Tag Archives: Turkey

Beyoğlu’s resilience.

I’ve since long harboured the dream of having – or, more modestly, staying at – a house on the Bosporus. Something with balconies abutting the waterfront, or perhaps a terrace with a view of the passing ships, a bottle of … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Faces of Ortaköy.

Today’s a popular day to be in Ortaköy. Day-trippers are flocking to the waterfront. Outnumbered, the locals have made a hasty retreat to the fishmonger’s. Better let the tide ebb away. Only one thing is for sure: tomorrow, they’ll all … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Vapur abstraction.

There’s a concept I sometimes hear from my software engineer chums: abstraction, or the process of removing all sorts of attributes – be them physical, spatial, temporal – to get to the root of something (usually a system, since we’re … Continue reading

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Istanbul 6 AM

Les travestis vont se raser Les strip-teaseuses sont rhabillées Les traversins sont écrasés Les amoureux sont fatigués Or so sang Jacques Dutronc in his masterpiece Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille It’s 6AM in Istanbul, but we’re a couple of … Continue reading

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Songs for the Road 7 – Now with even less sense!

The hot season is definitely upon us (at least, as much as it can be for London) and the poor algorithm that chooses the Your Mix selection on Youtube must be excused to be thinking that the heat has made me … Continue reading

Posted in Music review, Odd ones out | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

The service on the Azerbaijan Airlines flight was appalling. Having been treated to an atrocious pre-flight video, an attendant who clearly desired to be everywhere but there started thrashing around cups of weak coffee and tried, indolently, to sell stale … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Caucasus, Europe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Notes from the fringes of the Empire: Yerevan.

Yerevan lies in a bowl shaped like the tongue of a cat, delimited on one side by the Hrazdan gorge, and on the others by steep hills, on which stand strange perches and other abstruse relics of the Soviet past. … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Caucasus, Europe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Away from the Golden Horn – what lies outside Istanbul’s centre (1/2).

Symbols you won’t find on your keyboard: Beşiktaş and Örtaköy. I turned a corner on Beşiktaş caddesi and basically run into them. Milling around on civilian buses and police vans, sitting besides the mammoth hydrants that usually turn up, at … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Istanbul, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The places in between: wanders through Fener and Balat.

I saw them from the above, a rare treat for a city like Istanbul, where landings seldom come from the north: huddled close together, squashed between the Golden Horn and the minarets of Ottoman mosques, were the houses and streets … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Faith, Istanbul, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Börek, burek, byrek, byorek, bouréki: a food pilgrimage.

In 1389 a momentous event happened, something that changed the landscape of the Balkans, and of much of Central Europe, for ever. The armies of Murad I, no longer held in check by the Byzantine empire, swarmed into the Balkan … Continue reading

Posted in All things food, Balkans, Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments