I've been reading the Museum of Innocence, by Orhan Pamuk. The book's main character is Kemal, a privileged young man from Istanbul's cultural and wealthy elite. He describes the fixation of his generation in adopting the latest of the fashions in Paris and Italy, keenly adopting a Western outlook and gently mocking the headscarf-wearing housewives of the more traditional Turkish working classes.
Subconsciously or not, as we pottered around the backstreets of Beyoglu, I paused occasionally. I wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of Kemal's past, maybe by gazing through an open windowpane, or stopping to see who would come out of the next doorway. Maybe it was in the spring breeze if I gazed upwards to the top floors of the apartment buildings. The feeling was there but rather it was reflected in the rich diversity of urban coolness that emanates from the creative industries we saw springing up all over the city.
|The Ortaköy Mosque|