About & Contact

When you’re born in one place and then continue to move to another every three to four years, a sense of belonging is not something you’re imbued with. It has its pros and cons. I was born in Austria, grew up mostly in Germany, spoke Turkish at home and became a “native” English speaker when we ventured to the U.S. during my pubescence. After spending more than seven years completing various degrees at American universities, I was about ripe for something new, so I moved to Istanbul in 2011 and worked for several English language magazines and websites as an editor and writer.

After a final denunciation of office life ennui in 2015, I became fully freelance, traveling the world as an amateur documentary scriptwriter, doing odd job translations, writing countless online travel/culture articles about Istanbul (and Turkey in general), researching and writing texts for coffee table books and doing in-depth profiles of rather mesmerizing Turkish personalities. During this time I also fell in love with a German architect (who is now my husband) and moved to Berlin.

In 2019 I poured all the years’ worth of Istanbul knowledge and discoveries into my own guidebook The 500 Hidden Secrets of Istanbul, and continue to write about that endearing chaos of a city for online and print magazines. I’m also currently working for LOST iN city guides here in Berlin as a content editor.

I’m always open to new projects and commissions so contact me at: fyalav@gmail.com

Follow me @fyheck

Photo by Mirka Pflüger

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