What is KarDes?

KarDes is a mobile application in Turkish and English designed as a personal tour guide for users who wish to discover the multicultural legacy and multilayered fabric of Turkey. The KarDes app allows its user to discover the locations and histories of nearly more than 2000 multicultural buildings in Turkey, to take memory tours, to listen to the stories of people who have lived in the districts the user walks through and to see old photographs of various neighborhoods and sites. Shedding light on communal memory, it helps to share cities’ pluralistic stories. With KarDes, users can discover the cultural inventory of more than 2000 sites such as mosques, synagogues, churches, schools, hospitals, and cemeteries. By taking the memory tours that render cultural heritage visible, users can listen to the hidden stories of cities as narrated by well-known artists. 

Click to download KarDes to your phones and tablets for free.



Discover Istanbul,  Ankara, and Izmir

Although the sites we use, the buildings we pass by and the streets we walk down every day are all parts of rich stories, these stories usually lose that richness as they are forced into the shadow of standardized official narratives. KarDes brings its users together with nearly more than 2000 cultural heritage sites to unearth the invisible wealth of Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. The ‘Discover’ feature on the application helps users access the locations, historical photographs, construction dates and in some cases, brief information about the cultural sites that they may encounter every day, unawares, along with a comprehensive inventory of the cultural heritage of Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.


Memory tours

KarDes, which aims to make visible unknown sites in well-known neighborhoods and allows their stories to be told, offers memory tours, each lasting an average of two hours and reveals the multicultural pasts of various areas. Users can access the alternative history narratives of the cities with neighborhood tours and thematic tours consisting of selected stops on specific topics. Kadıköy, Beyoğlu, The Historical Peninsula, Büyükdere, Tatavla, Balat, Adalar in Istanbul; Ulus, Jewish Quarter and Kavaklıdere in Ankara; Kemeraltı, Karataş, Frank Quarter in Izmir and many more are available on KarDes.
Continually updated with new tours, KarDes lets you discover places like Yorgo’s Rose Garden, the Skating Palace, the Bulgar’s Meyhane, Atamyan Theater, Apoyevmatini Newspaper, Topalyans’ Store, Saint Clement Church; and hear the stories of Ara Güler, Knar Svajian, Hayim Albukrek, Aliye Berger, Zaruhi Kavaljian, Sappho Leondias, Eftalya the Mermaid and Dario Moreno. 

Oral history interviews and narrations

Aiming to make visible the urban and social memory which has been on the verge of extinction, KarDes offers excerpts from neighborhood talks and oral history interviews, providing the opportunity for users to listen to the stories of these neighborhoods and their transformations from the voices of residents. With around 70 oral history interviews, KarDes presents the stories of sites in various neighborhoods through a dynamic narrative. Prepared through  detailed research and consisting of nine to fifteen stops within walking distance to one another, the texts of the tours have been narrated by Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan, Ayla Jean Yackley, Ayşenil Şamlıoğlu, Banu Güven, Berge Arabian, Berkay Ateş, Ceylan Ertem, Cüneyt Yalaz, Devin Özgün Çınar, Ece Dizdar, Ercan Kesal, Erdem Şenocak, Eric Nazarian, Esin Alpogan, Forti Barokas, Gülçin Kültür Şahin, Hale Soygazi, Hayko Cepkin, Jaklin Çatal, Kev Orkian, Kevork Malikyan, Lale Mansur, Mahir Günşiray, Naz Göktan, Nazan Kesal, Nejat İşler, Nişan Şirinyan, Nur Sürer, Onur Ünsal, Philip Arditti, Sarp Aydınoğlu, Serra Yılmaz, Shakeh Major Tchilingirian, Simon Johns, Songül Öden, Şerif Erol, Tilbe Saran, Tuğrul Tülek, Tülin Özen, Yekta Kopan  and Yetkin Dikinciler.