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mash-up of East and West that vibrates to the rhythm of techno Sufi drums and daily prayers. The city is an expanse of neighbourhoods that stretches across the tips of Europe and Asia and even while supporting a population of about 20 million not all documented, it has managed to organically unearth itself amongst the hills inbetween the Marmara and Black Seas. Despite this citys green serenity, the locals carry the age old conflict of East and West within, which manifests itself in what novelist Orhan Pamuk calls huzun, a kind of communal, melancholic lament for past grandeurs istanbul vacations. Thankfully for the traveller, no one in Istanbul is willing to give up the time-honoured legacy of Turkish hospitality from their lost empire. So while the workday moves at a snails pace between tea breaks and nargile puffs, the nights are packed with an affable energy that threatens to sweep a visitor off their feet. Attention to the details of everything pleasurable: food, company and beauty is an essential part of Turkish culture. Istanbul residents commitment to this satisfaction of the senses seduces the nose with roasted hazelnuts and perfume, the eyes with the distorted colours of glass lamps, the heart with the salons of homes, and the imagination with the greenish blue eyes of that girl/guy sitting across from you at the cafe.