13-15 March 2020 organized on the crossroads between Europe and Asia in Istanbul, Turkey, at İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi

Bosphorus with Leander Tower and the Bridges showing both Asia and Europe
© Frank K. Gürkaynak CC BY-SA 3.0

As the FOSSi Foundation we started to organize a number of one-off events dedicated to free and open source silicon every year. In 2020, we will be visiting Istanbul from March 13-15, and we call this event FOSSistanbul. Our local host for FOSSistanbul will be Mustak E. Yalcin, Professor in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, Istanbul Technical University.

We invite anyone with an interest in the field to join us and also consider a presentation, and/or a poster on your experience as a developer or a user of open source design projects.

Like other events by FOSSi Foundation such as (ORConf, Latchup), FOSSistanbul free to attend thanks to our sponsors. Professional tickets (250 EUR or any other amount) are available for individuals that are kind enough to donate for the organization of the event. Please do get in touch should you be interested in getting exposure for your company by becoming a sponsor of FOSSistanbul!

FOSSistanbul is organized by the Free and Open Source Silicon (FOSSi) Foundation.

Questions? Contact the organisers.

FOSSistanbul quicklinks: Registration | Travel Information | Venue | Schedule | Dinner

Our other events: ORConf - Latchup

Previous one-off events: 2019: WOSH - Week of Open Source Hardware, Zurich


Do you have a project you want to talk about, an announcement to make, results you want to share with us. We encourage attendees that are working on

  • Open source hardware
  • Software and development environment for open source hardware
  • Applications, research using open source hardware
  • Advocate and support free and open source hardware
to prepare a 5 minute presentation and bring a poster. We will have condensed sessions, where you can make a short introduction and optionally present your work during extended breaks with your poster. Based on availability, the FOSSistanbul program committee will consider longer presentations and announce it by 1st of March latest.

Free Ticket

FOSSistanbul is free to attend! We require that you register as we can only accomodate 200 people, so better hurry up to register!

Professional Ticket

Attendees who are joining us at FOSSistanbul on behalf of their company and/or can claim the conference as professional training expense are encouraged to purchase a professional ticket. These ticket sales help us provide all that we do at FOSSistanbul and keep the event accessible to all members of the community.

Professional tickets are 250 € and can by bought here via PayPal or by email.

Professional ticket holders will receive some swag and a special name badge as a thank you.

We expect all participants of FOSSistanbul to follow the FOSSi Foundation code of conduct.


FOSSistanbul will be held at the Istanbul Technical University, in its main Ayazağa Campus within the Suleyman Demirel Cultural Center (Turkish only). This is conveniently located just after the main entrance of the University directly at the M2 metro line stop İTÜ-Ayazağa.

Normally there will be a security check at the gate. Tell them that you are going to FOSSistanbul. Once you enter, it is straight ahead (slightly downhill), in 50m the first building on your left. You can not miss it.

Campus location
Campus location, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0
Center from outside
Building looking towards the entrance, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0
Center inside
Inside, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0
Inside the hall
Hall, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0

Travel information
Salacak View
View from Salacak, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0


    Istanbul is easily accesible by plane from a large number of cities. Flight connections are approximately

    • Tel-Aviv: 2.5 hours
    • Munich: 3 hours
    • Moscow: 3.5 hours
    • London: 4 hours
    • Lisbon: 5 hours
    • New York: 10 hours
    • San Francisco: 13 hours
    There are two airports in Istanbul, the large and brand new Istanbul Airport (IST) and the Sabiha Gokcen (ISG) airport on the asian side that serves a lot of the cheaper carriers. These two are more than 80km apart from each other. Technically the venue is closer to the main Istanbul Airport, but as the university is on the outer ring roads, it is possible to come from Sabiha Gokcen as well.

    From the airport, it is actually very fast and practical to come to the university. See the note on public transport below. Go to the level with busses see platform map. Pick the bus IST-5 going to Besiktas (Platform 15, every 30 minutes, more expensive) and leave at the first stop (it will take some time) Emniyetevler or 4.Levent. This is directly by the M2 metro stop 4.Levent, 3 stops from the venue.

    View from the streets of Istanbul to Bosphorus
    View from the streets of Istanbul to Bosphorus, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0

    Second option, H-2 (Platform 9, every 15 minutes, slower, cheaper), its last stop is directly by the M2 metro stop Sisli-Mecidiyekoy, 6 stops from the venue.

    Since the airport is far away, and there is not much around it (yet), there is not much traffic on this road. Especially IST-5, will lose very little time until its first scheduled stop, making it a very good connection (not all busses go that easily) If the bus is empty, and there is a bit of traffic, you can maybe convince the driver to let you off at the M2 metro stop Sanayi (not a regular stop) which is on its way, but is even closer to our venue.

Visa requirements

Use Public Transport

    Unless you want to suffer, do not think about renting a car in Istanbul. Driving is not only dangerous, but ultimately very frustrating as roads are usually congested and finding parking spots is a nightmare. Taxis are actually quite cheap, but most of them will not take credit cards. Uber has an agreement with Istanbul, you will be getting taxis that are in the system. However, for most connections, these taxis will also be driving the same congested roads.

    The fastest way to travel in Istanbul is to take the Metro (with a few exceptions with the airports). Fortunately, the conference venue is right on one of the key Metro lines, the M2 (green in maps). This line connects the old part (with tourist attractions), the modern part (shopping and entertainment) and the university where we have the meeting. You can get more information on the metro network and download the network map here.

    The galata bridge connecting the old city to Pera
    The Galata bridge connecting the traditional city to modern part (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0

    Conveniently all public transportation systems (busses, trams, metros, boats) use the same payment system Istanbulkart. You can get one at the airport(s) bus terminal (site in Turkish). The yellow boxes are recharging stations (they accept only Turkish banknotes), and the blue boxes also dispense the cards (costs about 1 EUR). You can top up any amount you want on the card and use it as you want. Note that it pays off to have one card per person, as there is a significant reduction for follow-up trips. This only works if everyone uses a separate card. But if needed you can use the same card to pay for multiple people as well.

    While driving (and busses) is chaotic in a huge city like Istanbul, the boats connecting the two sides of the city are very reliable, punctual and very scenic. You do not need to look for the more touristic Bosphorus tours, any regular (and cheap) trip is a fun way to see the city.

Parts of Istanbul

    Cartoon map
    Cartoon map with annotated regions, original from Istanbul Metro

    Actually, no place is really called Istanbul. The city consists of several municipalities and they have always had very different characteristics. The map above very roughly denotes the regions:

    • Traditional part: This is the historical part with the main tourist attractions, Sultanahmet, Eminönü, Sirkeci, Golden Horn are names you will hear.
    • Modern part: Even during Ottoman times, the foreigners lived here, it is a lively part with many different cultures. Taksim, Karakoy is more 20th century architecture as you go to Şişli, Levent, Etiler skyscrapers start to dominate.
    • University region: This is where the meeting is, technically it is part of the modern city, the region around Maslak. Note that there are many universities in Istanbul (more than 30), this map only refers to the university (ITU) where out meeting is.
    • Bridge over Bosphorus
      Bridge over Bosphorus, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0
    • Asian part: Geographically speaking, this part is in Asia. More people live in this part and work on the other side, so there is a large intercontinental flow of people in the mornings and evenings. Kadıköy (modern) and Üsküdar (traditional) are the most well known places.
    Note that the Metro line M2 connects our conference venue to both the Modern part and the Traditional part directly. At its terminus station you can switch to Marmaray (railline under the Bosphorus) to get to the Asian part as well.

Where to stay?

    There are hotels closer to the venue (The Hilton Maslak is directly outside the campus on the other side of the road. However, we would recommend you to stay in around Taksim as it offers a lot of entertainment and vibrant night life, and it is directly on the Metro line M2. Basically any location on the Metro line is fine, with the following stops offering the best options:

    • Taksim (8 stops) : nightlife, good restaurants, central
    • Sishane (9 stops) : End of the street that starts in Taksim, lively
    • Vezneciler (11 stops): close to historical center, touristic, cheaper
    • Osmanbey (7 stops) : 70s blocks, shopping
    • Sisli-Mecidiyekoy, Gayrettepe (5-6 stops) newer high rises

    A word of caution. Istanbul is a very hilly city (it is also called the city of seven hills - Yeditepe). Things that look reasonably close on the map, may be very difficult to get to.

What to do?

    Istanbul will entertain you for a long time. The highlights are actually all conveniently located around Sultanahmet square (but there is really much more). Do not miss:

    Many guides will send you to Topkapi palace and Blue mosque. These are both fine, but if you want some history, the Istanbul Archeological Museums are less crowded and contain spectacular pieces, as for mosques the Suleymaniye Mosque or if you are into Iznik tiles the Rüstem Pasha Mosque or the Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Mosque are much finer examples to see.

    For a scenic trip consider starting from Sirkeci and go to Harem using the car ferry (it costs the same), then walk on the coast towards Uskudar. You will come to Salacak with one of the best views of the city, very close to the Leander Tower. While the small island is very scenic and it is possible to visit it, it actually makes little sense as you will be missing this scenic tower from the view if you are standing there. The walk should take less than half an hour, and you will reach Uskudar from where you can either take a ship back to Eminonu or Karakoy or use the Metro to get back to Eminonu to complete the tour.

    In a very large city like Istanbul, traditional review sites are not much help. Ask some of the locals you meet at FOSSistanbul for their recommendations.

    The official site for purchasing tickets and reduction cards can help you get discount cards. Note that the Museum Pass is valid for 5 days but is quite pricey (about 40-50EUR). Only do this if you are a museum freak. A good tip is to purchase the card from a lesser visited museum like Turkish and Islamic Art Museum also right at the Sultanahmet square. While the museum is certainly worth a visit, there are hardly crowds in front of it, allowing you to quickly buy the Museum pass.


    Turkish food is more varied than what is known abroad. Good restaurants are expected to specialize, and it is common to have restaurants that only sell one type of food. These are generally better, as they only prepare and sell one type of food, which is therefore always quite fresh. Touristic regions are known to have restaurants targeting tourists, and once there, people will try to lure you in. Do not worry, nobody will be offended if you do not enter. Istanbul offers to many options for food, for all apettites, you will not go home hungry. Try the following while you are there, so that you can claim that you had something different: Simit (street food), Tavuk göğsü or Kazandibi a sweet pudding with chicken breast, Midye Dolma stuffed mussels (street food), for the more adventorous Kokorec a delicious street food (better do not ask what is inside), and of course have copious amounts of tea. In case you are wondering, the most traditional dish in Turkey is actually stewed white beans usually with a side serving of rice, and not kebap.

    View over the Golden Horn and behind Asia
    View over the Golden Horn and behind Asia, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0

    Turkish people enjoy alcohol as much as any other nation, and there are many shops, bars, restaurants that will sell alcohol. Beer is very popular, wine is quite expensive, and the national drink Rakı which is usually enjoyed as part of a larger meal. However, not all restaurants are licensed to sell alcohol, and traditionally certain types of restaurants/food are not considered to match with alcohol. Doner kebap for example is traditionally not enjoyed with alcohol, while fish is usually paired with Rakı.

    Once agan, in a very large city like Istanbul, traditional review sites are not much help (The favorite restaurants of Frank, who was born and raised in Istanbul are rated 3.5, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5, and 4.0 at Tripadvisor). Ask some of the locals you meet at FOSSistanbul for their recommendations, and also ask them what to eat there.

View of the Golden Horn and the Galata Tower
View of the Golden Horn and the Galata Tower, (c) Frank K. Gürkaynak, CC BY-SA 3.0
Headline Sponsor

western digital

We are pleased to announce Western Digital as the headline sponsor of FOSSistanbul.


You can also support us with small donations via Paypal:

Stay updated!

Schedule: Friday, March 13

Preliminary schedule

  • 10:00 - Registration
  • 11:00 - Welcome
  • 11:30 - Keynote: Luca Benini
  • 12:30 - Lunch
  • 14:00 - Session 1
  • 15:30 - Coffee Break
  • 16:00 - Session 2
  • 17:30 - Summary Friday
  • 19:00 - Bosphorus tour / dinner

Schedule: Saturday, March 14

Preliminary schedule

  • 08:30 - Registration/breakfast
  • 09:30 - Keynote: Nele Mentens: Challenges and benefits of making open source hardware for security
  • 10:30 - Coffee Break
  • 11:00 - Session 3
  • 12:30 - Lunch
  • 14:00 - Session 4
  • 15:30 - Coffee Break
  • 16:00 - Keynote: Onur Mutlu Intelligent Architectures for Intelligent Machines
  • 17:00 - Summary Saturday
  • 19:00 - Dinner for presenters

Schedule: Sunday, March 15

Preliminary schedule

  • 08:30 - Registration/breakfast
  • 09:30 - Session 5
  • 10:30 - Coffee Break
  • 11:00 - Session 6
  • 12:30 - Lunch
  • 14:00 - Closing

Friday Night Dinner

As is tradition at FOSSi Foundation organized events a dinner/excursion is arranged for the Friday evening (13th) which all conference attendees and partners are encouraged to attend.

The dinner is sponsored by our lovely sponsor and free to attend. Thank you lovely sponsor