Istanbul – City of a Hundred Names / Alex Webb


In 1998 Alex Webb visited Istanbul and was immediately enthralled by its people, history,
and the richness of its street life, especially the sense of Istanbul as a border city between
East and West, Europe and Asia, the only major city in the world that actually exists on two
continents. He has returned whenever possible, and the resulting work conveys the frisson
of a culture in transition, yet firmly rooted in history. Founded by the Greeks some twenty-
seven centuries ago, this much-fought-over trading center has been the capital of two of
history's most powerful empires—the Byzantine and the Ottoman—and now stands as the
largest city of one of the world’s few secular Muslim nations, which hopes to enter the
European Union. In Istanbul: City of a Hundred Names, Webb's uses his ability to distill
gesture, color, and contrasting cultural tensions into a single, beguiling frame to full effect in
presenting his vision of Istanbul: a city of minarets and pigeons rising to the heavens during
the dawn call to prayer, yet also a city of ATM machines and designer jeans.

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