Remzi Gökdag, a former reporter turned author, has been writing since 1989. He studied at the Communications Faculty of Istanbul University and began his career as a reporter for Cumhuriyet newspaper in 1989. He has received several awards. He began his writing career by transforming significant news stories into books. His first publication being “Park Otel Olayı” in 1992. His second work, “Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül” examined the media’s handling of the 9/11 attacks. Gökdag’s recent books, “Sevgili İstanbul” and “Başka Şehirler” present the experiences of 20 famous residents from Istanbul and 20 other cities, respectively. Gökdag identifies himself as a knowledge seeker, and lifelong traveler. His travels, which began in his youth, have taken him around the world and significantly influence his writing. He believes that traveling provides a more truthful learning experience than reading.

Remzi Gökdağ, born in 1968 in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, is a journalist, author, and digital publisher. He graduated from Istanbul University’s Faculty of Communication in 1992. His journalism career began in 1989 as a reporter for Cumhuriyet Gazetesi, where he gained recognition for his Istanbul-related news, winning various journalism awards including the Çetin Emeç Journalism Award and the Contemporary Journalists Association Journalist of the Year award.

His coverage of the sealing of the Park Hotel and the demolition of illegal floors contributed significantly to his reputation.

In 1998, Remzi Gökdağ moved to the United States, where he played a role in establishing the first Turkish-language newspaper in California, the USA Turkish Times, and served as its editor-in-chief. As a freelance journalist, he has contributed to various newspapers, magazines, and agencies. Having lived in Los Angeles, Moscow, and Zurich for many years, he continues to write about his impressions from Dubai, where he settled in 2018.

His book “Başka Şehirler” (Other Cities), published in 2019, shares his experiences from living in five different cities across three continents over 22 years.

“Sevgili İstanbul” (2015) is a delightful book by Remzi Gökdağ that beckons readers into the enchanting past of Istanbul. For anyone who cherishes Istanbul’s past, this book is a treasure trove of vivid, truthful, and joyful memories.

Remzi Gokdag
Gazeteci, yazar ve dijital yayıncı Remzi Gökdağ, Başka Şehirler, Sevgili İstanbul, Amerikan Medyası’nda 11 Eylül ve Park Otel Olayı kitaplarının yazarıdır.


He received number of journalism awards including;

Association of Contemporary Journalists (tr: Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği Yılın Gazetecisi Ödülü – ÇGD) (1993)

Hürriyet – Çetin Emeç Award (tr: Hürriyet Gazetesi Çetin Emeç Başarı Ödülü) (1993)


1989 | After graduation with a degree in Journalism from Istanbul University he began his journalism career at Cumhuriyet in 1989, specialized of Istanbul also covered national and feature news.

1993 | He received the The Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD) and The Turkish Journalists’ Society‘s (TGC) Cetin Emec Journalism Award in 1993.

1996 | He moved to Los Angeles for studying web design and development also practiced for broadcast, print and online media to create new platforms for digital journalism. While covering the news, he became convinced that newspapers could do much more to ensure that good journalism thrives in the Age of Information.

His weekly journals about daily life in the US have been published on national newspapers and magazines in Turkey.

1998 | Started a new life in Russia… He worked as a reporter for Turkish and International news agencies in Moscow. Living abroad changed the course of his life and he began freelancing for the news industry.

1999 | He returned to the USA, after Moscow “adventure” and lived there for about 9 more years.

2005 | Worked as editor-in-chief at the USA Turkish Times

2008 | Everything has its time and his time in the US come to the end.

2009 | He moved to Switzerland and began working on ideas for using the Internet as a reporting tool for ‘traditional’ media. He created several online publishing platforms during his time in Zurich. 

2013 | He returned to Istanbul and lived there until end of 2018.

2022 | Currently living in Dubai, UAE…

Başka Şehirler - Efsane isimlerin izinde gizemli yolculuklar
Başka Şehirler – Efsane isimlerin izinde gizemli yolculuklar

Başka Şehirler (Other Cities)

Remzi Gökdağ’s book “Başka Şehirler” (Other Cities) is a captivating exploration of his experiences living in various cities across three continents. 

Title: Başka Şehirler (Other Cities)
Publication Year: 2019
Genre: A blend of travelogue, memoir, and historical reflection


In this book, Remzi Gökdağ shares his adventures, observations, and encounters from living in five different cities over a span of 22 years. His journey takes him across three continents, immersing him in diverse cultures, languages, and landscapes.

Through vivid storytelling, he paints a rich tapestry of life in each city, capturing the essence of their unique rhythms, histories, and people. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the tranquil corners of Los Angeles, from the historic charm of Moscow to the cosmopolitan vibe of Zurich, Gökdağ invites readers to explore alongside him.

The book delves into the joys, challenges, and surprises of adapting to new environments, forming connections, and discovering hidden gems. Whether navigating the intricacies of bureaucracy, savoring local cuisine, or witnessing historical events, Gökdağ’s narrative is both informative and deeply personal.


Identity and Belonging: Gökdağ grapples with questions of identity as he moves between cities, reflecting on what it means to belong and how our sense of self evolves in different contexts.

Urban Exploration: Each city becomes a character in its own right, revealing its secrets, contradictions, and idiosyncrasies.

Human Connections: The book celebrates the friendships forged across borders, emphasizing the shared humanity that transcends geographical boundaries.

Historical Context: Gökdağ weaves historical events into his narrative, providing context for the cities’ pasts and their impact on the present.

Writing Style

Gökdağ’s prose is evocative, blending factual details with personal reflections. His love for exploration and curiosity about the world infuse every page.


Başka Şehirler invites readers to see cities through fresh eyes, encouraging them to embrace the unfamiliar and seek connections beyond their own neighborhoods.

It serves as a reminder that our experiences in different cities shape us, leaving indelible marks on our hearts and minds.

In summary, “Başka Şehirler” is a literary passport that transports readers across continents, inviting them to discover the beauty, complexity, and shared humanity of our global mosaic.

Sevgili İstanbul - Remzi Gökdağ
Sevgili İstanbul – Eski İstanbul’dan anılar, gerçek hayat hikayeleri…

Sevgili İstanbul (Dear Istanbul)

“Sevgili İstanbul” (2015) is a delightful book by Remzi Gökdağ that beckons readers into the enchanting past of Istanbul. Let’s explore the essence of this captivating work:

Title: Sevgili İstanbul (Dear Istanbul)
Publication Year: 2015
Genre: A blend of memoir, interviews, and historical anecdotes about Istanbul’s past.


Remzi Gökdağ presents a collection of interviews with 20 iconic figures whose lives are intricately woven into the fabric of Istanbul. These individuals, including Ara Güler, Hıfzı Topuz, Halit Kıvanç, and Muhterem Nur, share their memories, surprises, and childhood moments from old Istanbul. Each interviewee has a unique connection to the city, and their stories evoke nostalgia for a bygone era.

The book captures the essence of Istanbul—the glamorous, the lonely, the bizarre, and the wondrous—through personal recollections. From the bustling streets of Beyoğlu to the hidden corners of Üsküdar, readers embark on a journey through time. The interviews provide a historical record of a city that has witnessed immense change.

Writing Style

Gökdağ’s prose is evocative, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the memories and emotions of each interviewee. The stories vary in length and tone, reflecting the diverse experiences of those who call Istanbul home.


Sevgili İstanbul serves as a bridge between generations, connecting readers to the heart and soul of a city that continues to inspire and captivate. Whether you’ve lived in Istanbul, currently reside there, or dream of experiencing its magic, this book offers a glimpse into its rich tapestry. For anyone who cherishes Istanbul’s past, this book is a treasure trove of vivid, truthful, and joyful memories.

Park Otel Olayı (The Park Hotel Incident)

“Park Otel Olayı” is a thought-provoking book by Remzi Gökdağ that sheds light on the intersection of urban development, environmental values, and civic activism. Let’s delve into the essence of this remarkable work:

Title: Park Otel Olayı (The Park Hotel Incident)
Publication Year: 1992
Genre: A blend of investigative journalism, urban studies, and social commentary.


The book revolves around the controversial construction of the Park Hotel in Ayazpaşa, a neighborhood in Istanbul. The hotel project symbolizes the unchecked exploitation of urban spaces, environmental degradation, and the erosion of social values. Gökdağ meticulously examines how the Park Hotel, despite public opposition, managed to rise freely for three years.

The incident becomes a battleground between citizens, respectful of democracy and the environment, and a powerful alliance of official and unofficial actors. Key questions explored in the book:
How did the Park Hotel defy legal norms and urban planning principles?
What role did civil and official authorities play in allowing this construction to proceed?
How did the Danıştay (Council of State) intervene in this audacious development?
The Park Otel Olayı serves as a stark example of how cities, coastlines, and cultural heritage are systematically exploited by profit-driven interests.


The book stands as a testament to the power of civic engagement and the importance of preserving our urban and environmental heritage. It encourages readers to question the impact of development projects on their communities and advocate for responsible urban planning. Through Gökdağ’s investigative lens, readers witness the clash between profit motives and the collective will to protect our shared spaces.

Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül - Remzi Gökdağ
Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül – Medyanın habercilik sınavı

“Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül” (September 11 in the American Media)

“Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül” (September 11 in the American Media) is a thought-provoking book by Remzi Gökdağ that delves into the portrayal of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the American media.

Title: “Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül” (September 11 in the American Media)
Publication Year: 2001
Genre: Investigative journalism, media studies, and political analysis.


In the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11, the American media played a crucial role in shaping public perception, understanding, and emotional responses. Remzi Gökdağ meticulously examines how major American news outlets covered the attacks, the subsequent investigations, and the impact on global politics. Key themes explored in the book:
Media Bias: Gökdağ critically analyzes whether the media maintained objectivity or succumbed to sensationalism, fear, and political agendas.
Narratives and Framing: How did different media channels frame the events? What narratives emerged, and how did they influence public opinion?
Ethical Dilemmas: The book raises questions about journalistic ethics, the balance between informing the public and avoiding panic, and the responsibility of media professionals.
Political Implications: Gökdağ examines how media coverage influenced government policies, international relations, and the war on terror.
The book serves as a mirror reflecting the power dynamics between media institutions, political interests, and the public during a critical moment in history.


Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül invites readers to critically evaluate media narratives, recognize biases, and consider the impact of information dissemination on global events. It underscores the importance of media literacy and the need for responsible journalism in times of crisis. Through Gökdağ’s investigative lens, readers gain insights into the complex interplay between media, politics, and public perception during a pivotal moment in modern history.


1 – BAŞKA ŞEHİRLER (2019) | Collection of stories that explores how a person’s physical path affects the city. A special place can sink into your bones, color your thoughts, and leak from your pen. Some places are as closely associated with a person as to be inseparable. Say “Rembrandt” and you immediately think of Amsterdam. How a city would has changed if Hemingway never lived in Pamplona?

ISBN: 9789753903967

SEVGİLİ İSTANBUL (2014) | Twenty memories by well-known notable Istanbul figures of the last century. These may be extraordinary people, but their experiences and emotions are recognizable as our own. They recollect their memories about the city which is lost today.

ISBN: 9789753903462

AMERİKAN MEDYASINDA 11 EYLÜL | Summarizing reaction of various networks, mainstream news outlets and internet news websites in the events of 9/11.

ISBN: 9789753901741

PARK OTEL OLAYI | Timeline story about a huge construction building which had raised in the middle of Istanbul without legal approval and then stopped by people who wanted to protect their historic city’s environment.

ISBN 9789757787143


"In recent years, veteran journalist Remzi Gökdag has become better-known for his memoirs and travel books. We spoke with Gökdag, whose latest work, Other Cities, takes the reader on a journey through various times and locales, on everything from his travels to his writing career."
Remzi Gökdağ
Remzi Gokdag


Before I became an author I worked as a reporter for a number of newspapers. As a requirement of the job, I spent years keeping up with daily events. I’ve been writing non-stop since 1989, working in Moscow, Los Angeles, and Zurich. I’ve been living in Dubai for one year, now. News stories you write in a newspaper have a life-span of just one day, so I started compiling the most important stories I had pursued into books to make them more lasting. My first book, “Park Otel Olayı” (The Park Hotel Event), was published in 1992. I then wrote my second work, “Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül” (September 11 in the American Media), which sought to investigate how media companies dealt with the 9/11 attacks. It seemed that whilst we had indeed witnessed an event that changed the course of history, no-one seemed to wonder about the media’s approach to this big event.

In your last book, Darling Istanbul, we heard about Istanbul as experienced from 20 famous local residents. Your most recent book, Other Cities, meanwhile, deals with 20 other cities from the points of view of 20 of their most famous residents. Can you tell us why you opt for this type of narration?

The book prior to my latest release, “Sevgili İstanbul” (Dear Istanbul), was my attempt to pass down the old culture of the city and talk about what life used to be like here in former times. I interviewed 20 legendary figures about what came to mind with the word ‘Istanbul’ and made the book all about their memories. I learnt a lot of very important details about old Istanbul from these talks. For me, it is a work full of incredible memories. Many of those I spoke to are unfortunately no longer with us, but their memories live on in the pages of the book. Actually, you could consider “Başka Şehirler” (Other Cities) as a continuation, a sequel, to Darling Istanbul. In the latter, we journey through Istanbul with 20 people. In Other Cities we tour 20 more cities guided by 20 other people. Although the locations are different, what unites the two is a remembrance of important events from the past, some well-forgotten. Both books take the reader on a short journey through time. One is set in Istanbul, the other 20 different cities from around the world.

How did you choose which 20 cities you would cover and how did you choose who would best describe them?

What the cities have in common is that they have been inhabited by some astounding individuals. In some places, we chose the city based on the person. For others, we chose it based on the city itself. For instance, when it comes to writing on Paris, there are hundreds of people I can seek the inspiration of. Every one of them has left a permanent mark on the city, but I chose the photographer, Robery Doisneau – well actually, I didn’t choose him, I guess Paris did. The city of love made it into the book through the lens of this great photographer. When writing on Berlin, I sought human memories from the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, so for that reason I picked Marlene Dietrich as a guide. For Los Angeles, where I lived for many years, I wanted to be inspired not from the perspective of a Hollywood star, but the city’s most famous writer. Of course, all these decisions were rather personal. Other people would narrate the stories of these cities from others’ perspectives and would come up with some interesting results. As my journey continues, I will keep on writing, narrating, and sharing.

I first and foremost see myself as someone on the search for knowledge. I used to be a reporter, and I used to get referred to as a journalist sometimes. Since my books, however, people have started calling me a writer. I’m a blogger too, thanks to my internet articles, but I’ve been a traveller for as long as I can remember. The journey started when I was young and would explore beyond the limits of the neighbourhood, and it has continued my whole life – in time taking me across the world. I would always head off in pursuit of what interested me. The cities and cultures I bear witness to broaden my horizons. As a result, the things I learn while travelling are reflected in my writing.

How do you reflect what you’ve seen and where you’ve travelled in what you write and say? What keeps you going on your journey as a writer?

There’s a classic old conundrum: Can one learn better through reading or travelling? A few years ago, I would have answered “both”, but now I realise the value of learning by seeing and observing. I think someone who travels more learns more – or at least learns the truth. However true a book may be, it still reflects someone else’s truth. If the truth is something we’ve seen with our eyes, then it changes everything.

How do you travel generally? Do you prefer to plan everything out or go with the flow?

I never set off anywhere without first making a detailed plan. In this endeavour, my wife Yelda is a big help, as she makes all the plans. She organises the tickets and books where we are going to stay, then we leave. Before we go, we have a list of what we are going to see, although we never stick to the plan. We see the beauty in those who set off without a plan. Sometimes in order to find something you have to lose your way, and travelling is the best time to put that rule of thumb into action.

Who is Remzi Gökdağ?

Remzi Gökdag studied at the Communications Faculty of Istanbul University before beginning his career as a reporter for Cumhuriyet newspaper in 1989. After 1996, he split from the newspaper to work for various other magazines and publications. Over his time as a reporter, Gökdag became an expert on Istanbul, in winning Çetin Emeç Journalism Award and the Contemporary Journalist Association’s Journalist of the Year award in 1993. Gökdag now lives in Dubai and is the author of The Park Hotel Event, September 11 in the American Media, Darling Istanbul, and Other Cities.