Istanbul Night Quotes

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Don't forget that your mind is a stranger at nights. Don't talk to strangers.
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
I know every single street in this town. And I love strolling these streets in the mornings, in the evenings, and then at night when I am merry and tipsy. I love to have breakfasts with my friends along the Bosphorus on Sundays, I love to walk alone amid the crowds. I am in love with the chaotic beauty of this city, the ferries, the music, the tales, the sadness, the colors, and the black humor.....
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
From the first, Istanbul had given him the impression of a town where, with the night, horror creeps out of the stones. It seemed to him a town the centuries had so drenched in blood and violence that, when daylight went out, the ghosts of its dead were its only population.
Ian Fleming (From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5))
It should have been the Arabian Nights, but to Bond, seeing it first above the tops of trams and above the great scars of modern advertising along the river frontage, it seemed a once beautiful theatre-set that modern Turkey had thrown aside in favour of the steel and concrete flat-iron of the Istanbul-Hilton Hotel, blankly glittering behind him on the heights of Pera.
Ian Fleming (From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5))
It happened all the time in this city that encompassed seven hills, two continents, three seas and fifteen million mouths. It happened behind closed doors and in open courtyards; in cheap motel rooms and five-star luxury suites; in the midst of the night or plain daylight. The brothels of this city could tell many a story had they only found ears willing to listen. Call girls and rent boys and aged prostitutes beaten, abused and threatened by clients looking for the smallest excuse to lose their temper. Transsexuals who never went to the police for they knew they could be assaulted a second time. Children scared of particular family members and new brides of their fathers- or brothers-in-law; nurses and teachers and secretaries harassed by infatuated lovers just because they had refused to date them in the past; housewives who would never speak a word for there were no words in this culture to describe marital rape. It happened all the time. Canopied under a mantle of secrecy and silence that shamed the victims and shielded the assailants. Istanbul was no stranger to sexual abuse. In this city where everyone feared outsiders, most assaults came from those who were too familiar, too close.
Elif Shafak (Havva'nın Üç Kızı)
For a long time I felt bad. I wondered why I didn’t want to learn Japanese, why I didn’t already speak Japanese, why I would rather go to Paris or Istanbul or Barcelona rather than Tokyo. But then I thought, Who cares? Did anyone ask John F. Kennedy if he spoke Gaelic and visited Dublin or if he ate potatoes every night or if he collected paintings of leprechauns? So why are we supposed to not forget our culture? Isn’t my culture right here since I was born here?
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
At night, flooded with light, Istanbul shone brighter than the eyes of a young bride.
Elif Shafak (The Architect's Apprentice)
Though books were potentially harmful, novels were all the more dangerous. The path of fiction could easily mislead you into the cosmos of stories where everything was fluid, quixotic, and as open to surprises as a moonless night in the desert. Before you knew it you could be so carried away that you could lose touch with reality—that stringent and stolid truth from which no minority should ever veer too far from in order not to end up unguarded when the winds shifted and bad times arrived. It didn’t help to be so naïve to think things wouldn’t get bad, for they always did. Imagination was a dangerously captivating magic for those compelled to be realistic in life, and words could be poisonous for those destined always to be silenced.
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
My father used to say that we had another life in the sky. Our world had a reflection, like a mirror. And each of us had a double living in the world in the sky. The people there slept during the day and woke up at night. They felt cold in the heat and got hot in the cold. They couldn’t see when it was light but could make out the furthest object in the dark. The men in this world were women there, while the women were men. They didn’t take life seriously, but attached great importance to dreams. They liked hugging strangers. They weren’t ashamed of being poor, but of being rich. For them laughing was crying, while crying was laughing. When someone died they sang songs and danced. When I was a child I often stared at the sky to try and catch a glimpse of my other self. I wondered what I was like in that other life.
Burhan Sönmez (Istanbul, Istanbul)
Peri disliked these dinner parties, which went on late into the night and often left her with a migraine the next day. She would rather stay home and, in the witching hours, be immersed in a novel – reading being her way to connect with the universe. But solitude was a rare privilege in Istanbul. There was always some important event to attend or an urgent social responsibility to fulfil as if the culture, like a child scared of loneliness, made sure everyone was at all times in the company of others.
Elif Shafak (Havva'nın Üç Kızı)
She kept the picture, though. She carried it with her everywhere she traveled: Istanbul and Rome, Berlin where she lived for three moths, sharing a flat with two Swedes. One night they got blitzed and she showed them the picture. The blond boys smiled at her quizzically, handing it back. It meant nothing to anybody but her, which was part of the reason she could never get rid of it. It was the only part of her life that was real. She didn't know what to do with the rest. All the stories she knew were fiction, so she began to create new ones. She was the daughter of a doctor, an actor, a baseball player. She was taking a break from medical school. She had a boyfriend back home named Reese. She was white, she was black, she became a new person as soon as she crossed a border. She was always inventing her life.
Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half)
It would take me all night to tell about Old Bull Lee; let's just say now, he was a teacher, and it may be said that he had every right to teach because he spent all his time learning; and the things he learned were what he considered to be and called "the facts of life," which he learned, not only out of necessity but because he wanted to. He dragged his long, thin body around the entire United States and most of Europe and North Africa in his time, only to see what was going on.... there are pictures of him with the international cocaine set of the thirties — gangs with wild hair, leaning on one another, there are other pictures of him in a Panama hat, surveying the streets of Algiers.... He was an exterminator in Chicago, a bartender in New York, a summons-server in Newark. In Paris he sat at cafe tables, watching the sullen French faces go by. In Athens he looked up from his ouzo at what he called the ugliest people in the world. In Istanbul he threaded his way through crowds of opium addicts and rug-sellers, looking for the facts. In Chicago he planned to hold up a Turkish bath, hesitated just for two minutes too long for a drink, and, wound up with two dollars and had to make a run for it. He did all these things merely for the experience....
Jack Kerouac
and endless inconvenience. But have I not heard you say often that to solve a case a man has only to lie back in his chair and think? Do that. Interview the passengers on the train, view the body, examine what clues there are and then—well, I have faith in you! I am assured that it is no idle boast of yours. Lie back and think—use (as I have heard you say so often) the little grey cells of the mind—and you will know!” He leaned forward, looking affectionately at his friend. “Your faith touches me, my friend,” said Poirot emotionally. “As you say, this cannot be a difficult case. I myself, last night—but we will not speak of that now. In truth, this problem intrigues me. I was reflecting, not half an hour ago, that many hours of boredom lay ahead whilst we are stuck here. And now—a problem lies ready to my hand.” “You accept then?” said M. Bouc eagerly. “C’est entendu. You place the matter in my hands.” “Good—we are all at your service.” “To begin with, I should like a plan of the Istanbul-Calais coach, with a note of the people who occupied the several compartments, and I should also like to see their passports and their tickets.” “Michel will get you those.” The Wagon Lit conductor left the compartment. “What other passengers are there on the train?” asked Poirot. “In this coach Dr. Constantine and I
Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10))
Hekate in Byzantium (also Constantinople, now Istanbul, Turkey) It is probable that Hekate had an established presence in Byzantium from a time before the city was founded. Here Hekate was invoked by her title of Phosphoros by the local population for her help when Philip of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) attacked the city in 340 BCE. Petridou summarises the account given by Hsych of Miletus: "Hecate, or so we are told, assisted them by sending clouds of fire in a moonless rainy night; thus, she made it possible for them to see clearly and fight back against their enemies. By some sort of divine instigation the dogs began barking[164], thus awakening the Byzantians and putting them on a war footing."[165] There is a slightly alternative account of the attack, recorded by Eustathios. He wrote that Philip of Macedon's men had dug secret tunnels from where they were preparing a stealth attack. However, their plans were ruined when the goddess, as Phosphoros, created mysterious torchlight which illuminated the enemies. Philip and his men fled, and the locals subsequently called the place where this happened Phosphorion. Both versions attribute the successful defence of the city to the goddess as Phosphoros. In thanksgiving, a statue of Hekate, holding two torches, was erected in Byzantium soon after. The support given by the goddess in battle brings to mind a line from Hesiod’s Theogony: “And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will.” [166] A torch race was held on the Bosphorus each year, in honour of a goddess which, in light of the above story, is likely to have been Phosphoros. Unfortunately, we have no evidence to clarify who the goddess the race was dedicated to was. Other than Phosphoros, it is possible that the race was instead held in honour of the Thracian Bendis, Ephesian Artemis or Hekate. All of which were also of course conflated with one another at times. Artemis and Hekate both share the title of Phosphoros. Bendis is never explicitly named in texts, but a torch race in her honour was held in Athens after her cult was introduced there in the fifth-century BCE. Likewise, torch-races took place in honour of Artemis. There is also a theory that the name Phosphoros may have become linguistically jumbled due to a linguistic influence from Thrace becoming Bosphorus in the process[167]. The Bosphorus is the narrow, natural strait connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, separating the European side of Istanbul from the Asian side. The goddess with two torches shown on coins of the time is unnamed. She is usually identified as Artemis but could equally represent Hekate.
Sorita d'Este (Circle for Hekate - Volume I: History & Mythology (The Circle for Hekate Project Book 1))
In that place there were no train stations, crowded ferries, or boulevards where everyone bumped into each other as they walked. There were no lampposts, bridges, or towers either. Everything consisted of a great meaning. One part of that meaning was haste, the other part was agitation. Every tiny thing was a reflection of that greater meaning. Drawn curtains, leaving the workplace at the end of the working day, and the squares where lovers arranged to meet, were all reflections of it. If it rained, and washed and cleansed the city’s dirt for days, it would still be that meaning that emerged with the first ray of sunshine. Time that ticked on in maternity hospitals, in back streets and in late night bars, toyed with the city’s pace. People forgot the sun, the moon, and the stars and lived only with times. Time for work, time for school, time for an appointment, time to eat, time to go out. When it was finally time to sleep, people had no more strength or desire left to think about the world. They let themselves go in the darkness. They were dragged along by a single meaning, a meaning that was hidden in every single thing. What was that meaning and where was it taking us? People created small pleasures for themselves to stop their minds from clouding over with such questions, and chased after them relentlessly. They ran away from life’s hardships, slept peacefully, and thus lightened their minds’ burden. And their hearts’. They believed that. Until a wall inside them came crashing down and their hearts were crushed.
Burhan Sönmez (Istanbul, Istanbul)
Next to her he felt both young and old. Old in his habits and fears, young in his curiosity and desires. And he wanted so badly to feel young. He never felt young, not even when the calendar said he was. He never had a one night stand, never went partying all night, never bought a one-way ticket to an island in the middle of the Pacific with no other plans than lazing around and drinking beer, and the list could on. Was he ever in his twenties? Or did he jump right into his mid-forties, a time of introspection and responsibilities? Now, not only was he obsessed by what he still didn’t have and concerned for what the future may bring, he also felt he had less time to accomplish everything he ever wanted. And it had to be everything. His forties were as angst-ridden as his twenties, if not even more.
Carol Vorvain (A fool in Istanbul - Adventures of a self denying workaholic)
Just for the record, a nymphomaniac girlfriend might be great material for imagination, but in real life, trust me, having a nympho in your bed night after night is not as fantastic as it sounds. At worst, they are sick; at best they are exhausting, and in both cases they wear you out.
Carol Vorvain (A fool in Istanbul - Adventures of a self denying workaholic)
After I made it my business to find out how much money people have been squandering on these frivolous and insanely ostentatious fireworks displays we’ve seen in every corner of Istanbul every night this summer, I had to ask myself if the people celebrating at those weddings might not have been happier—bearing in mind that we are now a city of ten million people—if the money had been spent on educating the children of the poor. Am I right or wrong [1997]? Especially
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul (Vintage International))
The man walked off into the crowd, and before I knew it, he’d disappeared. There I was with my suitcase, in the middle of the Istanbul Airport. Alone. I didn’t even realize I was crying until I saw the tears hitman shoes. Outside was dark. Night. I was nine years old and by myself in a foreign land. I didn’t even speak the language. Quite simply, I was terrified” (Kazerooni, 2014, p. 45).
Abbas Kazerooni (On Two Feet and Wings)
Travel Bucket List 1. Have a torrid affair with a foreigner. Country: TBD. 2. Stay for a night in Le Grotte della Civita. Matera, Italy. 3. Go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland, Australia. 4. Watch a burlesque show. Paris, France. 5. Toss a coin and make an epic wish at the Trevi Fountain. Rome, Italy. 6. Get a selfie with a guard at Buckingham Palace. London, England. 7. Go horseback riding in the mountains. Banff, Alberta, Canada. 8. Spend a day in the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul, Turkey. 9. Kiss the Blarney Stone. Cork, Ireland. 10. Tour vineyards on a bicycle. Bordeaux, France. 11. Sleep on a beach. Phuket, Thailand. 12. Take a picture of a Laundromat. Country: All. 13. Stare into Medusa’s eyes in the Basilica Cistern. Istanbul, Turkey. 14. Do NOT get eaten by a lion. The Serengeti, Tanzania. 15. Take a train through the Canadian Rockies. British Columbia, Canada. 16. Dress like a Bond Girl and play a round of poker at a casino. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 17. Make a wish on a floating lantern. Thailand. 18. Cuddle a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Queensland, Australia. 19. Float through the grottos. Capri, Italy. 20. Pose with a stranger in front of the Eiffel Tower. Paris, France. 21. Buy Alex a bracelet. Country: All. 22. Pick sprigs of lavender from a lavender field. Provence, France. 23. Have afternoon tea in the real Downton Abbey. Newberry, England. 24. Spend a day on a nude beach. Athens, Greece. 25. Go to the opera. Prague, Czech Republic. 26. Skinny dip in the Rhine River. Cologne, Germany. 27. Take a selfie with sheep. Cotswolds, England. 28. Take a selfie in the Bone Church. Sedlec, Czech Republic. 29. Have a pint of beer in Dublin’s oldest bar. Dublin, Ireland. 30. Take a picture from the tallest building. Country: All. 31. Climb Mount Fuji. Japan. 32. Listen to an Irish storyteller. Ireland. 33. Hike through the Bohemian Paradise. Czech Republic. 34. Take a selfie with the snow monkeys. Yamanouchi, Japan. 35. Find the penis. Pompeii, Italy. 36. Walk through the war tunnels. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. 37. Sail around Ha long Bay on a junk boat. Vietnam. 38. Stay overnight in a trulli. Alberobello, Italy. 39. Take a Tai Chi lesson at Hoan Kiem Lake. Hanoi, Vietnam. 40. Zip line over Eagle Canyon. Thunderbay, Ontario, Canada.
K.A. Tucker (Chasing River (Burying Water, #3))
There are many reasons why girls should not travel alone, and I won’t list them, because none of them are original reasons. Besides, there are more reasons why girls should. I have the utmost respect for girls who travel alone, because it’s hard work sometimes. But girls, we just want adventures. We want international best friends and hold-your-breath vistas out of crappy hostel windows. We want to discover moving works of art, sometimes in museums and sometimes in side-street graffiti. We want to hear soul-restoring jam sessions at beach bonfires and to watch celestial dawns spill over villages that haven’t changed since the Middle Ages. We want to fall in love with boys with say-that-again accents. We want sore feet from stay-up-all-night dance parties at just-one-more-drink bars. We want to be on our own even as we sketch and photograph the Piazza San Marco covered in pigeons and beautiful Italian lovers intertwined so that we’ll never forget what it feels like to be twenty-three and absolutely purposeless and single, but in love with every city we visit next. We want to be struck dumb by the baritone echoes of church bells in Vatican City and the rich, heaven-bound calls to prayer in Istanbul and to know that no matter what, there just has to be some greater power or holy magic responsible for all this bursting, delirious, overwhelming beauty in the great, wide, sprawling world. I tucked my passport into my bag. Girls, we don’t just want to have fun; we want a whole lot more out of life than that.
Nicole Trilivas (Girls Who Travel)
I can’t help but feel he’s a little disappointed in me because I don’t bow whenever I see him. When he interviewed me, he wanted to know whether I spoke any Japanese. I explained that I was born in Gardena. He said, Oh, you nisei, as if knowing that one word means he knows something about me. You’ve forgotten your culture, Ms. Mori, even though you’re only second generation. Your issei parents, they hung on to their culture. Don’t you want to learn Japanese? Don’t you want to visit Nippon? For a long time I felt bad. I wondered why I didn’t want to learn Japanese, why I didn’t already speak Japanese, why I would rather go to Paris or Istanbul or Barcelona rather than Tokyo. But then I thought, Who cares? Did anyone ask John F. Kennedy if he spoke Gaelic and visited Dublin or if he ate potatoes every night or if he collected paintings of leprechauns? So why are we supposed to not forget our culture? Isn’t my culture right here since I was born here? Of course I didn’t ask him those questions. I just smiled and said, You’re so right, sir. She sighed. It’s a job. But I’ll tell you something else. Ever since I got it straight in my head that I haven’t forgotten a damn thing, that I damn well know my culture, which is American, and my language, which is English, I’ve felt like a spy in that man’s office. On the surface, I’m just plain old Ms. Mori, poor little thing who’s lost her roots, but underneath, I’m Sofia and you better not fuck with me.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer (The Sympathizer #1))
Reading about Istanbul, or looking at pictures, does not prepare you for the experience of walking along the Bosphorus and in winding cobbled streets, smelling the kebab, being invited in by kind strangers to join them for apple tea. Similarly, reading about the rainforest, watching documentaries that are well researched and beautifully shot, does not prepare you for the experience of having toucans fly overhead in the understory, the deep beat of their wings a slow rhythm in the jangled cacophony. The rainforest documentary does not prepare you for the red eye shine of spiders at night, the suction of deep mud on your boots, the deep dark green of it all. Strangely, it is also true that actually being in the rainforest does not fully prepare you for being in the rainforest, by which I mean, the experience is never the same twice. That is part of why it is so alluring to some of us
Heather E. Heying
Don’t forget that your mind is a stranger at nights. Don’t talk to strangers.
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
Then the way was clear and the old European section of Istanbul glittered at the end of the broad half-mile of bridge with the slim minarets lancing up into the sky and the domes of the mosques, crouching at their feet, looking like big firm breasts. It should have been the Arabian Nights, but to Bond, seeing
Ian Fleming (From Russia With Love)
After the birth of their son, Selva got used to this bitter coffee. She drank it to keep herself awake until the baby’s last feeding at night. What had begun as a way of keeping herself awake had turned into an addiction.
Ayşe Kulin (Last Train to Istanbul)
Standing in the doorway, Auntie Zeliha stared at Asya with the disappointment of a visual artist who after drinking and working on a piece of art all night long sleeps with satisfaction, only to wake up later the next morning confronted with the bedlam he has created while intoxicated.
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
Will you be traveling there again? To Istanbul and Arabia and the places where they follow the Koran?" "I hope so," he said, laying aside the golden book very carefully. "The air is so hot there, warm and fragrant, the sky so blue, and the food tastes like nothing here. They have olives and dates and soft cheeses. I think you would like it, my Séraphine. You could dress in pink and gold and mahogany and lounge on silken pillows, listening to strange music. I'd buy you a little monkey with a vest and a hat to make you laugh and I'd sit and watch you and feed you juicy grapes." She smiled sadly and drew off her stays. "And how would we get there, Val?" "I'd hire a ship," he said taking a sip of his red wine. "No, I'd buy a ship- one of our very own. It'll have blue sails and a flag with a rooster on it. We'll take your mongrel and Mehmed and all his cats and set sail with fifty strong men. During the day we'll sit on deck and watch for mermaids and monsters in the waves, and at night we'll stare at the stars and then I'll make love to you until dawn." "And after far Arabia?" she whispered as she drew off her chemise and stood nude save for her stockings and shoes. "What then?" His smile faded and he looked very grave as she took off her shoes and stockings. "Why, Séraphine, then we would journey on to Egypt or India or China or indeed wherever else you please. Or even come round about here, back to foggy, bustling London, where, if nothing else, the pies and sausages are quite good, if that was what you wished. Just as long as I were with you and you with me, my sweet Séraphine.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))