will be held at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul, Turkey (http://english.bahcesehir.edu.tr/.)

The University is a modern comprehensive educational institution that represents a state-of-the- art facility and ideal location for an international meeting of this kind.

It is located near the city center in Besiktas district. It is fully equipped for a meeting of this kind, with many meeting rooms, amphitheaters, halls, cafeteria, etc.

Istanbul – The City

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. Once known as the capital of capital cities, Istanbul has many unique features. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires - Christian and Islamic. Once capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul still remains the commercial, historical and cultural center of Turkey. Its beauty lies in its ability to embrace its contradictions: ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asia and Europe, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.

The ancient mosques, palaces, museums and bazaars reflect Istanbul's diverse history. The thriving shopping area of Taksim buzzes with life and entertainment. And the serene beauty of the Bosphorus, Princes Islands and parks bring a touch of peace to the otherwise chaotic metropolis.

City Districts

Adalar, Avcilar, Bagcilar, Bahçelievler, Bakirköy, Besiktas (where the venue is located), Bayrampasa, Beykoz, Beyoglu, Eminönü, Eyüb, Fatih, Gaziosmanpasa, Kadiköy, Kâgithane, Kartal, Küçükçekmece, Pendik, Sariyer, Sisli, Ümraniye, Üsküdar, Zeytinburnu, Büyükçekmece, Çatalca, Silivri, Sile, Esenler, Güngören, Maltepe, Sultanbeyli, Tuzla.

Beyoglu and Taksim: Beyoglu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture, from a century before. Europe's second oldest subway, Tunel was built by the French in 1875, must be also one of the shortest – offering a one-stop ride to start of Taksim. Near to Tunel is the Galata district, whose Galata Tower became a famous symbol of Istanbul, and the top of which offers a tremendous 180 degree view of the city.

From the Tunel area to Taksim Square is one of the city's focal points for shopping, entertainment and urban promenading: Istiklal Cadesi is a fine example of the contrasts and compositions of Istanbul; fashion shops, bookshops, cinemas, markets, restaurants and even hand-carts selling trinkets and simit (sesame bread snack) ensure that the street is packed throughout the day until late into the night. The old tramcars re-entered into service, which shuttle up and down this fascinating street, and otherwise the street is entirely pedestrianized. There are old embassy buildings, Galatasaray High School, the colorful ambience of Balik Pazari (Fish Bazaar) and restaurants in Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage). Also on this street is the oldest church in the area, St Mary's Draperis dating back to 1789, and the Franciscan Church of St Antoine, demolished and then rebuilt in 1913.

The street ends at Taksim Square, a huge always crowded open plaza, crowned with an imposing monument celebrating Attaturk and the War of Independence. The main terminal of the new subway is under the square, adjacent is a noisy bus terminal, and at the north end is the Ataturk Cultural Centre, one of the venues of the Istanbul Theatre Festival. Several five-star hotels are located around this area (see Accommodations). North of the Square is the Istanbul Military Museum.

Taksim and Beyoglu have for centuries been the centre of nightlife, and now there are many lively bars and clubs off Istiklal Cadesi. Beyoglu is also the centre of the more bohemian arts scene.

The district northeast of Taksim is Besiktas, where the venue is located.

Golden Horn: This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul. One of the best natural harbors in the world, it was once the centre for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests. Today, attractive parks and promenades line the shores, a picturesque scene, especially as the sun goes down over the water. At Fener and Balat, neighborhoods midway up the Golden Horn, there are entire streets filled with old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times. The Orthodox Patriarchy resides at Fener and a little further up the Golden Horn at Eyup, are some wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture. Muslim pilgrims from all over the world visit Eyup Camii and Tomb of Eyup, the Prophet Mohammed's standard bearer. The area is still a popular burial place, and the hills above the mosque are dotted with modern gravestones interspersed with ornate Ottoman stones. The Pierre Loti Cafe, atop the hill overlooking the shrine and the Golden Horn, is a good place to enjoy the tranquility of the view.

Sultanahmet: Many places of tourist interest are concentrated in Sultanahmet, heart of the Imperial Centre of the Ottoman Empire. The most important places in this area are Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofia, Sultan Ahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), the Hippodrome, Kapali Carsi (Covered Market), Yerebatan Sarnici and the Museum of Islamic Art. In addition to this wonderful selection of historical and architectural sites, Sultanahmet also has a large concentration of carpet and souvenir shops, hotels and guesthouses, cafes, bars and restaurants, and travel agents.

Ortaköy: Ortakoy was a resort for the Ottoman rulers because of its attractive location on the Bosphorus, and is still a popular spot for residents and visitors. The village is within a triangle of a mosque, church and synagogue, and is near Ciragan Palace, Kabatas High School, Feriye, Princess Hotel.

The name Ortakoy reflects the university students and teachers who would gather to drink tea and discuss life, when it was just a small fishing village. These days, however, that scene has developed into a suburb with numerous expensive restaurants, bars, shops and a huge market. The fishing, however, lives on and the area is popular with local anglers, and there is now a large waterfront tea-house which is crammed at weekends and holidays.

Many of Istanbul's top sights such as Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, are in Sultanahmet.

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı, or Covered Market) is just a 12- to 15-minute walk or short tram ride west of Sultanahmet along the old Roman road called Divan Yolu.

Most 4-star and 5-star hotels are near Taksim Square, in Beyoğlu, or on the Bosphorus. See Hotels.


Istanbul's Metro and tram system runs from about 06:00 (6:00 am) to a little past 24:00 (12:00 midnight).


Istanbul has several useful tram lines, most modern, one old-fashioned (on purpose).

You can use the transit pass on all tram lines, as well as on the Metro, Tünel, city buses and ferries. Basic Istanbul public transit fares are: City bus, Metro, tram, funicular: TL2 (with Akbil: TL1.50); Ferryboat, suburban train: TL1.50 ; Tünel, Nostalgic tram: TL1.00.


The city also has a METRO system. The completed lines allow you to travel easily and inexpensively between Atatürk Airport, the Büyük Otogar (main bus terminal), and the main tourist area at Sultanahmet Square. More ...

The two existing lines are:

M1: Aksaray - Havalimani, going from Aksaray Square in Old Istanbul via Istanbul's main Otogar (bus terminal) to Atatürk Airport. This line will soon be extended from Aksaray to Yenikapı, dock for "seabus" catamaran ferryboats and fast auto ferries.

M2: Sishane - Atatürk Oto Sanayi, going from Şişhane Square, near Tünel Square in Beyoğlu through Taksim Square and north through modern business and residential sections of the city to Atatürk Oto Sanayi.


City bus routes get you to some places you'll want to visit. Buy tickets before boarding at kiosks labeled "I.E.T.T" and/or "Bilet" (ticket).

In addition, Istanbul has private buses (Özel Halk Otobüsü) owned and operated by private individuals and companies.

DOLMUŞ MINIBUS is Turkey's shared taxi or minibus.


Maritime Lines run both the urban and national transport. Marinas also have connections with European ports. Traditional white IDO ferries and private TurYol ferries serve shorter water routes, and are enjoyable way to get around Istanbul. They travel convenient shorter routes up, down and across the Bosphorus connecting such districts as Karaköy, Eminönü and Beşiktaş on the European shore with Üsküdar, Haydarpaşa and Kadıköy on the Asian side.

Modern passenger catamarans zoom around the city at rush hours, and out to the Princes Islands several times daily. There are even Sea of Marmara routes to Yalova and Bandırma on the sea's southern shore.

Useful contacts:

Port Tel: (+90-212) 245 53 66/249 71 78/249 18 96.

Address: TDY Maritime Lines Agency, Rihtim Cad. Kadikoy, Istanbul

Head Office Tel: (+90-212) 245 53 66/249 71 78/249 18 96.

Reservation Tel: (+90-212) 249 92 22/293 74 54

Information Tel: (+90-212) 244 25 02/244 02 07

How to get to Besiktas from Taksim Square:

By bus: There are public bus stops right in front of the airport shuttle stop at Taksim Square. Ask for the busses that go to or through “Besiktas”. Purchase your ticket (about $1) in the bus, the travel time is about 10 minutes.

By taxi: You could easily find a taxi in Taksim Square. State that you are going to “Besiktas” and “Bahcesehir University”. The travel time is about 5-7 minutes and the price is approximately $5.

By walking: For those who prefer to walk to Besiktas from Taksim Square, it will take about 25-30 minutes. Use the following map for directions.


The typical dish of Istanbul would consist of lamb, mutton and veal, to which a variety of vegetables are added. Pilaf, all kinds of pastry, bulgur, haricot beans, rich olive oil and vegetables are used as side dishes. Meatballs, shish kebab and doner kebab are the most classic dishes found in any kebab restaurant, together with peppers, yoghurt, eggplant. Because of its coastal location, fish is also popular although is usually cooked simply, such as grilled or fried with olive oil and lemon juice. The usual way of starting a big meal is with mezzes, a selection of hot and cold dishes such as meat, fish, salads, vegetables and cheese, shared amongst the table and eaten with fresh bread. To finish your meal, pastry tarts, baklava, kadayif and a whole host of sweets are available not only in restaurants, but in pastry shops which have often been going for generations.

There are restaurants of many nationalities in Istanbul, like Korean, Russian, Italian, French and Chinese. American-style fast-food outlets are becoming more popular, but for a quick snack it is more appropriate to fill up at the plethora of tiny takeaways with kebabs and snacks. It is easy to sample good quality regional cuisine in typical small restaurants, usually at low cost, especially in the commercial and business areas.

Turkish coffee is legendary, usually served very sweet and strong and drunk from tiny cups. It normally follows a meal, or is popular in cafes.

People have been meeting for years at Cicek Pasaji in Beyoglu for snacks and seafood specialties, and nearby is the narrow Nevizade street, the best place in Istanbul for eating Turkish specialties. On the Bosphorus, Ortakoy is another good nightlife spot, with a good range of nightclubs, jazz clubs, fine seafood restaurants and bars. At Eminönü don't miss an opportunity to see fishermen dressed in traditional Ottoman clothes and their Ottoman-style boats cooking delicious fried fish, whilst bobbing on the water around Eminonu.

For more information, see for example