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Issue 63, 2021

Lure of the Exotic

£600.00 / $774.15 / €712.73
($/€ approx)

  • · Lithian Ricci’s rainbow house on the Golden Horn
  • · The Ottoman exile of a Swedish king
  • · Rome’s Turkish Secret
  • · Age of Innocence: An idyllic childhood in Fifties Turkey
  • · Mistaken Identities: the real Roxelana
  • · Going with the Grain: the nutty joys of bulgur

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  • Flights of fantasy

    The artist Lithian Ricci has rescued a dilapidated old house on the Golden Horn – and transformed it into a magical work of art. Berrin Torolsan is dazzled. Photographs: Monica Fritz

  • Mistaken Identities

    A portrait coming up for sale at Sotheby’s in October is one of the finest portrayals of an Ottoman lady of the 16th century. Julian Raby peels away centuries of confusion to establish her true identity – as Süleyman’s wife, the legendary Roxelana

  • Saved by the royal bed

    Defeated by Russia in 1709, Charles XII of Sweden took refuge with the Sultan. Confined to camp, the King sent out Cornelius Loos, his military draughtsman, to capture the wonders of the Ottoman Empire. Only 50 of the drawings Loos brought back survive – rescued from beneath the King’s bed during a riot. Philip Mansel dives into a splendid book on Loos’s eye-opening work, and Robert Ousterhout marvels at his drawings of Ayasofya

  • The Marvellous Eye of the King’s Artist

    Three centuries ago Cornelius Loos, Charles XII’s military draughtsman, captured the atmospheric grandeur of Ayasofya’s interiors with panache and precision. Robert Ousterhout lingers over Loos’s peerless drawings

  • Rome’s Turkish Secret

    In 1833 Horace Vernet, the French Orientalist, created a fabulous ‘Turkish Room’ at the top of a tower in Rome’s Villa Medici. By Paolo Girardelli. Photographs: Daniele Molajoli

  • Going with the Grain

    For many peoples bulgur came before bread. It may now be ultra-fashionable, but versatile, nutritious bulgur was in fact the world’s first processed food. Berrin Torolsan celebrates the revival of this Anatolian staple and its nutty joys with a collection of intriguing recipes

  • The smile that launched a thousand shish

    Ever since it was founded in 1945 on the edge of Istanbul, people have flocked to eat at Beyti’s, the grill house that taught the city the importance of Sunday lunch. The journey, says Andrew Finkel, is always worth the effort

  • Age of innocence

    The astrophotographer Tony Hallas spent an idyllic childhood in 1950s Turkey, where he first marvelled at the night sky. On his recent return, he found hulking cruise ships and Disneyfied destinations. Here, in the first of two articles, he looks back at the Turkey he left behind, and evocative family photographs capture a world waiting to be discovered

Inside the issue

Art and Architecture

  1. Flights of fantasy Lithin Ricci and her rainbow house on the Golden Horn, by Berrin Torolsan. Photographs by Monica Fritz [extract available online]
  2. Cornelius Loos in the Ottoman World, Reviewed by Philip Mansel. [extract available online]
  3. The Marvellous Eye of the King’s Artist, by Robert Ousterhout (1950–2023). [extract available online]
  4. Rome’s Turkish Secret, by Paolo Girardelli. [extract available online]


  1. Age of innocence An idyllic childhood in Fifties Turkey [extract available online]


  1. Mistaken Identities Julian Raby on the real Roxelana, by Julian Raby.


  1. Aegean Legacies, Reviewed by

    Jennifer Wearden

    [available online]


  1. Going with the Grain The nutty delights of bulgur, by Berrin Torolsan. Photographs by Simon Upton [extract available online]
  2. The smile that launched a thousand shish, by Andrew Finkel. Photographs by Monica Fritz
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