Welcome to Istanbul

” ‘I cannot accept your money…’  The Turk is pleasantly surprised and leaves the shop.  The next morning when the barber opens his shop, he finds a thank you card and a box of lokum waiting at his door.”
-from page 56 of The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

There is actually much more to the extract above than an example of Turkish welcome and kindness, but I won’t spoil the book for you.  This excellent novel was part of my Istanbul reading list and proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting way to get a feel for the country.

I am back now and my overriding memory is of the friendliness and hospitality of the locals.  As a photographer with a particular enjoyment of street photography, I have never been anywhere where people were so happy to be captured on film – sorry, showing my age, on digital media.  My week in Istanbul simply flew by and I shall most definitely return soon to make yet more new friends.

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Copyright Debbie Smyth, 1 May 2015


9 thoughts on “Welcome to Istanbul

  1. I’d love to read this book! I read another by Elif that I enjoyed. Instanbul is on my bucket list as I want to visit Constantinople. 🙂
    Happy weekend!


    1. This is my first of hers, but I’ll be reading more. And I’ll be returning to Istanbul too

      On Sat, May 2, 2015 at 4:34 PM, Travel with Intent wrote:



  2. I’ve wanted to go to Istanbul for such a long time! And the more I read about it, the more I’m convinced I NEED to live in the city myself, for at least some time. What a great photo, and a lovely excerpt. I’m yet to read that book but I’ve tremendously enjoyed some others set in Istanbul (my most recent being Orhan Pamuk’s ‘My Name is Red’), so I will add this one you quote to my reading list – thank you. 🙂


  3. I have been wanting to go to Istanbul for so long because it looks like a fascinating place! I have been slacking a bit in the travel department although I went to Krakow last autumn! That beginning is also beautiful, I love those little examples of human kindness! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words


    1. It is an absolute must. Don’t leave it too long before you go as I’m sure you’ll want to make plenty of return visits!
      Krakow is till on my list


    1. I do at the moment – lucky me. Though it gets a bit much at times. Touch down, unpack, repack and off again.
      Istanbul is right up there amongst my favourite cities


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