I work in an industry that is devoted to change – a marriage fostered by always trying to keep up-to-date on new technologies, as well as being the first to try something new. There is also a bit of “change for change’s sake”, whereby traditional media is wrongly seen as dull. Nevertheless the process of the developments is so linear that the old often seamlessly merges with the new. The same, I am afraid, cannot be said of a place – in this instance, Istanbul.
I visited Istanbul on holiday about a month ago and was instantly enamoured – the mosques, markets and winding Bosphorus charming me like a love-struck teenager. I loved the quiet backstreets of the Old Town, the crusted ‘balloon’ of bread at every meal, and even the wails and cheers that emanated from the shisha den in the early hours outside our hotel. As such, my reaction to the daily reporting on the protests in this city, fill me disbelief; the change and news pictures discordant to my experience of this modern Constantinople. Snubbed like the subject of a tabloid kiss-and-tell, or saddened as if by the demise of a close friend, my response is to treasure my memories of the city more – in essence, to defend and celebrate it from the relative peace of West London.
Below I have chosen several photos that I think best capture this magical city. They may not your standard tourist snaps, but I think they show a city worth fighting for and, dare I say it, a place where political change needs to take place.