Istanbul is one of those cities I had endlessly imagined long before I had any idea I would visit. I spent a few days there in April, largely by myself. I arrived in the midst of frenzied activity -- Eid was the first weekend I arrived, the elections were ongoing, and it had only been two months after a devastating earthquake in southern Turkey (why I found myself there for work in the first place). When I wasn't working, I spent my time walking and taking the ferry across the Bosphorus. I learnt that you can tell a lot about a society by the way it takes care of its stray animals (in Istanbul, quite well). I read Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul while taking breaks at cafes (or being served tea on the ferry). On Istanbul he wrote: "For me it has always been a city of ruins and of end-of-empire melancholy. I’ve spent my life either battling with this melancholy or (like all İstanbullus) making it my own.”
Photos from April 2023