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Reading list | The Anatolian Shore of the Bosphorus

Leaving the city on the Asian shore, this section begins in Beylerbeyi  in the shadow of the First Bosphorus Bridge, and continues all the way to Anadolukavağı at the top of the Bosphorus by the Black Sea (see Cornucopia 12, now one of four Black Sea issues in a special collector's offer).

The Asian side catches the sunset and some of the finest yalıs are here, many of which have been explored in the pages of Cornucopia, and summed up Bosphorus Requiem, issue 52. They begin in Kuzguncuk, just downstream of the First Bosphorus Bridge (see City Bosphorus) and culminate in Anadoluhisarı and Kanlıca, halfway to the Black Sea, where the strait is at its narrowest. Beylerbeyi Palace is often overlooked but completes any tour of the 19th-century royal residences.

As you continue along the coast, the urban atmosphere gives way to village life more quickly than on the European side. Watching the sun go down behind the new sky scrapers from the iskele tea garden in Cengelköy, you'll be grateful you escaped the rush. Sumahan on the Water, described in Cornucopia 34, is a magical hotel created here from an old distillery. Then comes the twin-towered Kuleli Military Academic. Above the two castles of the Hisars, Rumeli and Anadolu, and the Fatih Sultan Mehmed bridge, is even less visited, an antidote to Istanbul’s hustle and bustle (provided you are not stuck in slow-moving weekend traffic).

Some of the prettiest rows of yalıs can be found between Anadolu Hisarı and the upper end of Kanlıca, where the straights are particularly deep. The Küçüksu Kasrı is the grand 19th-century Ottoman palace in a nutshell. The Khedive’s palace is an eccentric foible. A favourite walk is from the iskele in Anadolukavağı to the ruined Genoese castle above – at your feet is the entrance to the Black Sea. If you hire a boat, ask your boatman to switch off the engine a little downstream from Anadolukavağı, and listen to the nightingales. The sea can be particularly inviting here.

Also see The Anatolian Shore of the Bosphorus
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