As four years in Istanbul have now come to a close, I am departing for my next position with a heavy heart. I will miss many things about this place, but these are the ones that will really bite at me with their daily absence:
The friendships I have made; they are [so to speak] hardened by fire.
This city’s crazy pulse.
The honor of the people and their extraordinary kindness to foreigners, but more than that to children big and small.
The Bogazici, and the calm it exudes, a serenity which washes over all who view it.
The food and sweets [but my doctor sure will be happy about the drop in cholesterol…].
Ayva tatlisi, yes it’s a sweet but I love it so much it deserves a second sentence.
The Deniz otobusleri, where else in the world can you go on such an adventure for a tad bit over 2 lira?
The Carsilar – fruit stands and all.
Cihangir and its laid back atmosphere, and Asmali mescit, and its Raki soaked streets.
The bridges and their stoic beauty.
The blessing of the old beggar in front of the Levent metro.
My workers and colleagues who have endured and enjoyed all this with me [you are family and I wish I could pack you all in my bags and take you with me.
I will however, not miss Traffic jams, Anti-Semites, IHH or Takvim…
Just making sure that was said.
In short, Istanbul, you will be missing from my heart, and although I know that it is an unrealistic wish, I still hope time will freeze when I leave, so that I can find it [and you] just as I had left, whenever I come around.
Deputy Chief of mission in the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul [2011 – 2015]