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The northernmost Swiss city is far from the Turkish world (if now full of Turkish voices). However, curiously, the last great fire of Basel, in the early 15th century, was started deliberately in a public bathhouse by an angry former employee – a forerunner of Patrona Halil. After this houses had to be built of stone – a similar law was passed in 16th-century Istanbul, and ignored. Another curious fact with significance for residents of Istanbul, was that after the worst earthquake in history north of the Alps struck the city in 1386, new walls were built enclosing a far wider area than before. The town would only fill out to occupy them in the 19th century. However, this was not misplaced optimisim at the time. If another earthquake forced residents to leave their houses, they may have to spend months in the fields again, but at least they would be protected. We invite readers of this website to submit interesting Turkish connections.
Art Basel, the prestigious international art fair which takes place in three venues each year – Basel, Miami and Hong Kong – was started in 1970 by three Basel gallery owners.
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