My trip to Turkey just this past August was too short and not sweet enough. I had a five hour layover and took advantage of the little time to see the city with a friend of a friend who met me at the airport. It became apparent early on that I would need to return for an extended period of time if I were going to see any real action or experience the nightlife. I’m told to go back in May when the weather is nice in the day and perfect for night crawling. If you are planning some time out on the town when darkness surrounds the city and street lights flicker to keep it aglow; check out this list of Istanbul nightlife options from Frommers.
gece – night
Prepare ahead of time by visiting this Turkish Class site. Membership is free and you’ll get a lot more than some of the basics they already have listed. Online Turkish is good too, but you’ll have to register and pay to get anything more than hello, how are you and I love you. Stick to the first site and check out this Turkish vocabulary list of body parts. Wiki has an excellent starters piece on background, history and a short list of words. Scope out phrasebooks from Rough Guides, Lonely Planet or grab both.