The Merman of Istanbul: Celebrating Istanbul's year as European Capital of Culture, distinguished Turkish author Moris Farhi recaptures the spirit of Istanbul through one of its unique characters, a modern-day merman who swims round the islands and grottos of the city in search of a meaning for his unusual gift. Exiled from Turkey for more than fifty years Moris Farhi recaptures some of his love for the city of his youth through this contemporary merman, who takes him back to the myths and fishermen's tales of the mythical Istanbul mermen who brought life to the waters round the city.
Istanbul, historically also known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey, and uniquely straddles both the continents of Europe and Asia. It was chosen this year as the joint European Capital of Culture. These essays paint five very different and very personal views of this extraordinary city.
Moris Farhi was born in Turkey in 1935. After studying in Istanbul, he came to Britain in 1954, where he has lived ever since, though he still visits Istanbul regularly. He has written several novels, including 'Children of the Rainbow', 'Journey through the Wilderness' and 'Young Turk'. He has been Vice-President of International PEN since 2001.