Notes on Old Istanbul
Eyice, Semavi. Eski İstanbul'dan Notlar. İstanbul: Küre Yayınları, 2006, 199pp.


Notes on Old Istanbul

Eski İstanbul'dan Notlar

This book is a compilation of the author’s articles previously published in the journal İstanbul Bülteni, between 2000 and 2004. He provides information on the antiquities of Istanbul that are already lost or on the verge of being lost and also narrates his own memories related to the city. There are four main sections to the book; “Lost Istanbul”, “Lost Treasures of Istanbul”, “Galata, Istanbul’s Faces West” and “Select Books on Istanbul”.

The first section “Lost Istanbul” is also the longest one. Here, the author criticises the building regulations of the twentieth century for the destruction of monuments and for damaging the city. He also gives examples of buildings that were lost or damaged by fire or earthquake from the onset of Ottoman rule.

In the second section, he continues to provide examples of measures and events which damaged the buildings. In the third part, he talks about the history of Galata in the Middle Ages, under the Genoese and the Ottoman rule; he identifies some mosques, fountains and graves with Turkish characteristics in Galata; he mentions Galata’s expansion towards Beyoğlu and examines some outstanding pieces of architecture in Beyoğlu. In the final part, he provides information on various books which discuss Istanbul’s monuments.

This is a non-academic book, albeit informative for general readers interested in Istanbul. One of the attractive features of this book are the pictures and photographs of buildings which are today either damaged or no longer extant.

Feryal Tansuğ
Translated by Aysu Dincer
Tansuğ, Feryal. '"English abstract of 'Notes on Old Istanbul'". Translated by Aysu Dinçer. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 41. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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