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bikersmosque
Bikers gathered outside a mosque in Besiktas, summer 2015.

“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.” – Alphonse de Lamartine

 

ISTANBUL is a place of seemingly extreme opposites.

Visit a cafe next to the Bosphorus Strait for a nighttime drink, and no doubt you’ll encounter the call to prayer.

Or catch a glimpse of die-hard bikers parked outside the mosque.

Or enjoy a pleasant breakfast on the same week you went through an attempted military coup.

The city will force you to rethink the old and tired ideas, concocted over centuries, to describe the difference between East and West, Muslim and Christian, secular and religious. They’re all on display here within walking distance from each other, sometimes even in the same subway car.

This blog is a celebration of that diversity. It’s a place to keep a finger on the pulse of this fast-changing city, and the country it’s in. It’s an appropriate place for rants, fun photos, serious essays, listicles…anything on what it means to be in Istanbul, or Turkey, right now.

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