Where were you born and what was your impression of the city?
I am from Ankara, Turkey’s capital. I think I was fortunate during my childhood, as I grew up among poets, writers and musicians who frequently visited our home.
In your opinion, what are the most important landmarks in Istanbul?
The Galata Tower, the Blue Mosque, Haydarpaşa train station and the Bosphorus Bridge.
Which areas of Istanbul would you recommend for those wanting to explore the city?
The Bosphorus, Nişantaşı, Beyoğlu and the Princes’ Islands. In the Old City, Fatih, Eyüp and Galata.
Whom from Istanbul do you most admire and why?
I can’t name just one person. We have always known Istanbul through the words of the great poet Orhan Veli, who describes the city with melancholy. Nazım Hikmet’s Istanbul also has its beauty. Ara Güler portrays the city in his photographs, Lefter Küçükandonyadis was our best football player, and Atatürk’s legacy lives on at Dolmabahçe Palace.
In your orchestral work Istanbul Symphony, which aspects of Istanbul did you aim to reflect through your music?
Istanbul is one of the greatest and most beautiful cities in the world. On the other hand, the fact that it is a metropolis with a population of 15 million brings its problems. Istanbul Symphony evokes the city’s religious orders, places and people specific to Istanbul, nostalgia and the wish to escape from today’s concrete jungle. One must see the city as a whole.