A mansion with a view

This is my pied a terre on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, on the Asian side of Istanbul just opposite the Princes Islands.

Istanbul mansion

They’re called the Princes Islands because during Byzantine times unsuccessful emperors and courtiers were exiled to one or other of them, blinded and locked away in remote monasteries. Blinding was all the rage as a punishment in those days, and was often done so savagely that the victim died a few agonising days later. So it wasn’t all shimmering gold mosaics, sweetness and light in Constantine’s empire. He himself murdered his own wife and son when he thought they were plotting against him.

The round tower on the left is where I keep all my books, and the shuttered section to its right at ground level is the dining room, with my spacious sleeping quarters on the upper floor and an observatory at the top.

This is pure wishful thinking of course, but it’s my dream mansion. I stopped off for a few minutes to marvel at it as I was driving along the coast road from Maltepe to Fenerbahce. It was probably some prince’s or ambassador’s seaside getaway from the stresses of downtown Istanbul.

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