Meet the Owner
Come dine with an owner who loves his city, loves Turkish food, and loves to share it with people from around the world. Harem Istanbul Cafe & Restaurant is owned and operated by Fikri Karakoyun. Fikri’s love of Turkish food began in childhood, growing up in a typical Southeast Turkish kitchen, under the caring hands of his mother, a home cook who would impress the best of guests.
Fikri is a former chef with more than a decade’s worth of professional cooking and restaurant management experience specializing in the tourism industry of Istanbul. He brings a track record of leadership and professionalism in the culinary and tourism field, backed by a consistent, verifiable record of achievement.
At Harem Istanbul you will meet a owner who has been on all sides of the food and restaurant business in Istanbul, working his way up as a runner, to a waiter, chef to an owner. Fikri knows good food and ensures that the highest quality meat and vegetables are available for his guests. He handpicks the meat for the restaurant in a local, “hole-in-the-wall” butcher shop each morning in one of the oldest neighborhoods in all of Istanbul.
Numerous travel publications and international TV broadcast segment all across Europe have featured Fikri.
“Of all the street men – and some cafes have two or even three of them — he is the smoothest, the most charming — and the most successful.” New Zealand Herald, April 2012
But every good owner needs a team, at Harem Istanbul Cafe & Restaurant we are lucky to have one of the best teams in the city just waiting to serve you. With over 250 five star reviews on TripAdvisor, we know that it is our friendliness and quality of service that keeps people coming back, which has earned us a place in the top 10 ranked restaurants in all of Istanbul.
Harem’s owner Fikri is supported by his American wife Kristina who handles marketing and is the taste-tester for the restaurant’s dishes, whether they need it or not! It was food that originally brought them together. Fikri and Kristina met outside a restaurant he was managing. He convinced her to eat there one night, turning it into a meal that lasted for years! She fell in love with the man, the city and the food, so she packed her bags (and her cat) and moved to Istanbul.