James Mellaart looks back on his discovery of the astonishing wall paintings of Çatalhüyük, the world’s first city. Philip Mansel investigates the Ottoman booty of Poland’s kings, and we discover the mosque tiles of Edirne, Safranbolu, a small-town blueprint for living, the drama of Moda Bay in winter, and the tragic fatal flaw of Turkey’s 1999 earthquake. Plus a feast of delectable leeks
Nine thousand years ago, the plain of Konya was a hive of activity. Before the Mesopotamians, Minoans or Egyptians, the people of Çatalhüyük created one of the first cities known to man. James Mellaart, who unearthed the city and its stunning wall paintings, recalls the stages of a momentous discovery
Soon after blue and white ceramic was born in China, it made its first glorious appearance in a mosque in the early Ottoman capital of Edirne. John Carswell unlocks a well-kept secret
A 20-page celebration of Safranbolu, the perfect small town. The lovingly maintained Mümtazlar Konağı is just one of the many handsome old houses that distinguish the Anatolian market town of Safranbolu. With iron deposits, lush forests and fields growing the valuable saffron croci that gave the town its name, Safranbolu prospered quietly for 1,500 years.
Norman Stone introduces a special report by rescuers and writers on the August earthquake and its aftermath
Yolande Whittall looks back at 1930s life in Moda, across the strait from the domes and minarets of Istanbul. In Grandmother Whittall’s garden, where the snow fell deep and crisp, tobogganing parties were laid on for the children. In the kitchen Christmas puddings were stirred, and shooting parties provided the wherewithall for woodcock pie…
War and Peace: Ottoman Relations in the 15th to 19th centuries’, an exhibition at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Istanbul, 1999 For 500 years the Polish elite was obsessed with all things Ottoman. Yet a brilliant exhibition celebrating this passion went sadly unnoticed. Philip Mansel reports.
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