- One of the things Istanbul is known for is the packs of wild dogs roaming the streets that have resisted all governmental efforts to remove them.
- The Turkish word for Bosphorus (the river that runs through Istanbul) is the same as the word for "throat."
- There was an Alphabet Revolution of 1928, where Ataturk declared that Turkish would now use the Latin alphabet. There are 29 letters in the modern Turkish alphabet, 8 of which are vowels.
- The Turkish film industry in the middle of the 20th century was the second largest in the world. (India was first.)
- The population of Istanbul grew rapidly during the 20th century. In the 1920s, it was about half a million. By 1960, it was around a million. By 2000, it was over ten million.
- You can tell whether you're in the East or West area of Istanbul by how they discuss the events of May 29, 1453 (when the Ottoman army took over the area) - to Westerners, it's the Fall of Constantinople; to Easterners, it's the Conquest of Istanbul.
Premise of the book: Orhan Pamuk has lived in Istanbul his whole life. In fact, he is now living in the family apartment building that he grew up in. In this book, he attempts to give the reader a picture of what life was like in Istanbul in the second half of the twentieth century, as well as how it is today.
Random Facts Learned By Reading This Book:
General thoughts on the book: The writing in this book was exquisite. There are also tons of pictures scattered throughout the book that really enhance the reading experience. It's really more of a memoir than a travel narrative, so there weren't many facts I could pull out for the above list. But it puts you in the city and surrounds you with the atmosphere of Istanbul from the eyes of one of its sons.
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
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