An alternative reality

Recently I flipped through a gushy feature story on Istanbul in a glossy British travel magazine which somehow washes up on Antipodean newsstands.  (I can’t give you a link – you have to be a subscriber to read the online version).  The writer seemed to frequent a different Istanbul altogether from the one I so much enjoyed recently.

Grilled fish sandwich coming up

Grilled fish sandwich coming up


Of around 35 points of interest marked on the accompanying sketch map, nearly all were dotted across the modern Beyoglu business and shopping district, beyond the Golden Horn, and many of these appeared to be bars, restaurants, shops and hotels of decidedly un-Turkish name or appearance. The great sights of Sultanahmet rated one or two points on the map, the stores and eateries another couple, at best.

I suspect this piece was probably as much about ‘style’ as about travel, ‘style’ pre-digested for the sort of people who prefer to carry their universe wherever they go, like a tortoise with its carapace.

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