He did not hesitate to call Turkey,
'My Second Homeland'
Pierre Loti was one of the few writers who came into prominence and enjoyed an outstanding success during his lifetime (1850-1923). A French writer. His real name was Julien Viaud, and as a naval officer he had the opportunity of visiting many foreign countries.
Turkey seems to have had a very special attraction for him. He certainly, had a tender spot for this country. Some people were inclined to attribute this merely to his loveaffair with a Turkish woman, Aziyade, during his first visit to Turkey (1876-1877), see Old Istanbul below.
This young woman was during enough to escape from the harem of her husband whenever he was absent, to run to the arms of her lover who lived in a house on the hills of Eyup (below).
Julien Vivaud, thought of writing a book based on his experiences in Istanbul after leaving this city. The diary he had kept regularly, provided plenty of material for a novel. But this first novel called 'Aziyade' was not enthusiastically received. His love for Aziyade must be a decisive factor in his entry into the realm of Turks but as he explained in his later work his attachment, and regard concerning Turkey could not be reduced simply to personal relations.
(Below) Aziyade House inside and next, the water pipe room; Touristic Centre on the Pierre Loti Hill.
Loti came back ten years later in 1887, and was faced with the truth he was afraid to probe into... Aziyade was dead. She had died soon after her lover left Istanbul. His investigations led him to the Topkapi Cemetery where she was buried. Afterwards whenever he came to Turkey he never failed to visit the tomb of Aziyade.
During his visits to Turkey, Loti dressed, and acted like a Turk, with a fes upon his head, and a rosary in his hand, he roamed in the intricate streets of Istanbul, rested in coffee-houses smoking a water pipe (Turkish: Nargile), or sipping a cup of traditional Turkish coffee (below the right).
He liked to stroll around the mosques of Fatih or Uskudar, but Eyup was his favorite place.
He frequented Pierre Loti Café, admiring the magnificent panorama of the Golden Horn (French: La Corne d'Or, Turkish: Halic), absorbing the quiet and paceful atmosphere that reigned there. (Photos above and below)
Noone knows exactly how or where it started but the place has been called after him eversince: Pierre Loti Café (Turkish: Pierre Loti Kahvesi)...
The photos of the Café (above and below) both inside and outside with panoramic Golden Horn view.