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Rare glimpses of Ottoman delights: from the naively painted village mosques of Denizli to the gilded splendours of the sultans’ chambers in the Harem of the Topkapı. Maureen Freely laments the loss of the Village Institutes, which shaped a generation of Turkish idealists. Henk Boom charts the turbulent times of Baron van Dedem, Dutch ambassador to Constantinople from 1785 to 1810. Mark Waelkens, who uncovered the giant statue of Emperor Hadrian at Sagalassos, talks about his momentous finds. Robert Ousterhout leafs through Gertrude Bell’s Istanbul diaries, and John Carswell remembers Honor Frost, doyenne of underwater archaeology. Paul Veysseyre’s moody photographs recapture the Istanbul of the Seventies, while Berrin Torolsan finds delicious ways of cooking with grapes.
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They were stigmatised and despised, and eventually they were closed down. But what would Turkey be today without the Village Institutes, its bravest educational revolution, and the young people they empowered? Maureen Freely tells the moving story of the institutes, the subject of a new book and exhibition
The lethal mischief of Canon MacColl, by David Barchard
The Istanbul diaries of Gertrude Bell, now available online, reveal her astonishing transformation from socialite to scholar and political observer. By Robert Ousterhout
As Turkey and the Netherlands celebrate 400 years of diplomatic relations, Henk Boom highlights the twenty turbulent years that Frederik Gijsbert, Baron van Dedem spent as ambassador to Constantinople
Simple on the outside, some wooden village mosques had an added portico reminiscent of galleries opening onto the courtyards of private houses in the region. Inside, pillared halls and colourful painting on the wooden structure and on the walls make for a warm, joyful space. Photographs by Tarkan Kutlu
Abdülhamid I and Osman III’s private quarters in the Topkapı. Photographed by Fritz von der Schulenburg
Sagalassos, the remote site in southern Turkey where a giant statue of Emperor Hadrian was discovered five years ago, is the driving passion of Marc Waelkens. The Belgian archaeologist, whose new book is now available from Cornucopia, talks to Thomas Roueché about his pioneering work as director of excavations
The best table grapes in Istanbul are the fragrant, delicate skinned çavuş from the northern Aegean island of Bozcaada, ancient Tenedos, and the sweet sultaniye grapes from around Izmir.
Maggie Quigley-Pınar describes a book of photographs that evoke the spirit an almost-forgotten modern era: Istanbul in the 1970s
John Carswell pays tribute to his friend Honor Frost, doyenne of underwater archaeology
James Crow on Istanbul’s amazing system of aqueducts
The landmark 2012 exhibition at the Tokpapı Palace, and the sumptuous book that accompanied it.
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