The Bosphorus (Photo taken by Vicky Loras)
The Bosphorus (Photo taken by Vicky Loras)

Istanbul

Written by Vicky Loras

New air, new sky.

Colours. Lights.

Grey and rain.

Hüzün1? No, bliss.

When eyes are lost in the waters

of the Bosphorus

in the smiles

of the simit2 seller,

the old woman in the street

the crowds

in busy Taksim.

A star,

a half moon.

There’s one over ğ;

dağ3

and ağaç4

and göğü gördüm5.

eceA million thanks to Ece Sevgi who read it so beautifully! Listen to it here:

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Notes:

1. hüzün = melancholy, longing. It is a word which is mentioned very often in Orhan Pamuk’s book Istanbul – it is also heard in songs and poems. It is a sad word, but I love how it sounds.

2. simit = a bagel usually covered in sesame seeds and which you can buy practically everywhere.

3. dağ [dah] = mountain

4. ağaç [ah – ach] = tree

5. göğü gördüm [gyoo-ooh gyoor-dim] = I saw the sky

I tried to find three words that included that special letter ğ and that were also related to what I saw during my trip to Istanbul. That was a hard feat. I hope I managed to convey the images.

Somehow, the little half moon over the letter ğ reminded me of the crescent on the Turkish flag.

Many many thanks to Ece Sevgi, for helping me find a phrase that made sense and included the word sky.