Remembering Agatha Christie at ‘Black Week Turkey’ events in Istanbul
ISTANBULOne of the world’s oldest luxury hotels, the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul, will host the “Black Week Turkey” event on Oct. 22-24 in honor of Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday with the attendance of the famous author’s grandson and a number of leading crime fiction authors.
The internationally renowned crime fiction festival this year, for the first time, will be held in the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, where the cultural richness of the festival will be augmented by a diverse body of guest speakers, including Christie’s grandson Matthew Prichard, and special events which will be held in Christie’s honor.
Established in 1892, the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah had been not only one of Turkey’s then most prestigious hotels but also a go-to place for people like Christie, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo, Mata Hari and Sarah Bernhardt for many years and the hotel has a very potent story to tell when it comes to remembering and understanding the legendary Christie.
The author of over 80 novels and short stories, the creator of numerous fictitious murderers and extraordinary detectives and the writer of the world’s longest running stage play, Christie has carved her name in history as the third most widely-published author and the “queen of mystery,” however her endless enigma does not end with the success she acquired.
Mystery days of Agatha in Istanbul
A common visitor of the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, Christie wrote one of her most well-known books, “Murder on the Orient Express,” published in 1934, in this particular hotel almost a decade after her disappearance. In 1926, Christie had left her house in Berkshire, England, and disappeared for 11 days, while later her car was found next to the hotel where he husband and his mistress had stayed. Due to Christie’s amnesia, little is known about what happened to her when she disappeared; nevertheless, in this very hotel years after this enigmatic incident, a great endeavor was undertaken. The movie “Agatha,” which attempted to shed light on her missing days, was shot in 1979, under the assistance of a clairvoyant, Tamara Rand.
Christie stayed in room 411 of the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul and placed a key in a secret diary, which she later put beneath the floorboards, according to the clairvoyant, an assumption that was later vindicated.
“I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing,” Christie once said.
Well-known crime fiction authors to attend
Even after 125 years, a potent presence emanates from Christie and she has been kept alive through the readers she continues to leave in awe and the events that are organized in her honor.
Besides Christie’s 125th birthday, the festival will be made enticing by the guest speakers, among whom are Ahmet Ümit, one of the most well-known crime fiction authors in Turkey, Alexander McCall Smith and Leslie Klinger (England), Petros Markais (Greece), Roberto Costantini (Italy) and Jean Christophe-Rufin (France), who will participate in the “Black Week Turkey” event, making the festival a unique and invaluable one.
More events that will intrigue crime fiction lovers and bookworms, such as a book exhibition and book signing by the authors who attend this grand event, will take place during the festival. More details will be shared and can be found on social media via the hashtag #blackweekturkey.