- What’s On
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Across the Golden Horn from the Topkapı and the bazaars is the European City, where fortunes have for centuries been made and lost. Decaying grandeur, splendid embassies and fin-de-siècle hotels recall the glory days. Now Istanbullus come here to have fun. This four-part guide tells the whole story: the history, the people, the monuments, the galleries, the baths and the bars, the scoffing and shopping – as well as the threat from developers to great swaths of the city
Setting the scene Get the bigger picture before you take to the streets
Guide to Beyoğlu Entertainment on tap: cool cafés, buzzy nightlife and all that jazz
Bosphorus Bohemians Cihangir and Çukurcuma: antique shops, raffish hangouts and more
The Galata Docklands Istanbul in peril: Karaköy, Tophane and the battle for the city’s soul
Until the 20th century, visitors would sail serenely into Istanbul to disembark opposite the Topkapi. After this spectacular start, reality would set in. By David Barchard
For more than two centuries the Ottomans were obsessed by the elegance of the tulip and grew over 3,000 varieties, each characterised by almond-shaped petals drawn out into an exaggerated taper.
With its hundreds of different shapes, pasta is today one of the most widely consumed and enjoyed of all the staples
As the old European quarters flourished in their seclusion, Sultan Abdülmecid had a dream – and expanded to the east
Patricia Daunt extols the palatial embassiess that adorn the heights of old Pera. Photographs by Brian McKee
The Sakip Sabanci Museum has just celebrated 600 years of diplomatic relations between Poland and Turkey. Jason Goodwin finds deep-rooted affinities between the two countries
John Carswell introduces the mesmerising entries in this year’s Ancient and Modern Prize for original research
With 19th-century Istanbul in thrall to the music of Italy, an extraordinary theatre was born, the creation of one rather ‘odd character’. Emre Aracı tells a tale of comedy and tragedy
Black musicians, White Russian princesses, Turkish flappers… During the Jazz Age, Beyoğlu was a ferment of modernity and decadence. By Thomas Roueché
For 700 years, the European quarter was home to Genoese, Jews, Greeks and many others. Norman Stone charts the district’s changing fortunes
Maureen Freely recalls the artists and writers who enlivened her childhood with their flamboyant bravado and unspoken sadness
In the very thick of the city, with its fret and fuss, belching traffic and urban sprawl, lies a glade scented with linden blossoms. Here the young Sultan Abdülmecid built a jewel of a palace, grand but tiny, which is still a green oasis and place of escape. By Berrin Torolsan
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