• Books & Lit

    Churches: glimpses into different times.

    VIEW OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH. TAKSIM. You’ll seldom get much more than a glimpse of a church in Istanbul. Perhaps it’s the landscape we’re in. Space is definitely at a premium and many old things are not respected, let alone valued the way they once were. I’m not religious, but I refuse to leap aboard the anti-religion bandwagon. Religion has played such an inextricable role in the thought and development of just about every culture you can name that to try and excise it completely, or refuse to look at its place in our social development seems to me a little strange, perhaps even unwise. GREEK CHURCH SUNKEN BENEATH A SIDEWALK. YENIKÖY. This doesn’t mean we should discount or ignore the bloody atrocities that religious institutions and their “faithful” flocks have committed throughout history, it just seems to me that as in all of us, there is both good…

  • Photography,  Places

    Steam Punk Dreaming: Haydarpasa & Santral

    PRESSURE GAUGES IN THE DORMANT SANTRAL POWER STATION. In Istanbul the question, “when am I?” sounds in my head frequently. Its passages and corridors, its city streets and vistas that could belong to any number of eras. But then someone yanks out a cellphone and my dreamlike sense of dislocation is shattered. Once again it’s an old city pocked with wear. There are two places where I get a particular kind of steam punk feeling though, the kind of mood that China Mieville’s gritty nightmare fantasy Perdido Street Station elicited in me. Both are vast and filled with quiet, but evoke volumes of wonder. Both belong to the dwindling days of the Ottoman Empire, where history and tradition began to be steamrolled into the modern era. HISTORIES COLLIDE AT HAYDARPASA STATION. The first is Haydarpasa Train Station. Imagine the awe it must have inspired  … you’ve lived in central Anatolia all…