About the Bosphorus

Şehsuvaroğlu, Haluk. Boğaziçiʼne Dair. İstanbul: Türkiye
Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu, 1986, 367pp.




About the Bosphorus


Boğaziçiʼne Dair


The book is a compilation of articles, mostly published in newspapers
and journals in the 1940s and 1950s, which were gathered twenty years after the
death of the author. The author was in the military and had a non-academic
interest in Istanbul. The publisher has chosen to preserve the articles in the
language of the time, without any modernisations or simplifications.

The author looks into the changes the Bosphorus experienced in
distinctive eras during the Ottoman period, such as the Tulip Period, Mahmut
II’s reign and the Tanzimat. He talks about the Bosphorus hills, the old ways
of life in villages and neighbourhoods such as Emirgan, İstinye, Tarabya,
Üsküdar, Çengelköy, Beykoz and Sarıyer, as well as giving information on the
palaces, mansions, summer palaces, small mosques and old recreation spots that
line the coast.

He refers to the families that commissioned and lived in these mansions,
also providing details on the period of construction. In fact, the author’s
essays on the historic buildings of Istanbul occupy the majority of the book.

He emphasises the impact of external events, for example wars and
treaties, on the city and includes extracts from various literary works. To
provide the reader with an understanding of the ways in which the Bosphorus has
been represented in western sources since the seventeenth century, he refers to
the main historical studies on the Ottoman period. He describes modes of
transport, touching upon boats and ferries providing some useful if limited
information on daily life. He adds colour to his writings by quoting classical
Ottoman poetry. These essays, which have been written without scientific
concerns, are an easy and comfortable read for people interested in Istanbul’s


Feryal Tansuğ


Tansuğ, Feryal. '"English abstract of 'About the Bosphorus'". Translated by Feryal Tansuğ. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 30. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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