Back in Istanbul
It’s been a little over a year since I was in Istanbul; the last time, battling to get my visa for Iran.
It was a somewhat shorter and more relaxed affair on this visit. I’d already seen my fair share of the sights, so concentrated less on feasting my eyes on the mosques, and more on feasting: lokum & baklava were a welcome return to my taste-buds.
Feeling a slight longing for Paris, I decided to check-out the Istanbul Modern (the Modern is in partnership with the Centre Pompidou) It would possibly be my last opportunity to see some art from the current period, before I immerse myself in that of civilisations gone by.
Instead of hitting the Modern, I stumbled across a series of exhibitions — the Istanbul Biennial — that were taking place throughout the Beyoğlu district, and so spent the day trundling around the back-streets, searching them out. The title was “What keeps mankind alive”, a question particularly pertinent to my current frame of mind as I start this journey. There were some really interesting pieces based-on the military operations in Bosnia and the work of the UN Peacekeepers across the globe. I really enjoyed the collection of posters charting Lebanon’s Civil War - (Signs of Conflict, Çatişma Belirtileri) - both from a political, and graphic design, point of view.
I finished my time in Istanbul as I had a year previously: a ferry across the Bosphorus to Haydrapasa, where a night-train waited to take me off east. This time, I would stop in Ankara, before heading south to Cappadocia.