Seeing Istanbul From New Heights and Different Perspectives

Istanbul seemingly never, ever ends. Even beyond where my vision stops, I know high rises continue to puncture and swallow the horizon, towers sending strong signals to the rural poor as they flock to the gravity of a better life.  

My mind stumps its foot on the scale. I imagine how settlers felt arriving on new land. And why myths are born to explain the inexplicable. Yet there’s no story that describes how it feels to be among 15 million people (and counting).  

The call to prayer yanks me from my wandering mind--voices pitch, then quiver between notes as if they might break into pieces.  The sky rings and aches with cries that weave like sea gulls circling ferries loaded with bread-touting tourists.  

The songs overlap and palimpsest. Compound. Cut to something in you like a language that you’ve forgotten, and can only feel the hard edges of. Rises and spreads like heat. And watch from above, as the teenagers on the wall next to me take selfies and laugh.

This is the first in a six part series on Istanbul over the next three weeks, where Kevin Hermann of @voiceinsight will explore what makes the city straddling Europe and Asia tick.

Can you picture yourself here on your gap year?