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The village on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus (see Cornucopia 52) takes its name from a castle built long before the fall of Constantinople by Ottoman sultan Yıldırım Beyazit, whose defeat by Tamerlane became the subject of Handel's opera Tamerlano. It stands on the edge of a small valley where a once-idyllic meadow divided two rivers, the Göksu and Küçüksu. The fabled Sweet Waters of Asia, as they were known, never really recovered from use as storage space for building material for the First Bosphorus Bridge in the 1970s. But the Göksu at least has retained a little of its mystery, and cobbled streets lead to the boatmen here, who will take you across to Rumeliharisı opposite. Out on the Bosphorus itself, there is a greater concentration of important yalıs than anywhere else, and a delightful wedding cake of a 19th-century palace, the Küçüksu Kasrı, where the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, lunched with Sultan Abdülaziz on his way to the opening of the Suez Canal.
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