Istanbul, it can be argued, is a world of its own, and as in every self-respecting world you need a guide. Not a handbook, but someone who can direct you, offering insight and advice. Dante had Virgil, Arthur Dent had Ford Prefect (and I can feel purists cringe at these two examples being put in the same sentence).
My guide to the vast world of Istanbul is Feride Yalav, who happens to write in several publications as well as in her blog Istanbul22. I owe her the discovery of Fener and Balat, or the courage to use the vapur as a mean of passing the time and, obviously, Beşiktaş’ markets. So, when she mentioned Kuzguncuk as her favourite place, I had to pay it a visit. I did some research, learning some quirky facts, and left Örtaköy in search for a vapur, already foretasting setting down to write this blog, finding the hole in the pages that I like so much to sink in.
Then the Istiklal Caddesi bombing happened, and it threw my plans out of the window. I’ve already written on the topic before and I won’t indulge on it anymore but suffice to say that the events of that day changed my mood, and I found myself drifting along in a rather contemplative spirit, reminiscing about everything and anything. Almost automatically I started taking photos, replacing words with pictures and – who knows – maybe this could be a better deal.
The comings and goings of boats across the strait continued unaffected, carrying humans and feathered alike from one shore to another.
Kuzguncuk, a tiny enclave sandwiched between hills, revealed itself as a small congregation of wooden houses, quiet roads and many a trace of those minorities that found here, within sight of the Sublime Porte, safe haven.
Should a statistic say that, in Istanbul, one is never farther than six feet from a cat, I wouldn’t be surprised.
And that’s pretty much about it. To the next time, Istanbul.