Prolific Istanbul Writer John Freely has passed

It seems he was one of a kind.

Although his passing hasn’t made too many headlines in English-language media, if Twitter’s reaction is anything to go by, it’s being felt deeply right here in Turkey.

A lot of the tweets about him are in Turkish. Some have called him hoca, an esteemed title for a teacher. The person below says he was the one who knew Istanbul best — quite a feat for a foreigner. Another Twitter user called him the person who understood the Ottoman Empire the best. 

The American physics professor, who was faculty at Istanbul’s Bogazici University, made a side-career out of writing about Istanbul and Turkey. 

Above: The university’s e-mail message informing its community about Freely’s death.

His ‘Strolling Through Istanbul’, a more than 500 page guide detailing the city and its history, has received praise from the press and regular web users alike.

I haven’t read it yet, but now I’ll be sure to get my hands on a copy. 

His tome — and his prolific output — is proof  is always more to learn about this mysterious city.