Visiting Istanbul recently, Dalrymple noticed the city’s energy and growth and compares it to Western cities like Paris that appear lackluster and sluggish:
In Istanbul, by contrast, one senses the energy of a confident expansion. Something very remarkable has been achieved there, which I have not seen remarked upon. Istanbul has expanded to become an enormous city, half again as big as Paris in population, mainly by immigration from the countryside: but it has done so without the creation of the terrible slums that rapid urban expansion has brought about it most other cities undergoing such rapid expansion in like circumstances. The vast periphery of Istanbul is in some ways less depressing than that of Paris.
Read the rest of the piece at Salisbury Review