An insider guide that will walk you around all the secrets of the city where East meets West. Discover Istanbul through the eyes of a beauty catcher: fashion designer and globetrotter Bolka Basaran.
“I live to find beauty. Whether it’s the morning light and cherished solitude in a city before the crowds come rolling in, a beautiful oxymoron found in a book or the juxtaposition of two colours, like icy blue and Bordeaux.”
That’s how Bolka Basaran, young fashion designer and globetrotter, describes herself. Born and raised in Istanbul, she left the city almost a decade ago. During these past years she’s been living in London, then NYC, Milan and Paris, where she is now based.
“Currently, I’m trying my hand at the family business, creating my first collection – of dresses, mainly, which for me are like Istanbul…or like me: where East meets West.”
THE MOST POETIC SIDE OF ISTANBUL
When I’m crossing the Bosphorus on the city ferry at sunset, with the minarets of the city as a captivating silhouette all around me, or when I’m at a fish place surrounded by old wooden Ottoman, or at the yalis – the waterfront palaces on the Asian side.
BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ BEFORE VISITING ISTANBUL
I’ve read all of Pierre Loti’s books on the city in order to help me discover his beloved Istanbul. He was a 19th-century French orientalist/traveller/writer who lived in Istanbul for a while. He used to love it so much that, going back to his hometown in France, he had a minaret built from which he religiously made the call to the prayer!
A MUST-DO IN ISTANBUL
Like I did, when in Istanbul you’ve got to search for the places where time has stopped. You get that feeling of timelessness while having a Kaave (NDR: Coffee Fortune Reading) We are all superstitious and we still believe in things such as bad magic, love potions and death spells made with soap. Everyone I know must have a story of someone they once knew who passed away because of that.