As I sat trawling through the job section of Craigslist last month, I couldn't help noticing an intriguing advert for an up-and-coming website, Yabangee.com. With the tag-line "Istanbul for expats, by expats" the site makes its aim pretty clear already.
The site is full of information about arts and music events, and newly opened quirk stores like the Lomography Embassy (pictured) on Serdarı Ekrem Street near the Galata. It also contains interviews with notable Levantines, including Kacie Kocher from Istanbul Hollaback - the anti-harassment awareness group.
When I e-mailed Thomas Bacon from the site, I made sure to thank his team for the wonderful creation. There are so many English-speaking foreigners in Istanbul with all linked together through mutual aquaintance, that it should be more than a token page in Today's Zaman and the James Joyce Irish pub keeping them together. With a speedy reply Thomas agreed a good yabanci community site was long overdue.
The site aims to include Book reviews / Film reviews / Art galleries / Expat travels / General advice / 'Life in Turkey as a foreigner'-type stories / Restaurant and bar reviews / 'Top 10' lists and many more ideas.
For the moment, the news feed is a little thin, whereas articles about events are plentiful. It's great to see events posted I'd never have found in similar Turkish sites or stiff, tourist-oriented sites like Time Out. All in all a great addition to Istanbul online, I look forward to seeing how the site evolves in the next few months, if not years.
picture snipped from the website itself.