- What’s On
In March 1856 the eyes of the world were on a group of men seated around a table at the Quai d’Orsay. The future of Europe hung in thre balance. On its 150th anniversary David Barchard reflects on the Congress of Paris
A nineteen-gun salute resounded over the wintery waters of the Sea of Marmara on Tuesday February 19, 1856, proclaiming what was to prove the highest point in the Ottoman Empire’s fortunes in the nineteenth century.
The salute marked the departure of A’ali Pasha, the forty-one-year-old grand vizier, for Marseille aboard the French frigate Sané.
From there he would go to Paris where, as Turkey’s plenipotentiary, he was to attend the Congress of Paris and negotiate a settlement on Turkey’s behalf in the aftermath of the Crimean War
Some like their asparagus translucently white, others prefer crunchy and green. Whatever your choice, it takes lightness of touch to reveal the delicate flavour.
You embarked in Paris or Vienna and alighted at Sirkeci station, an Oriental fantasy in the shadow of the Topkapı Palace. This was the train that brought Istanbul into the heart of modern Europe: the fabled Orient Express.
Cappdocia, ‘Land of the Beautiful Horse’, was once famous for the fine steeds that bore its valiant knights. Few horses are left, but they can still transport you into another world. The photographer Jürgen Frank captures the eerie magic of the Anatolian plateau, Susan Wirth is exhilarated by five days in the saddle and David Barchard guides us through the epic landscape.
Kevin Gould waxes lyrical over Château Musar, a legendary wine from the old Ottoman Levant, and salutes the brave new Turkish winemakers who stay true to their roots.
After the grim years of the early 1920s, Turkey experienced a brief period of euphoria. A new Republic was born, and new faces appeared in this land of hope, among them the brilliant but now forgotten photographer Othmar Pferschy (1898–1984), who turned up on the Orient Express in 1926 and stayed for forty years.
We were greatly saddened to learn of the death of one of the great archaeologists of the 20th century, James Mellaart, whose discovery of Çatalhüyük in the 1950s fundamentally altered our understanding of the past. In 2005, on his eightieth birthday, he talked to Christian Tyler. We publish the article here in full, and at the same time offer Jimmie’s family our utmost sympathy.