Istanbul

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Bosphorus

Having a foot in both Europe and Asia forces the inhabitants to question their identity.
Istanbul is, famously, the only city in the world to straddle two continents - Europe and Asia. The dividing line is the Bosphorus and Edward Stourton has been exploring the life and rich history of this 19 mile long stretch of water. 

The Bosphorus gives Istanbul its unique character, but, as he discovers in this, the last of the series, having a foot in both Europe and Asia forces the people who live there to ask themselves interesting questions about their identity and the future of Turkey.

Producer: Phil Pegum.

Istanbul

Writer Elif Shafak invites us to reimagine Istanbul, a city she has loved all her life.
In her twenties, the writer Elif Shafak moved to Istanbul. "The city called me," she says. She moved there, knowing no-one, hoping to become a full time writer. She found her subject matter.

"In Istanbul, you understand, perhaps not intellectually but intuitively, that East and West are ultimately imaginary ideas, ones that can be de-imagined and re-imagined."

Elif offers us her vision of Istanbul; a city that's never quiet, always moving and wrestling with itself.


Produced by Rachel Hooper
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.