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Issue 25, 2002

The Abstract Heart

£12.00 / $15.24 / €13.96
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Zafer Baran’s mesmeric photography brings a new abstract to the craft, while John Carswell sets off on an odyssey in blue and white with the Topkapı Palace’s priceless porcelain. We travel to Antioch, in search of the ancient and modern, celebrate Street’s Crimean memorial church in Istanbul; sip Georgian wines; and chase Orchid-hunters. Indulge in chestnuts sweet and simple


  • Mellow Fruitfulness

    When the traveller Evliya Çelebi went to Bursa in the seventeenth century, he declared that the chestnuts there were “unrivalled in the entire world”. They are still famous today - and this is the heartland of Turkish marron glacés.
    More cookery features

  • The Abstract Heart

    The remarkable photography of Zafer Baran emerged from a hard-edged education in a Bauhaus atmosphere. But Baran’s powers of observation were to lead him into a world of pure colour, moods and associations into which the viewer is irresistibly drawn.

  • An Odyssey in Blue and White

    Chinese blue and white has had an unparalleled influence on taste in East and West for more than six centuries. Every self-respecting Islamic court had its collection of this precious porcelain, but the Topkapı Palace amassed one of the richest in the world.

  • The Orchid Hunters

    They are a dedicated breed, but not all orchid hunters share the same agenda. Some are driven to record in minute detail the glory of Turkey’s orchid species – all 148 of them. Some are more interested in eating them. The botanist Andrew Byfield joins the quest.

  • Spirit of the Vine

    Georgia’s 9,000-year love affair with the grape has produced many a spectacular wine. Here Kevin Gould continues his series on the wines of Turkey and the former dominions of the Ottoman Empire with a visit to the country that boasts 500 grape varieties. By Kevin Gould with photographs by Jason Lowe

  • Reflections on a Summerhouse

    Arlette Mellaart recalls her life in her parents’ yalı in Kanlıca, the hauntingly beautiful Safvet Pasha Yalı, with photographs from her album. The house burnt down in 1976, taking with it her husband James Mellaart’s drawing and photographs

  • Stone from Malta, Timber from Trieste, Tiles from Marseilles and Money from England…

    The Crimean Church in Istanbul: a monument to Victorian Gothic. By Geofrey Tyack. Photographs by Kerem Uzel

  • Moving Freely

    In 1960 Maureen Freely’s family packed up all they possessed, waved goodbye to Princeton, New Jersey, and stepped out into the unknown. She had no idea why. Their destination was to her merely a name on a map: Istanbul. It was to become the place she still thinks of as home. Her father, John Freely, would write the classic guidebook ‘Strolling Through Istanbul’. More than forty years later, Maureen looks back on a golden childhood of parties, laughter and, above all, adventure

Inside the issue

Cover Story

  1. The Abstract Heart
    Zafer Baran's visionary lens,
    by Elizabeth Meath Baker
    [extract available online]

People and Places

  1. Moving Freely
    Maureen Freely on a peripatetic childhood with her famous father
    [available online]
  2. Reflections on a Lost Summerhouse
    The swansong of the Savfet Pasha Yalı,
    by Arlette Mellaart
    [extract available online]


  1. Connoisseur
    Exhibition and saleroom highlights from London, Paris, Istanbul and Baltimore
  2. From Ur to eternity: momemtos of Mesopotamia
    Agatha Christie and Archaeology
    at the British Museum
  3. An Odyssey in Blue and White
    Chinese porcelain, by John Carswell
    [extract available online]


  1. The Crimean Church in Istanbul
    A Monument to Victorian Gothic,
    by Geoffrey Tyack
    [extract available online]


  1. The Life of Dionysus
    Antakya, city of excess,
    by Jacqueline de Gier
  2. The Orchid Hunters
    Plant-spotting across Anatolia,
    by Andrew Byfield


  1. My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk. Reviewed by Jerry Brotton [available online]
  2. Turkey between Europe and Asia,
    edited by NG Kireyev.
    Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds, by Stephen Kinzer.
    Reviewed by Norman Stone
  3. A Sharp Mind and a Blind Eye, by David Barchard (1947–2020). [available online]
  4. In the House of Muhammad Ali: A Family Album 1805-1952, by Hassan Hassan.
    Bolter's Grand-daughter,
    by Angela Culme-Seymour.
    Reviewed by Barnaby Rogerson


  1. Spirit of the Vine
    Kevin Gould on Georgia's lengthy love affair with the grape
    [available online]


  1. Mellow Fruitfulness
    Chestnut dishes from soup to ice cream,
    by Berrin Torolsan
    [available online]

Regular Features

  1. Despatches, by Andrew Finkel
  2. Trade Secrets: Sweetness and Light - Bursa's marron glacé
  3. Village Voices, by Azize Ethem
  4. Food for Thought, by Andrew Finkel
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