Cihangir – Istanbul’s bohemian heart

I adore Istanbul – not merely the place but also the people, who are as a whole gentle, kind, sometimes a bit world-weary. A lifetime living in that city would not be enough to experience all it offers.

For those who love the city but do not live there, reading can sometimes fill the gap. One of Istanbul’s best writers, the Nobel Prize-winning Orhan Pamuk explains his complex city in beautiful but melancholic books such as his autobiographical Istanbul: Memories and the City, his 16th-century masterpiece, My Name is Red and his more recent novel, The Museum of Innocence.

If you have the time and you’ve visited the Sultanahmet gems, wander across to the northern bank of the Bosphorus to explore Pamuk’s neighbourhood, Cihangir, and especially his Museum of Innocence, which is both an exploration of his novel as well as a dissection of his city.

Here’s my piece on Cihangir, which was published in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age Travellers as well as online:

Istanbul Cihangir





About alisonstewartwriter

Alison is a writer, journalist and travel writer, born in South Africa, now living in Australia. She has had nine books published - two books for adults and seven for young people. Four of them have been translated into Italian, Danish, Dutch and Thai. Her latest project, Cold Stone Soup, an unpublished memoir about growing up under apartheid and migrating to Australia has won the FAW 2013 National Literary Awards (Jim Hamilton Award for a non-fiction manuscript). Cold Stone Soup was also runner-up in the 2010 Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her first book for adults, Born Into the Country (Justified Press 1988, South Africa) was shortlisted for the 1987 AA Mutual Life Vita Young Writers’ Award. Heinemann Australia published her next adult novel, Bitterbloom in 1991. Her YA novel, The Wishing Moon was shortlisted for the 1995 Australian Multicultural Children’s Award and was a 1995 Children’s Book Council Notable book. Her YA dystopia, Days Like This, published by Penguin Australia was a finalist in the inaugural 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the YA category. Alison worked for years as a news and feature journalist. She is now a regular travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age and online Fairfax Media publications.
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One Response to Cihangir – Istanbul’s bohemian heart

  1. Great article, Alison. I loved Istanbul when I visited some years ago and your photos took me straight back to that wonderful city.


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