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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Life in the islands... - Turkish Daily News Aug 27, 2006

"Life in the islands...
Sunday, August 27, 2006

Opinion by Elif ŞAFAK

Elif ŞAFAKOne of the most exquisite and yet perhaps internationally less appreciated spots in Istanbul is the islands --Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgaz and Kınalı. Although hosting lots of tourists every weekend, the islands do not correspond to a trendy, touristy sport. And though they can become quite crowded during the summer season, they still constitute a perfect haven, an inconspicuous sanctuary to those who want to attain some inner peace and tranquility without necessarily leaving the city. Most importantly, the islands embody an ages-old, deeply-rooted cosmopolitan culture and a way of life that Istanbul too used to retain once but has long lost.The first hints of that culture are revealed on the way to the islands, in the ferryboats that commute back and forth between the city and the four islands. There, you will encounter a variety of people, a motley cluster of individuals from all walks of life, and hear a variety of languages and idioms, being spoken all at once. Greek and Jewish, Armenian and French, English and Ladino will intermingle with Turkish. Every now and then you will hear a sentence that had started in Turkish to be completed in Jewish. Sometimes a talk in Turkish will be replete with Armenian expressions. You will hear them all. "

More:PLife in the islands... - Turkish Daily News Aug 27, 2006