Jennifer Hattam

Istanbul, Turkey

Professional Experience

I am an Istanbul-based freelance journalist and editor with more than 20 years of experience in feature, news, and lifestyle coverage for print and online media. I specialize in environmental, social, and urban issues, as well as arts, culture, and travel. My work has been published by BBC Wildlife, California, CityLab, The Christian Science Monitor, Culinary Backstreets, Discover, Disegno, GOOD, Hyperallergic, Lonely Planet, MORE, The National, Salon, Sierra, TakePart, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Time Out Istanbul, TreeHugger, Wired, Women's Running, Yale Environment 360, and Zester Daily, among many other print and online outlets. I am open to discussing new opportunities (freelance or staff) in any location.


20 Years
20 Years
Copy Editor
20 Years


Environment & Nature
20 Years
20 Years
10 Years


Magazine - Large Consumer/National magazines
10 Years
Newspaper - National
3 Years
Online/new media
20 Years

Total Media Industry Experience

20 Years

Foreign Language Skills

Intermediate Turkish


Laptop, digital camera, digital recorder


Art and Design

The fourth edition of the Istanbul Design Biennial draws on types of knowledge that are generally little-valued in standard design education.
The house will become a research space and library in country where performance art remains underdeveloped, and many artists fear persecution.
Istanbul plays host to a design biennial that prioritises contemplation and reflection over conventional design objects and processes.
Unease, loneliness, isolation and self-questioning – along with glimpses of resilience and re-creation – were among the common themes of what artistic director Tuba Kocakaya called a very “introverted, autobiographical” edition of the annual fair, reflecting the mood in a country that has been undergoing political and social upheaval.

Culture and History

Experts are uncovering millennia of history under a Turkish megacity’s outskirts.
Turkey’s Neolithic city of Çatalhöyük may have been an orderly society built on tolerance and equality — until it fell apart.
Underground transit projects offer archaeologists rare opportunities to dig into historic urban centers—but with the clock ticking.
In the Middle Ages, while Europeans were busy warring, plundering, and burning heretics at the stake, Muslim scholars were inventing the most advanced devices of the day. They refined the scientific method, developed effective cardiac drugs, and built celestial observatories—yet over time their contributions were largely forgotten.


Development pressures are threatening Istanbul’s centuries-old gardens, which have produced food for the city’s markets since Byzantine times. A coalition of gardeners and environmentalists is fighting to preserve them.
Turkey's rush to build coal plants comes at the expense of its most beloved culinary ingredient
Nature Iraq wants to restore the Tigris, which contributed to the birth of agriculture about 7,000 years ago, to its free-flowing, clean former self. The environmental group is swimming upstream.
Emerging regional and national networks seek to build connections between local communities and provide support to their fights against dams, mines, and other environmental threats.

Food and Drink

Turkey leads the world in cherry production, but the fruit’s role in its kitchens has dwindled over the decades. Now, a culinary rediscovery of this local bounty may be in the works.
To eat in Istanbul, whether its current residents realise it or not, is to taste a broad swath of the world and centuries of history, and the city’s sweets—many of which originated during the Ottoman era—are no exception.
Dürüm is the specialty at Basta Street Food Bar, but you won’t find a smoky grill inside this tiny Kad?köy storefront. With its bright turquoise counter, tile-patterned floor, and steel-topped, light-wood stools, Basta looks more like a hip café than a traditional kebab joint.
A string of terror attacks and ongoing strife in Turkey have led to dramatic drops in tourism and changes in the dining habits of Istanbul locals, both of which took their toll on Lokanta Maya’s business over the past year. With no upswing in sight, chef/owner Didem ?enol decided to shutter the restaurant’s doors at the end of July.

Politics and Social Issues

War and strife have uprooted many researchers. Can their life’s work be saved?
A controversial €1.2 billion dam project in Turkey threatens to displace tens of thousands of people across the Tigris Valley and submerge 12,000 years of history in Hasankeyf.
Tens of thousands of public-sector employees have been removed from their posts in Turkey following a failed military coup in July, a series of ongoing purges that the government says are necessary for the country’s security. Many of the dismissed civil servants believe that they have instead been targeted for their union activity.
Worker safety issues in Turkey’s mining industry have been the subject of a national outcry following the mid-May deaths of at least 301 workers in one deadly incident in a coal mine in Soma, a town in western Turkey. But the country’s construction sector, which has been a key driver of Turkey’s economy as it boomed over much of the last decade, is no less perilous for workers.

Travel and Outdoors

Hidden behind the busy road that runs along the western bank of ?stanbul’s Golden Horn, the intertwined neighbourhoods of Fener and Balat have a rich history dating back to Byzantine times. These days, past and present mingle in colourful, maze-like streets, where third-wave coffee shops and design boutiques sit next to traditional tea gardens and tradesmen’s workshops.
This tiny Caucasus country has an outsize wealth of history, culture, and hospitality.
Excitement around the announcement late last year of the first international marathon in Iran quickly turned to dismay for women runners as they learned that the event would be open to male athletes only. But as a recent visitor to the country discovered, Iranian women runners aren’t just encountering obstacles—they’re also finding freedom.
It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust to the blackness, but once they do, the dark erupts with light. Bright bluish pinpoints cluster into constellations over our heads as we float down the Waitomo River--some 50 feet underground.

Urban Issues

Twenty years after being displaced by an earthquake, families in Düzce, Turkey, are getting homes that they helped design and build themselves.
Istanbul's long-running battles over public space and urban liveability have now been thrown into sharp relief by a decade-and-a-half-long building boom that has shifted demographics and living habits, and in so doing helped to inspire a new generation of architects, planners and designers.
A small but growing movement is positioning itself as an alternative to the massive development projects currently (and controversially) reshaping Turkey’s biggest cities. In the wake of so many top-down, large-scale redevelopment efforts with little to no community input, these designers and builders are focusing on human-scale, easily replicable urban improvements that are responsive to local residents’ needs.
The battle over Gezi Park has become a symbol of opposition to the city's massive urban upheaval.