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There was never a dull moment growing up in the British Consulate in Sixties Istanbul. Griselda Warr selects photographs from her mother Gillian’s album and tells tales of shooting stars, benign espionage and a call girl wronged
My mother’s excited reaction to our time in Istanbul shines out of every page of her letters: ‘It was a blissful morning unlike any other I’ve known.’ It seems that every day offered a new adventure, which my parents jumped into, even as they balanced all the work and social obligations required at the massive British Consulate. My parents, Michael and Gillian Warr, had arrived in Istanbul by ship in 1962 for my father’s new job as British consul general. With them were their two daughters, myself, aged 10, Eleanor, aged six, and our 18-year-old cousin Rupert, in the role of nanny. In true English fashion, my elder brothers, George and David, at boarding school and college in England, joined us for the holidays. We were to live in Istanbul in 1967, and each of us remembers those five years as a fascinating adventure.
Only Kastamonu in the hinterland of the Black Sea, boasts the naked plum (üryani erik). In Daday, a valley just outside the town, a handful of villages have been encouraged to keep cultivating this plump, purplish-blue variety. When it is ripe and oozing with fragrance and sweetness, the delicate skin peels off easily to expose the amber-coloured flesh.
More cookery features
She may be unconvinced by Noah’s Ark, but Min Hogg finds plenty to feast on as she journeys across the vast borderlands where Turkey approaches Armenia and Iran. From Kars to Van, from Silk Road to honeycombs and colossal breakfasts, she brings a wry, painterly eye to her lively account
These empty homes on Istanbul’s Asian shore were once full of life, hopes and dreams. Maureen Freely studies the haunting photographs of Metehan Özcan
The magic of southwest Turkey can still catch you unawares, especially if you sail. Botanist Ro FitzGerald boards a fine ketch and plots a course for that stunningly beautiful corner where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean.
An architectural extravaganza built in America’s Gilded Age for the man who invented the bottle top, the Everett House in Washington DC has a long and colourful connection with Turkey. Thomas Roueché charts its history. Photographs by Jürgen Frank.
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