AKP deputy wants French name removed from Istanbul hill
Hürriyet photoJustice 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 İdris-i Bitlis, which he claims is the original name of the famous Istanbul landmark, daily Akşam reported.
The hill was originally known as İdris Hill due to the location of a house belonging to someone named İdris until 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 and even cried when they found out that İdris, a local from Bitlis, had had his named replaced by a foreigner in 1934, Kiler said.
Kiler added that they were gathering the necessary documents to make an official proposal to change the name 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 such places as Tahiti, Turkey, Senegal and Japan. He was a reputed Istanbul lover 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.