I’ve been to Istanbul innumerable times and thought I knew something about the city and its inhabitants, but when I read I AM ISTANBUL by Buket Uzuner I realized how off the mark I was.
The city is a 2700-year-old mystery and even its residents, the Istanbullu, will never truly be able to comprehend it. Istanbul is simply too vast, ancient and complex for any mere mortal to fathom. Nor can anyone born there ever truly escape it; they will always carry the city in their hearts. As the author observes, “To Istanbul they must return…homesick, pining, missing it to death, their hearts ablaze with an unquenchable love never to be found elsewhere.”