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Reading list | Upper Bosphorus (Europe)

The European side of the Bosphorus from the Black sea to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is a refined balance between city and seaside. Tarabya and Büyükdere is where the diplomatic classes took themselves off to in the 19th century. Beyond Sarıyer is wilderness, except that the PM has personally decided to destroy what should always have remained a nature reserve and the lungs of Istanbul, by building a third bridge here to bring further congestion to the city. Military zones (forests) are being privatised to ease the faster development of new housing estates. But for now it is heaven, and in a poyraz (north wind), the sea is turquoise and gorgeous. Swim to your heart's content while you can. This August the Bosphorus is exceptionally warm. And for some reason there are droves of dolphins to swim alongside, 'in amazing different colours', says one captain.

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