İngilizce Dersleri: Protests in Turkey

İngilizce öğrenmek! Türklere online dersler

In our İngilizce Dersleri series we provide online video learning lessons. These video learning lessons are designed to compliment our online conversation classes. We encourage our Turkish students learning English to use these videos between conversation classes. They are designed to develop a student’s reading and listening skills.

We like to cover topics which are of current interest to our Turkish students learning English. This week, the protests which have erupted in Turkey! You can find a complete library of our video posts in our Ingilizce Dersleri section!

This article has some reasonably challenging vocabulary, so we recommend it for our Upper Intermediate students. It is also a great article for our IELTS students. Most of the vocabulary being used can be applied to a variety of everyday situations.

İngilizce Dersleri: konu ve sözlük

Konu: protesto, Gezi Park, Istanbul, eylemci

Sözlük: government, demonstrations, unrest, shopkeepers, anti-government, ferocity, police brutaliy, helicopters, tighter restrictions, tear gas, barricade

İngilizce Dersleri: Article Synopsis


The article ‘Calm on Turkish streets after days of fierce protests’ dated 1 June 2013, is from You can find a copy of the article here. Since the release of this article there have literally been hundreds of similar articles. Using this video lesson as a base, you can then test your vocabulary by reading many of the similar articles available on the web.

The article discusses the protests that have erupted over the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul over the governments intention to redevelop the park. The article notes that protests have largely subsided on Sunday morning. The protests are seen as a major challenge for the Turkish prime minister.

As always let us know what you think! Are there any other topics you would like us to cover in our İngilizce Dersleri series?

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Sumer Trilogy Book 1: Infection – Chapter 1 Life on Sumer

This is a voice recording of Chapter 1 of Book 1 of the Sumer Trilogy: Infection.

In this video I read Chapter One and prvide some tips on vocabulary to help you understand the book.

Click on the video to read and listen to the text.

Let us know what you think!

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İngilizce Dersleri: The 2020 Olympics?

İngilizce öğrenmek! Türklere online dersler

Welcome to our İngilizce Dersleri series. For any of our new learners, these video lessons are designed to be a compliment to our live conversation classes. Students can practice their reading and listening skills between conversation classes. We purposefully pick subject matter which is relevant to our Turkish students learning English. This week, the 2020 Istanbul Olympic bid! We are sure that our students will find this article interesting, especially those from Istanbul!

This İngilizce Dersleri post is designed for advanced learners of English as some of the language is quite challenging. It includes subject matters related to sport, competitions and international organizations.

İngilizce Dersleri: Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo?


The article we are using for today’s İngilizce Dersleri was originally reported by Reuters on May 28, 2013. You can find a copy of the original article here.

Article Synopsis:

The bids for the 2020 Olympic Games are coming to a close. Who will the IOC choose to host the Olympic Games? Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul are the final contenders to as candidate cities for the 2020 Olympic games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide the winner on the 7th of September 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each candidate city is preparing to make its final presentation to the IOC in Moscow. Each city has a different selling point for as a host city for the Olympic games. Istanbul can highlight its recent economic growth and emergence as a regional power. It would also be the first Muslim country to host the games. Madrid has a long standing as a sports city, and Spain as a powerhouse in athletics. Tokyo can boast a world class infrastructure.

Are you excited to hear whether Istanbul will get the Olympics? Let us know if you have any feedback, questions or suggestions!

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İngilizce dersleri: New Bridge linking Europe and Asia

İngilizce öğrenmek! Türklere online dersler

In our İngilizce Dersleri series we provide online video learning lessons. These video learning lessons are designed to compliment our online conversation classes. These videos are designed to develop a student’s reading and listening skills.

Today we picked a very topical video for our Turkish students, the start of construction of the Third Bosphorus Bridge! The article appeared on the Reuters news service on May 29, 2013. You can find a copy of the article here. This is a great article for all Turkish students of English, but especially those working in design, engineering, architecture and construction. We hope that our Turkish students of English enjoy this Turkish focused article!

This is an upper-intermediate to advanced article containing some relatively challenging vocabulary. We recommend this article for experienced students, especially IELTS students.

You can find the complete library of video articles in our Ingilizce Dersleri section!

İngilizce Dersleri: konu ve sözlük

Konu: construction, engineering, development

Sözlük: transformation, embodying, environmental groups

İngilizce Dersleri: article synopsis


This article reports the progress being made on the Third Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul. The article takes an overview of the various infrastructure projects being undertaken by the government, especially those in Istanbul. These include a new airport as well as a new canal linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. The article states that the third bridge is required due to the immense population increase that the Istanbul region has seen. Environmental groups have been protesting the bridge due to immense effect it will have on the green space surrounding the Black Sea and the Bosphorus. The are where the new bridge is proposed, is made up of relatively pristine forest.

Let us know if you have any feedback or questions! And be sure to tell us if there are any topics or articles that you would like us to consider for our İngilizce Dersleri series.

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Top Ted Talks Episodes with Turkish Transcript

TED Talks Videos

Favorite TED Talks videos

In our previous İngilizce Öğrenmek post, we examined why we enjoy using Ted Talks. We feel it is a great resource for our Turkish students to practice their English listening skills. In this post, we point out that many Ted Talks Episodes with Turkish transcript are available using the transcription service function.

One of the nicest features of Ted Talks is the transcription service. It is simple to use:

1. On the TED Talks main page, from the first drop down menu on the left: “show talks subtitled in” select Turkish. A list of all TED talks with Turkish subtitles will appear.

2.  Select a video to watch.

3.  Under the video screen will be another dropdown menu: “show transcript”, select Turkish.

Now your selected video will appear both with Turkish subtitles and a Turkish transcript (located under the video).

Here is a list of our favorite Ted Talks Episodes with Turkish Transcript:

#5: Ken Robinson: Eğitimin ölüm vadisinden nasıl kurtulunur

Ken Robinson challenged the way most of use think about education in this very informative 20 minute presentation. Turkish students can often relate. If they are finding the daily grind of work/university, language schools and additional schooling to be a drain on creativity and energy, Ken’s talk could be motivational.

#4: Jay Walker: Dünyadaki İngilizce Çıldığı Üzerine

An overview about why people all over the world, from Turkey to Chile are obsessed with learning English. A great motivational piece to remind our hard-working English language students that they are not alone in their English quest!

#3: Bill Ford: Trafik Tıkanıklığının Ötesinde Bir Gelecek

Bill Ford, an executive at Ford Motor Co. outlines a vision of the city and transportation that does not include the car. A highly relevant topic for our Turkish students from Istanbul and Ankara!

#2: Jane McGonigal: “Oyun oynamak daha iyi bir dünya yaratabilir”

This talk is for our Young Learners and their parents! The piece is about gamification, using gaming techniques to get everyday tasks accomplished. At we’ve found that these techniques can be extremely powerful for our Young Learners and Adult Learners alike.

#1: Tristram Stuart: The global food waste scandal

Unfortunately this Ted Talks Episode does not offer a Turkish transcript, yet it’s such a great video that we have posted it regardless. Tristram analyzes the astounding amounts of food waste that occur across the world. A highly relevant post in a world with increasingly less food resources.

 Please let us know your thoughts, have we missed any Ted Talks classics?

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Top English Language Movies Shot in Istanbul

Bond in Istanbul Film

Bond in list of films shot in Istanbul

Our Turkish students love to tell us when an English language movie is shot in Istanbul.

I can’t blame them, I’m quick to point out movies shot in my native Toronto (often posing as NYC). There is something extremely satisfying about seeing your city represented in a big budget Hollywood production. Our Turkish students are extremely motivated to watch movies shot in Istanbul. At we enjoy sharing English language content which motivates our students to enhance their English listening skills. Here is a list of our favorite English language movies shot in Istanbul. Most of these are action packed thrillers! Also worth nothing, TurksLearnEnglish produces our own video learning excercises designed for Turks learning English. You can access the content library in our Ingilizce Dersleri section! These movies can be a great element of motivation and pride for Turkish students who want to practice their English skills:

#5: The Accidental Spy (2001)

The Accidental Spy is a classic Hong Kong fight movie starring Jackie Chan. The movie is shot in Hong Kong, Seoul, Istanbul and Cappadocia. Its not 100% in English, but a significant amount of the dialogue between the Chinese and Turkish characters is in English. The movie is entertaining and despite having serious elements in the plot, it also contains significant comedic twists. It’s a great film for adolescent learners. The film is also relatively obscure, meaning most Turkish students will not have previously seen the movie.

#4: The International (2009)

The International is an American Action Thriller directed by Tom Tykwer. The movie follows an Interpol agent as he tries to uncover the financial corruption of a merchant bank. The movie’s settings are also international, covering Lyon, Milan, Berlin, Istanbul and New York. The Istanbul scenes include an action-packed sequence set in the Grand Bazaar.

#3: Taken 2 (2012)

Our older Turkish students learning English love Taken 2. It is almost entirely set in Istanbul and is an action packed thriller. It stars Liam Neeson who does a great job in the intense drama.

#2: Argo (2012)

In our list of English Language Movies Shot in Istanbul, it would be wrong not to include 2012’s Oscar winner for Best Picture. Argo, as many people may have noticed, is almost shot entirely in Istanbul. Both the scenes set in Istanbul (where Afleck obtains his visa to enter Iran) and the scenes set in Tehran, are filmed in Turkey’s biggest metropolis. The infamous scene where the mock movie cast goes to the bazaar in Tehran, is actually Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. More than a couple of our Turkish students learning English have pointed this out to us!

#1: Bond (1963, 1998, 2012)

For our favorite in our list of English Language Movies Shot in Istanbul, we chose not one but three Bond movies. From Russia with Love (1963), The  World is not Enough (1998) and Skyfall (2012) all have fabulous on-location shots of Istanbul. Bond directors knew how to take advantage of the incredible shooting opportunities in the city. From Russia with Love includes an action scene in the Basilica Cistern. The World is not Enough’s main climax features a submarine in the Bosphorus. Skyfall’s opening scene may be one of the best Bond action sequences of all time, a motorcycle chase on the roof of the Grand Bazaar!

We hope that you enjoy these English language movies shot in Istanbul as much as our own Turkish students. Please let us know whether we’ve missed any classics!


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May 22, 2013 By Tags:

Müzekart ve Museum Pass nedir?


If you’re Turkish, then you should know that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism offers the fantastic Museum Pass and Müzekart to visit historic sites and museums in Istanbul and across the country…

…And if you have foreign friends living in Turkey or visitors coming for a short visit, here’s some advice you can give to them so they can visit as many sites as possible for a great price!

Here’s a post to help your foreign friends and visitors get the cards!

First, a bit of language for you:

cardholder… kart sahibi

to wait in queue… kuyrukta beklemek

to allow access… izin vermek

upgrading… yenilenme, tamir

unlimited… sınırsız

to reside… oturmak

discount… indirim

So… easy to obtain and even easier to use,The Müzekart and Museum Pass Istanbul are perfect for visitors and foreign residents in Istanbul to access many of the city’s historic sites and museums.

The cardholder does not have to wait in queue, possibly one of the greatest motivations to buy one in a city that attracts more and more visitors each year!

Museum Pass

For short-term visitors and tourists.

The Museum Pass allows you access to a large number of Istanbul sites, for 72 hours after the first time the card is used. The card costs 72 Turkish lira.

You can use the card for one visit to each site only.

Currently you can gain access to the following sites:

Chora Museum, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapı Palace Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Istanbul Mosaic Museum, Galata Mevlevi House Museum, Yıldız Palace Museum, Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam.

Note: The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is also on the list, however the site is closed for upgrading until the end of 2013.

There are also a number of other places where the card can be used for a discount, such as the Archeological Museum Cafe.

Müzekart and Müzekart+

For your foreign friends who live in Turkey.

The Müzekart allows you access to a large number of sites across the entire country, for a period of one year. You can visit each site only once.The card costs 30 Turkish lira.

However, the best value of all is the Müzekart+. It allows entry to the same sites as the Müzekart, but it allows for unlimited entries during the card’s validity! It’s the logical choice for anyone living in Istanbul, as for 50 lira you have unlimited access for 12 months to the best sites in the country!

First, which card is available to me, the Museum Pass or Müzekart?

The Müzekart is available only to Turkish citizens, or non-Turkjsh citizens holding a Foreign Resident Permit.

The Museum Pass Istanbul can be purchased by anyone.

What do I need to get the card?

For the Museum Pass:

Passport with valid Turkish tourist visa

Credit card or cash

For the Müzekart and Müzekart+ (for non-Turkish residents)

Foreign Resident Permit

Foreign Resident Number (this is not your Tax Number. The Foreign Resident Number is a number starting with ‘9’ and contains 11 digits. If you do not have it, you can get it easily here.. The İkamet Tezkere number is on page 1 of the permit. It is not the Seri number at the bottom of the same page!)

Credit card or cash.

You do not need a photo.

Where do I get the card?

Currently, you can get the card from the following sites in Istanbul:

Topkapi Palace, Haghia Sophia, Chora Museum, Istanbul Archeological Museums and the Istanbul Mosaic Museum.

That’s it. The card is prepared in a few minutes and you can use it immediately.

Our tip. Grab the card from the Mosaic Museum. Few people visit it and it’s only a 5-minute walk from the extremely busy Aya Sofia! The staff who helped us that day were also smiling and cheerful and spoke enough English to assist foreign visitors.

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An online thesaurus to improve your writing.

In this short post we look at how Turks learning English can benefit from using an online thesaurus to improve writing and increase general vocabulary.

The thesaurus, in Turkish ‘eşanlamlılar sözlüğü‘, is one of the best tools available to improve your writing. Not only that, it’s also an productive way to increase the number of words you use actively in your daily speech.

The thesaurus, ‘a dictionary of words grouped together with similar meaning’, is familiar to any English speaker who has spent time writing essays in high school and beyond. The most famous thesaurus in the English language was compiled by Peter Mark Roget and first published in 1852.

160 years later, the thesaurus has naturally found its way online. The Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus is one that I have used for some time, and I want to recommend it to Turkısh students of English.

One of the hardest tasks when writing is to use different and varied words. For example, ‘güzel’ in Turkish is almost always translated by English learners as ‘nice’. Unfortunately, ‘nice’ and ‘güzel’ are two words that are used so often that it actually becomes a little boring to see them in writing again and again.

With this online visual thesaurus, all you need to do is type in a word, and you will see a display of all similar words in the English language. The similar words (synonyms) are grouped together and make it easy to learn a few at a time.

Secondly, as you move your mouse over each word, the online thesaurus presents a definition of the selected term and an example or two of how it is used in everyday English.

Thirdly, the online thesaurus presents different choices of word functions. If you type in an adjective, you will see nouns, verbs and adverbs with a similar meaning. This is particularly helpful for Turks studying the English language because, for example, what might be expressed with a noun in English is more usually expressed as a verb in Turkish. For example, the verb ‘sinirlenmek’ ın Turkish has no real verb equivalent in English. You must use a verbal phrase like ‘become angry’, and the online thesaurus tells you that you can also become ‘infuriated, enraged, maddened, etc.’

When writing, it’s advisable to use a wide range of vocabulary. The thesaurus helps you to locate the exact word you need and to avoid repetition. A wider choice of words and phrases is essential to maintain the reader’s interest.

Finally, the online visual thesaurus is the perfect tool to increase your active English vocabulary, For example, when you type in the word mentioned above, ‘angry’, more than 30 English terms appear in the online thesaurus. When you see these words grouped together, it’s easier to memorize them.

The ThinkMap Visual Thesaurus also has a blog, a spelling bee and a ‘word of the day’, so there’s plenty to help you on your way to becoming a wordsmith!

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