How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Major shopping malls tend to be toddler-friendly and housing compounds offer safe and secure playgrounds and activity centers for kids. There are a number of residential areas outside of the main city (Zeriyakoy and Kemer Country) that offer clubhouses for residents, but outside of these areas no specific effort is made to make life easier for parents with infants.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
There are agencies specializing in the provision of these services, but the most effective method is usually to employ staff that has been recommended by friends and colleagues.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
There aren't any issues that are out of the ordinary. Take normal precautions, exercising caution around traffic and just being aware of what your children are up to.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
The clubhouses tend to be the most popular places where kids can meet their friends.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
The schools sometimes arrange activities, but neighborhood clubhouses are again the places where most children spend their free time.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
The most important thing for a teenager is to develop a social group, much as any other city. There are few activities tailored for teenagers in Istanbul.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Currently there aren't any that exist.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
The history of Turkey, which is extensive, is well exploited in Istanbul by museums and both village and city festivals staged throughout the year. The list of festivals is extensive (including camel wrestling, for those inclined). Crown Istanbul can provide a current program for your area.
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