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 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 for online and print magazines about the people and places that inspire me.

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

Follow me @fyheck

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