Reading list | Greater Istanbul

Istanbul spreads for tens of miles along the Sea of Mamara and either side of the Bosphorus. What was once a loose-knit scattering of villages and leafy suburbs has mushroomed along the hilltops above the Bosphorus and the long low shoreline of the Marmara into mini-Manhattans – places like Levent (which barely existed 40 years ago) and Maslak (10 years ago) on the European side of the Bosphorus, Umraniye and 'Ataşehir', on the Asian. For the inquisitive shopper, there are heaving hives of energy to be tapped into, whole industrial zones devoted to carpentry, ironmongery and printing. And for mall-ignants, there is lots of those as well. You could end up in IKEA. But on the bright side, you never know when you are going to suddenly find yourself with an astonishing view opening before you.