Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Second Homeland


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.


  1. fantastic pictures captured here.

    the house of aziyade is fabulous. the interior is fantastic. was scrolling for the bedroom interior but is not there.

    nice sceneries captured and there is more into aziyade that loti considered turkey as his second homeland, i am sure.

    have a nice weekend :-)

  2. what a nice surprise is your blog, Nihal! Wonderful pics, it shows joy in anywhere! Greetings from Rome
    maria daniela

  3. I'm not familiar with this writer but the love story is certainly intriguing.

    Wonderful photo's, those interior shots are so interesting.


  4. Nihal You have a beautiful blog! You won yesterday's prize! Visit blog and email me your color choice and address! Thanks!Hazel

  5. Hi Nihal, this week was another hectic one, so I’m sorry to have been a bit absent. Anyhow TGIF, so I managed to drop by to see some wonderful pictures. Loved to read the Pierre Loti post and the amazing weather at the Cafe, compared with the wet morning we had there... The only advantage of my post is the Rousseau painting... ;)
    4x4 is not my treat!
    Hope you enjoy Oia and its fabulous sunset at Blogtrotter.
    Have a great weekend!

  6. @ Maria: Benvenuto nella casa mia:) Piacere di vederVi qui. Mille grazie per i complimenti. Tanti cari saluti dal'Istambul alla Citta Eterna.

    @ Hazel: Me? I won? WOW! Will be my first 'real' prize from a talented Artist like yourself, and I am very excited to be able to see it. Right now I'm going to @mail you, dear. THOUSANDS of THANKS from the heart, Hazel. I know Angels are everywhere:) Have a wonderful weekend.

    @ Gil: 4X4 not your treat;) Well, hope one day I shall find any treat that you'd like to;) My drilling on this matter will continue;)
    Today I'll read Oia story. You too have a great weekend w/full sunshine like ours:)

  7. lovely reading this post & some very beautifully captured shots...wonderful!