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Street art has become an important part of Istanbul streets. The gray walls are brought back to life with the colors of a better world and the soul of the artists. If you are into contemporary art and want to discover more than the history of the city but also it’s today, then make sure to check the art on the streets of Istanbul.


Street Art has improved in Istanbul over the years becoming an organic part of the city. The festivals that started to take place in the city helped to build bridges between the street artists and people, allowing them to understand their art and appreciate it. 

The Streetart Festival İstanbul is the first street art festival in Turkey that many street artists join to exhibit their work. The festival takes place every year since 2009. It was founded by Pertev Emre Tastaban who is an artist and a graphic designer in 2007.

Another street art festival that takes place in Istanbul is Mural Istanbul since 2012. Street Artists from all over the world are welcomed to join in and paint big murals around the city. Yeldeğirmeni neighborhood houses these murals painted by street artists during the Mural Istanbul festival. 


The street artists of Istanbul are pouring their hearts and soul to the walls and buildings of the city. They thrive from people seeing and appreciating their work, most of them refuse to acknowledge the dull and gray look of the city by splashing colors around. Some of them are having fun with characters while some have one or two things to say. Let us venture into the world of the street artists of Istanbul and their incredible work. 


Turbo is the first graffiti artist that comes to mind in Turkey. He started his works with only white paint in 1985 as there was only one spray paint color at the time. In time, he was able to work with more colors. He defines his work as having its own calligraphic style. He also adds that he loves drawing fun characters. He has a crew named S2K and it has members in different countries. The crew membership is based on friendship and certain shared values. You can follow him on his Instagram page @tuncdindas


No More Lies started exhibiting his art in 2011 around Galata and he started with stickers. Nowadays he uses stencil technique in his works and usually paints animals. He paints zebras, polar bears, penguins and many other animals on the streets of Istanbul. He shares his works on his Instagram page @nomoreliesart


Leo Lunatic is painting the walls around Taksim and he is famous for his angry pandas. He is a 32-year-old artist who has been painting for 19 years. He was in the list of “15 Best Graffiti Artists” of The Guardian in 2013. He says that his angry pandas are angry at the grayness of the city and the people who live their unhappy lives by going to the work they don’t like. You can follow Leo Lunatic on Instagram @leolunatic.


Kien was a kid who was always inspired by drawings and paintings. He pursued Graphic as his major at university after getting into street art as a form of self-expression. His works are found in Bomonti, Karaköy and Beşiktaş. His most famous work is the painting of Dustin from Stranger Things. He usually captures the first world problems in his work, mostly social media. You can follow Kien’s work at his Instagram @kienart.


Fist may be the hero of cartoon lovers. His works can be found around Beşiktaş. He paints characters from cartoons such as Spongebob Squarepants, Simpsons, Looney Tunes, Red Kit, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Adventure Time and Regular Show. You can follow him on his Instagram page @wfist.


Somon has an unconventional understanding of art. The dark atmosphere of his works is blended in with exploding color combinations that lures people to stare at its different style. His works are mostly found in Cihangir, Erenköy and Kadıköy. 


Lakormis is one of the women street artists who does have a feminine touch in her works yet they are just as striking. She also has a different take on how she perceives the world. You can check Lakormis in Instagram @lakormis.


Esk Reyn is an artist and sculptor who founded the Mural Istanbul festival. He started his journey with graffiti in 2000. Esk Reyn is known for his abstract works that reflect the mechanical architecture that haunts the city. You can follow his works on Instagram @eskreyn.


Cins is one of the well-known street artists in Kadıköy. His work includes colorful swirls embracing melting horns and skulls mixed with distorted faces. Cins’ works offer a chaotic blend of happy colors and dark nightmares. You can follow Cins on Instagram @cins3000.


Nuka seems to be an experimental street artist who likes to play with his own works each time, changing the color scheme, the style or the composition, creating a different piece every time. His unique approach only makes us admire his talent even more. You can follow Nuka on Instagram @furkannukabirgun.