Monday, September 22, 2008

Multi Media Mania: Expat Harem Popping Up Everywhere

Official production on Istanbul-based
VTR’s film about the making of Expat Harem will begin in October, destined for the Istanbul European Culture Capital 2010 celebrations. Designed as a 90-minute film in four 23-minute parts, it will be able to be shown both as a full length film and as a television series.

Expat Harem editor
Anastasia Ashman has been consulting producers of the History Channel’s production of Underground Cities, and with the help of Expat Harem writer Maureen Basedow recommending local archaeologists and ancient historians as on-camera experts for the Istanbul shoot in October. Expat Harem writer Kathleen Hamilton will appear in the program leading the crew into some of her favorite subterranean spots.

For a Channel 4 (UK) production of a television travelogue based on
Lord Byron’s transformative 19th century Grand Tour (with actor Rupert Everett following in his footsteps), Anastasia is helping the filmmakers find what’s “Byronic” about modern day Istanbul, and what expatriate high-life and low-life Everett might like to investigate when he hits the former Constantinople in October.

Expat Harem editor
Jennifer Eaton Gökmen’s travel writing advice has been quoted by the award-winning Vagabonding author Rolf Potts in his recent 19 September interview on the Lost Girls World blog , a trendy travel site penned by three twenty-something New Yorkers who abandoned their media jobs to embark on a yearlong, round-the-world journey. In discussing his latest book, Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer, Potts, who has reported from more than fifty countries for media outlets like National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, and Conde Nast Traveler, lists Jennifer’s travel writing advice in his “seven lessons learned from a decade of interviewing top travel writers”. Among the quotes Potts culled from seven years of interviews, Jennifer’s stands alongside words of wisdom from notable travel scribes Arthur Frommer, Pico Iyer, and Tim Cahill.

Anastasia is the subject of a profile in the October issue of Swissper, the state-of-the-art lifestyle magazine of Swissotel, a member of the Raffles Group of worldwide luxury hotels. She answers questions about her favorite Turkish landscapes, historical sites, pasttimes and cuisine. The magazine is distributed to 15,000 business executives, society figures and opinion leaders as well as Swissotel guests.

Expat Harem editors have been asked to contribute a mini-portrait of city for the March 2009 issue of National Geographic Traveler, and women-savvy suggestions for 2008’s Best Travel Tips at

Anastasia is contributing insider Istanbul tips for an upcoming issue of NBpulse, the high-end publication for discerning international travelers. (See the web version at

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Expat Harem Editor Jennifer Gökmen Coaches Extreme Sport: Public Speaking
If you ask Jennifer Gökmen, Speech & Debate is an extreme sport. Perhaps it isn’t death-defying, but an estimated 75% of the world’s population fear it...sometimes more than death, according to Wikipedia. The sheer adrenaline rush often gained by standing in front of a crowd and having to express one’s self certainly can make it feel like an extreme sport!

So, who is she coaching? Gökmen is training the middle school and high school students on the Speech & Debate team of Istanbul International Community School. The world’s oldest international school, IICS is a member of the Central and Eastern European Schools Association which oranizes intramural events for the region’s international schools. The first Speech & Debate Tournament will be held in Budapest in November.

Gökmen brings to the team her experience as a former television host on Turkey’s TRT channel and as co-founder of the Istanbul chapter of Toastmaster's International... not to mention her experience as a former high school forensics team member herself!

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