Twenty different cities…

Twenty legendary names…

Their memorable traces remaining today…

And the mysterious stories hidden in the depths of the past…

20 STORIES

A collection of stories that explores how the physical path a person takes affects the city

Remzi Gökdağ, the writer of the Sevgili Istanbul (Dear Istanbul), now visits different cities of the world, follows the traces of historical figures and invites you to the journeys between reality and dream.

The stories in Başka Şehirler explore distance in all its forms: the emotional spaces and the gaps that emerge between who we were and who we are, the gulf between our private and public selves.

The stories are stand-alone pieces where the tight focus on the author’s journeys give way to closely observed accounts of the lives of others. If you love traveling, know how to explore; you will find yourself in Başka Şehirler. If you’ve been at these places, you will refresh your memories, and if not, you will prepare for a fantastic journey. 

You will remember once again the memorable footprints of these great personalities. You will see sections of your own life in the pages and explore the places you wonder.

These stories can make us travelers instead of tourists. The book is for the avid readers who can travel by simply turning a page. Turn these pages, and they will take you around the world.

CITIES & PEOPLE

CENOVA – MARCO POLO

AMSTERDAM – REMBRANDT

LOS ANGELES – CHARLES BUKOWSKI

BERLIN – MARLENE DIETRICH

PAMPLONA – ERNEST HEMINGWAY

PARIS – ROBERT DOISNEAU

PRAG – MILAN KUNDERA

ZÜRIH – LENIN

SAN FRANCISCO – JACK KEROUAC

PALERMO – GIUSEPPE DI LAMPEDUSA

LUZERN – MARK TWAIN

TAOS – KIT CARSON

LOS ALAMOS – OPPENHEIMER

PORTO – J.K. ROWLING

MONTEREY – JIMI HENDRIX

BILBAO – FRANK GEHRY

BERN – ALBERT EINSTEIN

DEATH VALLEY – WALTER SCOTT

MAINFELD – JOHANNA SPYRI

ARIZONA – GERONIMO

“These stories can make us travelers instead of tourists.”

“The book is for the avid readers who can travel by simply turning a page.”

“Turn these pages, and they will take you around the world.”

Excerpt from Başka Şehirler

Lenin’s Zurich

“At three o’clock on April 9, 1917 a small group of people arrived at the Zurich Train Station. They were all thirty-two, including women and children. They have completed all preparations for a long journey, but the worries of their faces were easily recognizable. Everyone was aware of the importance of this trip, but no one knew yet the train would soon change the fate of the world. Only one person’s name from this group would be remembered in the future. That name vas Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, also known as Lenin.”


Hemingway’s Spain

“In the Café Iruna, where characters Jake Barnes, Robert Cohn, Bill Gorton, Lady Brett Ashley, and Michael Campbell go to have a morning coffee, they’ve dedicated a whole corner of the restaurant to the author. It’s called “El Rincon de Hemingway,” and at the bar stands a life-sized full-body statue of him and several old black and white photos from his many visits to the city are hung around the walls. Then there is the Gran Hotel La Perla where he stayed here on most of his visits, becoming so much a part of its fabric that the room preserved in his name.”


Marlene Dietrich’s Berlin

“A movie scene I watched, a melody I listened to, or scent I smelled reminds me the cities I visited. I dream away when I think about the past. When the faded stories of the past revive I find myself on the stage of history. I walk through in the midst of throne-battles, wars, and love stories. In front of the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, I came across one of those moments. I have traveled back to Berlin’s past. Marlene Dietrich accompanied me on this trip because Belin’s place was very special in her life.”