Saturday, February 16, 2013

Venturing to visit Istanbul’s famous walls

Six men are sitting around a pot in which we can see they had placed fish, tomatoes, lemons and onions they had cooked together. Each one simply reaches in with his fork and takes whatever he wants

When does a date become old history? These days, in the world of literature any novel set 20 years ago or more becomes part of the historical fiction genre. Does a true adventure that occurred nearly 25 years ago count as the past? Given all the recent articles on Istanbul’s city walls following the murder of an American tourist, perhaps you would be interested in excerpts from a firsthand account of people who lived inside the walls, which was published in this newspaper Sept. 15, 1989. It was a warm day when my colleague and friend Gül Demir and I walked the walls.

The police insisted that there were no people living in the city’s land walls. No gypsies, nobody. Everyone had been cleared out when the restoration project initiated by former Mayor Bedrettin Dalan began. We wouldn’t find anyone, they said.

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