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Issue 50, Autumn 2013

Istanbul Unwrapped: The Sultan’s City

£15.00 / $19.09 / €17.60
($/€ approx)

Istanbul is on the cusp of irreversible change, its great heritage under threat. But it remains a city that enthralls. This special issue, the first in a four-part series of connoisseurs’ guides, celebrates the Ottoman and Byzantine legacy of the Old City and the Golden Horn, with in-depth descriptions of Topkapı Palace, Ayasofya and a quarter by quarter guide to all the other major monuments, shrines and museums, from the Landwalls to the rarely visited palace of Aynalıkavak Kasrı, plus restaurants, meyhanes, cafés and the Grand Bazaar’s most rewarding shops. The photographs in this invaluable companion to the city are by Fritz von der Schulenburg


  • Terrifying Beauty

    Justinian’s soaring edifice inspires the same awe today as it did in visitors a millennium ago who wondered if this were Heaven or Earth. Setting out on a tour of the city’s best-preserved Byzantine churches, Robert Ousterhout still senses an air of the miraculous in Ayasofya

  • Decked in Splendour

    The long-awaited Naval Museum has many wonders to reveal, but nothing to compare with the fabulously ornate imperial barges

  • Bean vivant

    From a trusty staple to the stuff of feasts, beans are at the very heart of Turkish cuisine. How did we ever live without them?

  • Byzantium’s Legacy

    In a vivid, impressionistic portrait of the Byzantine city, Robert Ousterhout uncovers the history of Byzantium in ten objects, explores the soaring edifice of Ayasofya and picks four of the city’s most inspiring smaller churches.

  • From Palace to Bazaar

    Take in the Topkapı, where the sultans held sway in secluded grandeur. Saunter round Sultanahmet and the Hippodrome: make the most of the mosques, monuments and museums. Get the buzz of the bazaar: where to snap up covetable collectables and cheerful bargains

  • Urns to yearn for

    Deep in the industrial outskirts of Istanbul, Griselda Warr enters an Aladdin’s cave of Anatolian treasures. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

  • Magic Movements

    AyşeDeniz Gökçin’s musical creations combine the rock-star appeal of Franz Liszt and the psychedelic/progressive brilliance of the band Pink Floyd. Tony Barrell found this prodigiously talented young pianist a force to be reckoned with. Photograph by Charles Hopkinson

  • A devilishly fine juicer

    John Carswell solves the mystery of the ‘lemon squeezer’ that wasn’t

  • The Best of a Classy Bunch

    In a decade of monitoring Turkey’s burgeoning wine industry, Kevin Gould has never been more impressed. He and the Cornucopia tasting team enthusiastically sampled this year’s top bottles and nominated their favourites

  • Horn of Plenty

    It is a joy to explore. New universities, a new museum, and a growing band of new aficionados who have invested modest means in old houses, have created a wonderful sense of optimism. But the ancient waterfront is in the eye of the storm, with many quarters due to be bulldozed and the threat of a hideous new marina. Enjoy it while you can

  • Full Steam Ahead

    Give yourself over to the grit and bustle of Eminönü’s waterside markets, then ascend to Sinan’s sublime hilltop mosques – the awesome Süleymaniye and the haunting Şehzade. In their shadow is the exuberantly tiles Rüstem Pasha Mosque. Cornucopia devotes 24 pages to this vibrant area, with features on Eminönü and the Suleymaniye district with photographs by Jürgen Frank, and a guide to the mosques beautifully depicted by Fritz von der Schulenburg

  • The Mirrored Pavilion

    Hidden away in one of Istanbul’s least prepossessing neighbourhoods is a walled garden surrounding a dream of a kiosk – a favourite of many sultans.

  • Stony Heart of Empire

    Within the deepest reaches of the palace lies the very seat of the sultans’ power

  • Everything the heart desires

    The Grand Bazaar: From Iznik to Armani, objets d’art to handloomed carpets: the choice is yours

  • A City of Secret Gardens

    When David Wheeler set out to satisfy his craving to explore Turkish gardens, he was guided by a diverse cast of committed Istanbul citizens. What he discovered were myriad horticultural havens, from Byzantine market gardens to Ottoman cemeteries – many of them under imminent threat.
    SPECIAL OFFER: order five beautiful garden-themed issues, including this one, for only £80. List price £122

  • Austerity and awe

    In his 40-year career, Sinan (1489–1588) transformed the Istanbul skyline. Here we explore three of the chief imperial architect’s masterpieces from the golden age of Süleyman the Magnificent. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Inside the issue

The Sultan’s City

  1. From Palace to Bazaar
    The Hill of Dreams – Topkapı Palace, The Ottoman Heyday, Sultanahmet and the Hippodrome, Spending Spree, The Grand Bazaar
    [extract available online]
  2. Stony Heart of Empire The Topkapı Palace, by Claire Karaz. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg [extract available online]
  3. Everything the heart desires The Sultan's City: The Grand Bazaar Photographs by Berrin Torolsan [extract available online]
  4. The Port, Markets and Mosques
    Full Steam Ahead – Eminönü and the Süleymaniye, Sinan's Masterpieces
    [extract available online]
  5. Austerity and awe Three Sinan masterpieces [extract available online]
  6. Around the Golden Horn
    The Horn of Plenty – Yavuz Selim Mosque, Eyüp, The Rahmi M Koç Museum, Aynalıkavak Kasrı, The Land walls
    [extract available online]
  7. The Mirrored Pavilion Aynalıkavak Kasrı Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg [extract available online]

The Byzantine City

  1. Byzantium's Legacy by Robert Ousterhout

    A History of Byzantium in Ten Objects,
    [extract available online]
  2. Ayasofya: Terrifying Beauty, [available online]
  3. The Church of the Chora, Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, Church of The Theotokos Kyriotissa, Monastery of the Theotokos Pammakaristos


  1. Decked in Splendour
    Gencer Emiroğlu on the newly restored sultans' barges
    [available online]
  2. Magic Movements
    The pianist AyşeDeniz Gökçin, by Tony Barrell
    [available online]
  3. Urns to Yearn For
    Griselda Warr enters an Aladdin's cave of Anatolian treasures
    [available online]
  4. A Devilishly Fine Juicer
    by John Carswell
    [available online]
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