It’s only two years since an attempted coup but Istanbul is moving on and reinventing itself
Travel poem number 2 about Istanbul.
I depart the shiny new tram
taste sage tea hundreds of years in the making
consumed near a Muslim graveyard,
where I espied silhouettes of crescent moons, stars
under pitch black skies.
As I dodge mutant dancing zebras,
vehicles screech to halt at the light.
Garish clothes, piled on the pavement, are sorted
by six grey men, women
the smiling trader haggles with all.
My linen shirt feels clammy, I sniff fresh orange juice.
Men rock on wooden chairs, debate
unending traffic above on the concrete flyover.
Scrawny cats wail, hiss over a discarded kebab
A welcoming dolmus awaits travellers to distant destinations.
In once sleepy Kadıköy-Moda, new nightlife and culture hotspots happily coexist with the district’s established restaurants and cafes
Once a church – and a hospital and a museum – it is now a mosque and also one of Turkey’s best-preserved buildings of the late Byzantine era. Admission is free and there is much here for visitors of all faiths
The Hagia Sophia, Galatasary FC, Bosphorus views … there are so many ways of exploring Istanbul’s riches while keeping your lira on a leash
Sweet and doughy, topped – or even stuffed – with meat and cheese, the pide is a traditional snack from Turkey’s Black Sea coast
History often comes served with a contemporary twist in Istanbul hotels. Choose from a boutique hotel that once housed a sultan’s tailor, a night in the city’s former US embassy, a cool hostel with its own pizzeria and more