Pamuk’s Istanbul: Stranger Than Fiction

  • Nobel laureate Orhan pamuk amid the museum’s display cabinets.

    Nobel laureate Orhan pamuk amid the museum’s display cabinets.

  • Just a few of the hundreds of objects that form the collection of Istanbul’s Museum of Innocence.

    Just a few of the hundreds of objects that form the collection of Istanbul’s Museum of Innocence.

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Pamuk, who turned 60 in June, denies that he is growing nostalgic for the city of his youth. Still, he considers the museum a tribute to Istanbul in the late 20th century. “I’ve spent 40 to 50 years of my life in this city, a provincial city on the edge of Europe,” he reflects. “But now Istanbul has changed. During the last 10 or 12 years, the changes have been equal to or greater than the first 48 that I spent here.”

The often dour author, too, has changed. Over the years, he’s had a testy relationship with the Turkish media, but the reviews for his museum have been complimentary. “I’m very happy with this, with the end result,” Pamuk admits. “At times, I think this could be the happiest period of my life.”

Museum of Innocence, Çukurcuma Caddesi, Dalg?ç Ç?kmaz? 2, Beyo?lu, Istanbul; 90-212/ 252-9738.

Originally appeared in the August/September 2012 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Stranger Than Fiction”)

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