To capture the city so thoroughly though is a feat in and of itself. Just as with Sönmez’s novel, Istanbul defies being pinned down due to its multitudes. Yet Sönmez indelibly captures parts of the city and its inhabitants’ psyche. He describes the curse of “development” in the city that caused “houses …[to] presume to grow vertically in floors and block out the sky” and “square[s to be]… crushed beneath giant shadows” and how most people in the city loved crowds, as that was where “The beauty of the city lay”. Sönmez simply gets what it means to loathe and love the city, which is one large part of what the novel argues makes one an İstanbullu.

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