Explore Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul, with Context Travel

by Bert Maxwell /
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Sep 07, 2012 / 0 comments

Context Travel launches a new literary walk in Istanbul Cukurcuma and Nisantasi neighborhoods.


Context, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, expands its program in Istanbul, with a new literary tour designed and led by historians and literary experts.


"Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul" takes visitors into parts of the city closely connected to the author, his life and his novels. From the exclusive area of Nisantasi, where the author grew up and Cukurcuma– a part of the traditional Tophane district. The walk focuses on the role of the city as a character in Pamuk's novels and how the author has reinvented the city for modern Turks—sometimes controversially.


The walk also includes a visit to the recently opened Museum of Innocence. The Museum, set in a late 19th cent. building in the bohemian are of Cukurcuma, has been Pamuk's project for the past 20 years, since he purchased the property. Inspired by his eponymous 2008 novel, the museum is the world’s first to be inspired by a novel and it's an ideal location to discuss the close relation between the author and the city.


The focus of the tour extends beyond the literary and looks at the state of intellectualism in Turkey today. Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul considers the role the city plays in international arts and culture and what Pamuk, and the city he invents, mean to writers, artists, and thinkers.


"The areas of Istanbul included in the walk are ideal to better understand the city's intellectual development in the past twenty years," says Pelin Kivrak, Comparative Literature scholar and docent for this walk. "Especially Cukurcuma captures the essence of Istanbul’s eccentricity with numerous historical buildings, street vendors, renovated buildings that host both local and international residents and newly emerging contemporary art galleries."


To celebrate the launch of the new walk, Context will be running an online competition focused on Istanbul, and Pamuk's books. The competition will run on the company's Facebook page at: facebook.com/contexttravel and it will until September 11th, with the winners announced on the 12th.


Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul lasts three hours and is available Tuesday to Sunday. Group walks cost TYL 125 per person. Private tours cost TYL 550.


Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and graphic designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in twenty world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, and Prague. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit its website at: contexttravel.com