Food and Culture:
Food

Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighboring cuisines, including that of Western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Middle Eastern cuisines, along with traditional Turkish elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt), creating a vast array of technical specialties- many with strong regional associations.

For more information:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/turkey/istanbul/restaurants
http://english.istanbul.com/Guide/GuideListing.aspx?CatId=29
http://english.istanbul.com/Content.aspx?CatId=3465&Type=detail
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_cuisine
http://www.timeoutistanbul.com/english/fooddrink
 

Culture

Istanbul's cultural activities, both traditional and contemporary, are rich and varied. Matching the city's exploding youth population is a growing number of festivals, galleries, new music venues and film centers and, within the last decade, Turkish artists have begun to make an international impact.

For more information:
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/city/58/culture/Europe/Istanbul.html
http://english.istanbul.com/Guide/GuideSubLinkAll.aspx?CatId=99
http://www.timeoutistanbul.com/english/culture