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POLITICS > Istanbul mayor responds to French name debate

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A charming Istanbul venue named after a
French Orientalist stirs unexpected debate. REUTERS photo

A charming Istanbul venue named after a French Orientalist stirs unexpected debate. REUTERS photo

Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Vahit Kiler has launched a campaign to change the name of Pierre Loti Hill in Istanbul’s Eyüp district to Bitlisli İdris, which he claims is the original name of the famous Istanbul landmark.

The hill was originally known as İdris Hill due to a house belonging to someone named İdris located on the hill, The name was changed in 1934 to that of the famous French novelist, Pierre Loti.

People in the eastern province of Bitlis were deeply saddened when they discovered that İdris, a local from Bitlis, had his named replaced by that of a foreigner, Kiler said, according to daily Akşam.

Kiler said they were gathering the necessary documents to make an official proposal to change the name of the hill and were now planning meetings with Istanbul’s mayor and other related officials.

Loti lived from 1850 to 1923. During his time as a naval officer, Loti traveled extensively and gathered material for his future novels in places such as Tahiti, Turkey, Senegal and Japan. He was a reputed lover of Istanbul and devoted many of his literary works to the city. In spite of his Orientalist views he received a positive critical reception from Turkish intellectuals.

Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş also commented on Kiler’s words. He said it would be wrong to decide something on the issue before historians weigh in with their opinions.

June/09/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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JRC JRC

6/10/2012 9:27:29 PM

I hope those that voted for Deputy Vahit Kiler appreciate all the hard work he is doing on their behalf. He is an amazing man to be doing everything to represent them, be a part of the government, and still have time for the smallest of issues.

MR Somalia

6/10/2012 2:34:58 PM

I wonder which hill is next on the to do list for the government...I have my own hill and I will name it after my favorite camel. Not a foreign Lama.

sid solo

6/10/2012 12:29:32 AM

Isn't it great: they have solved all the issues of the nation and there was only Lotti's Hill name issue left....Well done AKP.

Turkish Girl

6/9/2012 7:10:42 PM

Dear government, Please govern, don't waste your time with this absurd issues. Yours faithfully

The Prisoner

6/9/2012 2:48:57 PM

As a confirmed Turkophile and one who resigned his commision in the French army due to the harsh conditions imposed on Turkiye after WW1, why shouldn't his name be respected here? AKP as usual upto mischief to turn people's heads from their mistakes.

Joshua Bronxman

6/9/2012 2:36:43 PM

Thing Big! Why not start with changing the name of Istanbul back to Constantiople? Nonsense you say? Sure, just as nonsensical as pulling the name of Pierre Loti off the map for no good reason. I hope cooler heads prevail.

Turk down under

6/9/2012 9:55:40 AM

What a nightmare for Taxi drivers if every street name changed each time a new government was ushered in!
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