Whether he’s walking in the park, overhearing snippets of conversation at a bus stop or simply chatting with old friends, our Navigator Egemen Koc always has his ear to the ground, and with good reason - there’s still so much of Izmir to discover. Born and bred in the city, a cynic would claim to have seen every surprise Izmir has to offer - but not Egemen. He continually delights in new discoveries in a city that is as multifaceted as any human being. “There is still something new for me to discover every day, the city is living, breathing, and changing itself just like we do.” Egemen explains. In this constantly changing city Egemen says there are, however, two constants. One is fish - Izmir, on the coast of the Aegean Sea, has second to none seafood. The other is Raki. The aniseed flavored aperitif is popular all over Turkey, but its spiritual home is right here in Izmir. Egemen recalls the story of an old tavern in the city, whose barrels were branded with a lion symbol. It’s this historical anecdote which he says gives the drink its local nickname - Lion’s Milk. Despite his fascination with these aspects of Izmir’s culture, Egemen’s not a huge fan of fish. His new favorite spot to grab a bite is a little corner restaurant in the Çeşme district, called Asucan. The menu has some great chicken dishes, as well as a side salad, the recipe of which is kept a closely guarded secret. Egemen, being the curious sort he is, often tries his hand at guessing a few ingredients, but that goes out the window when he starts eating - it’s too delicious. Egemen usually starts his morning with some boyoz, which is a traditional Turkish pastry, and an Izmir speciality. Baked fresh every morning in a bakery a short walk away from the Renaissance Izmir Hotel, he makes sure to pick up a few. When he’s letting his hair down, Egemen heads to the historic Alsancak District, where bars, restaurants and clubs are in high concentration. His pick is trendy Cafe Del Mundo, which stocks a dizzying variety of beers from all over the world. Egemen likes to try a new beer every night he visits. After all - what’s life without a few surprises?