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The Golden Fleece, Trebizond, Sumela… Jeremy Jame’s itinerary in Turkey’s dramatic Black Sea Mountains promised a string of ancient wonders.The past left him chilled and saddened. But high above the sea, where the mountains rise out of the water like monsters’ backs, he found a land as grand as it is remote. A fourteen-page feature with photographs by Tülin Dizdaroğlu and Bünyat Dinç
Bünyat, a square-built bear of a man of 35 and leader of our expedition, met me in Erzurum, and round the back of the town, in a dingy hotel, he introduced me to the others: seven Turks and one Austrian, all perennial mountain hikers and all sporting the perennial kit. In my baggy khaki shorts and faded jersey, I felt old and out of date, and though they said nothing, it was the absence of comment which niggled. After buying provisions – rice and coffee and whatnot – we set off an hour or so later to walk the Black Sea mountain range in northeastern Turkey, the highest peak of which is Kaçkar, at 3937m. Verçenik is next highest at 3711m, followed by Tatos at 3560m, all of which in my advancing middle age sounded very breathy, heart-attack stuff.
I was relieved, therefore, that the first part of the journey took place in a dolmuş, a minibus. It slammed us across red standstone and green granite rock on the mountain road from Erzurum to İspir, then followed the long, winding Çoruh valley, where snow melt had sectioned off the distant, smoky turquoise mountains into creases like quilting…
Jeremy James is the author of The Byerly Turk
He was the most prolific architect of all time and his legacy endures in the great mosques created for Süleyman the Magnificent. Yet, as Brian Sewell discovers, this contemporary of Michelangelo is barely known to the West. Brian Sewell admires his legacy. Photographs by Ara Güler.
The Mocan Yalı, in the pretty village of Kuzguncuk, half a mile upstream from Üsküdar, is relatively old, decidedly large and incontrovertibly pink. Sultans stayed in it, and Liszt played in it. The yalı was purchased by the Toprak family shortly after this article was published. The interior of the house was gutted and only the facade remains. The images published in this article are a unique historical record of a centuries-old house and were taken by David George for Cornucopia in 1992
The French novelist Pierre Loti caused a stir in the 1900s when he championed the cause of Turkish women. But just who were the three veiled women who gave him his information? Ömer Koç reports on an infamous literary deception
Unlike the much older Venice Biennale, at the Istanbul Biennial there was a feeling of youthful experimentation.
A storm one cold winter’s day in Rome brought Jean-Etienne Liotard to Istanbul. In a café where he took refuge from the rain, he met an Englishman, William Ponsonby, the future Earl of Bessborough, who invited the painter to join his party on a tour of the East. Liotard accepted, and they set sail from Naples on April 3, 1738.
The relentless bombing of Mostar (1992) is destroying the fruits of five centuries of peaceful coexistance in Bosnia. Marian Wenzel recalls how the old Ottoman city looked when she lived there in the Sixties
Exquisite bulbs, once uprooted in their millions, may be saved by a scheme to satisfy both gardeners and conservationists. Botanist Andrew Byfield reports
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