Issue 52, Spring 2015

Istanbul Unwrapped: Bosphorus Requiem

£12.00 / $15.20 / 53.32 TL
($/TL approx)

Of course, the silhouette of domes and minarets along the historical skyline serves notice that you could be nowhere else on earth (writes Andrew Finkel in the new Cornucopia). But Istanbul’s greatness derives from something else: something so obvious that it is (literally) overlooked – the river that runs through it.

Well, it’s not a river; it is a strait – a passageway from the warm waters of the Aegean to the chilly Black Sea. And it was carved out not by man but by nature, the result, some academics would have it, of the Biblical flood.

Famously, it is the Maginot Line between Asia and Europe, East and West. It has been a pinch point in history, the subject of myth, and the last refuge for those fleeing the damage man continues to wreak on the fabric of the city. On a moonlit night, the waters are still achingly beautiful, a black mirror reflecting our triumphs and our follies, and the reason why some visitors to Istanbul never leave.

But it can also be heart-wrenching. Maureen Freely looks back with her father, John Freely, on the Bosphorus of her childhood: “Sometimes I wonder what it’s done to us, to have known the Bosphorus before the city swallowed it up. Sometimes it seems as if I spend my life clinging to whatever remnant I can find. Sometimes, when I return after a long absence, the only things I notice, and with burning fury, are the things that deface the memories I carry with me, everywhere I go.”

Part Three of our Istanbul Unwrapped quartet is a 224-page celebration of a fast-disappearing Bosphorus – its enduring pleasures and its vanishing treasures lavishly illustrated throughout with photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg, Brian McKee, Jürgen Frank, Berrin Torolsan, Monica Fritz and two great 20th-century Istanbul photographers Selahattin Giz and Cafer Türkmen.

Highlights

  • Earthly Delights: the Humble Potato

    The potato was a latecomer to Turkish cookery, but today it is hard to imagine life without it. The humble spud, the ultimate in comfort food, is endlessly versatile,and also comes packed with goodness. Berrin Torolsan serves up some favourite dishes

  • Seeing and Believing

    Lovely churches, a lively market, enticing ice cream, shady cafés… and they called this the land of the blind. Andrew Finkel introduces Kadıköy, and Harriet Rix mooches around the district of Moda. Photographs by Monica Fritz

  • Memories light the corners of my mind

    Maureen Freely goes ‘Bosphorising’ with her father, John Freely, in search of her treasured childhood in Istanbul. Could it be that it was all so simple then?

  • City Bosphorus: the European shore

    Turn your back on the Old City and make for the water. Andrew Finkel takes a drive along the Bosphorus’s lower shore: from the half-abandoned docks of Karaköy, past mammoth cruise ships and hangars for modern art, to the palaces of Beşiktaş and Ortaköy

  • Village Bosphorus: the European shore

    Andrew Finkel extols the charms of a trip up the western, European, shore of the Bosphorus, whether by water or by road

  • City Bosphorus: The Anatolian Shore

    Over 56 pages, we cross the Bosphorus to explore the lower reaches of the Asian shore. Sailing past the ruins of stately Haydarpaşa Station, we land at the busy Kadıköy docks, wander round Moda’s old cosmopolitan backwaters and head upstream to the sparkling hilltop mosques of Üsküdar

  • Village Bosphorus: The Anatolian Shore

    Continuing our tour of Bosphorus villages, we cross back to a more untamed Asian shore. Heading upstream again, we start in Beylerbeyi and Çengelköy, with their grand views of the Old City, and make for the fortress of Anadoluhisari, where the Bosphorus narrows and the yalis are at their most captivating. Our journey ends on the hilltop of Anadolukavağı, with the Black Sea in our sights

Inside the issue

Istanbul Unwrapped III: The Bosphorus

  1. Setting the Scene: Waterway of Dreams
    Wave upon wave of settlers over the centuries have been drawn to Istanbul’s vital waterway, its very lifeblood. All have left their mark, writes David Barchard
  2. A Farewell to Empire
    Philip Mansel introduces the fin-de-siècle world of Abdülhamid II, the last Ottoman ruler to wield real power. On these pages we explore the ‘earthly paradise’ he was later forced to abandon: Yildiz Palace, its park and mosque
    [extract available online]
  3. The Woods and the Water
    On the European shore, David Wheeler discovers hidden greenery in the hills above the Bosphorus
    [extract available online]
  4. Boating with Billy
    Patricia Daunt takes her grandson on a guided tour of her favourite yalıs
  5. Postscript: Memories Light the Corners of My Mind
    Maureen Freely goes 'Bosphorising' with her father, John Freely, in search of her treasured childhood in Istanbul. Could it be that it was all so simple then?
    [available online]

City Bosphorus

  1. The European Shore
    Turn your back on the Old City and take a drive along the Bosphorus’s lower shore, from the half-abandoned docks of Karaköy, past mammoth cruise ships and hangars for modern art, to the palaces of Beşiktaş and Ortaköy
    [extract available online]
  2. Inside Yıldız Palace:
    A World of His Own

    Abdülhamid II amazed his subjects by retreating behind high walls on a hilltop above Beşiktaş, taking his court and government with him. Here he created a city within a palace – in part with his own hands. In a two-part feature, Berrin Torolsan tells the story of the palace, its park and its guesthouse. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
    [extract available online]
  3. The Anatolian Shore
    Kadıköy to Üsküdar, from tea gardens to hilltop mosques
    [available online]
  4. Kadıköy and Moda:
    Seeing and Believing

    Lovely churches, a lively market, enticing ice cream, shady cafés… and they called this the land of the blind. Andrew Finkel introduces Kadıköy, and Harriet Rix mooches around the district of Moda. Photographs by Monica Fritz
    [extract available online]
  5. Üsküdar:
    City of Domes and Dames

    Üsküdar – its history shaped by three powerful queen mothers and a tireless English nurse – has surprises to offer behind its unprepossessing façade: dazzling mosques, villagey tranquillity and epic views…
    [available online]
  6. Üsküdar Waterfront:
    Solemn Promise

    The approach to Üsküdar across the Bosphorus is defined by Sinan’s two waterfront mosques, which have framed this gateway to Asia for four centuries. Photographs by Brian McKee
    [extract available online]

Village Bosphorus

  1. The European Shore: Istanbul's Riviera
    A string of urban villages awaits discovery on each shore of the Bosphorus. Every one has its own character and history. In this section we take you first up the European side, followed by a trip up the more rural Asian shore
    [available online]
  2. The Anatolian Shore: From Sea to Shining Sea
    Continuing our tour of Bosphorus villages, we cross back to a more untamed Asian shore. Heading upstream again, we start in Beylerbeyi and Çengelköy, with their grand views of the Old City, and make for the fortress of Anadoluhisari, where the Bosphorus narrows and the yalis are at their most captivating. Our journey ends on the hilltop of Anadolukavağı, with the Black Sea in our sights
    [extract available online]

Connoisseur

  1. Visual and Decorative Arts
    Lady Mary’s son makes a fortune, Liotard’s Bosphorus beauty heads north, and other art news
  2. Well-Heeled Ottomans
    The shoe show at the Sadberk Hanım Museum

Books

  1. Literary Giant
    David Barchard looks back on the life of Yaşar Kemal (1923–2015). Portrait by Ara Güler
  2. Reviews
    Tim Cornwell on Dark Journey The Legend of Kamelya and Murat, by İrfan Orga; Robert Ousterhout on Legends of Authority: The 1215 Seljuk Inscriptions of Sinop Citadel, Turkey, by Scott Redford
  3. Tribute
    A tribute to the botanist Asuman Baytop and her life’s work (1920–2015), by Brian Mathew
    [available online]
  4. Hello Constantinople
    The first royal tour to be photographed for the public, in 1862, was a great success. It kept Queen Victoria’s wayward heir, Bertie, out of trouble, and in London crowds flocked to see Francis Bedford’s images of the Ottoman Empire. Sophie Gordon charts the Constantinople leg of the tour
  5. Book Ends: That Stamboul Magic
    Barnaby Rogerson recounts how he came to republish Stamboul Sketches, a forgotten work of ‘pure enchantment’ by John Frreely

Cookery

  1. Earthly Delights: The irresistible lure of the humble potato
    The potato was a latecomer to Turkish cookery, but today it is hard to imagine life without it. The humble spud, the ultimate in comfort food, is endlessly versatile, and also comes packed with goodness. Berrin Torolsan serves up some favourite dishes
    [extract available online]

Regulars

  1. Private View: Change is in the air
    First an unneeded third Bosphorus bridge, then a new airport that will destroy acres of Belgrade Forest, now plans to cut a shipping canal across the Thracian peninsula. To cap it all, his neighbourhood looks cuter by the minute. Andrew Finkel longs for the old Istanbul
  2. Letter from Anatolia
    The late Yaşar Kemal’s remarkable blend of originality, wisdom and humanity earned him universal respect. Roger Norman celebrates a remarkable storyteller with unique powers to move and inspire, especially when lamenting the modern world’s wanton destruction of ancient traditions and values
    [available online]
  3. Eating Out
    From swish to fish. Andrew Finkel checks out some top Bosphorus bites
    [extract available online]
Cornucopia Bookshop

Books

Back Issues

Music

Subscriptions

Add to Basket
Issue 52, Spring 2015
£12.00 / $15.20 / 53.32 TL
Cornucopia Special Offer
Free Postage Worldwide

Magazines are sent post-free worldwide by Standard Air. Please allow up to three weeks for international delivery.

Books are sent post-free to Cornucopia subscribers anywhere in the world.

Non-subscribers pay £6 per kilo for books.

Subscribe and save!

For expedited delivery please contact us.

See Subscribers Club for a full list of subscriber benefits.