Sirkeci, 12 November 2012
It's something of a commonplace to talk of Istanbul as a city haunted by its Ottoman past. For several reasons, it's a problematic phrase, insofar as it suggests some essential violence rooted in the past and ignores the far more terrifying future of the city. But there is something peculiar in the present city's relationship to its many-folded pasts ("Sweep me through your many-chambered heart," Diane Ackerman writes).

I wandered through the train station in Sirkeci for a few minutes this afternoon. No trains arriving, an occasional commuter train departing, a sense of a city that –– despite its size –– sometimes struggles to fill its many-chambered past.


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