Pierre Loti

An Istanbul lover lived in 18th century

He is said to have been give his name in studentship age by some sources, but according to the different ones Thaitians gave this name in course of his excursion to Oceania.”Loti” is a name of an exotic flower that grows up in exotic regions.

In 1879,on having published his first novel Aziyade, showing sections of Ottoman, he put forth Pecheur d’Islande’la (Icelandic Fisherman) in 1886.Loti became a writer, made himseldf approved by literary environment. In the following years,he published a book everyyear and they were read by a large mass of people. The writer,put into French Academy,got Legion d’Honneur(legion of honour).Loti, who was an impressionist writer, had a plain language. His impressionistic style in literature also impressed his personality. In addition to love, the sense of death took part in his works of art that put in to words a deep desperateness. Besides this desperateness, he reflected his compassion and humane sentiment, he felt inside for the human beings, in his books.

Pierre Loti, who visited Istanbul many times, had come here first in 1876 on a French ship as an officer in charge.Loti was impressed by Ottoman life style,so he reflected this impact in most of his books.He met Aziyade, the woman whose name was given to one of Loti’s books, here. When he was in Istanbul, he used to live in Eyüp. Loti, who admired Istanbul, always defined himself as a turcophile.

When Loti, criticizing the western policies in his book La Turquie Agonisante (Agonizing Turkey) in 1913,came to Turkey in the same year as an official quest, he was welcomed to the accompaniment of a big ceremony in Tophane Quay and hosted in the palace by Sultan Reşat. In the Balkan Wars and during the invasion of Anatolia in the period of post-world war I ,he always defended Turkey against Europe. He also gained the sympathy of Turkish people due to his support to the resistance in Anatolia in the course of national struggle and criticizing his country French, the occupant force.So,Turkish Grand National Assembly sent a letter to Loti in October 4,1921 expressing their gratitudes to him. By this way ,in 1920,Loti was accepted as “honorary citizen of Istanbul and a community having his name was established. Later on, a street in Divanyolu in ISTANBUL was named as “Pierre Loti Street” and a café in Eyüp was entitled as “Pierre Loti Cafe.” In this day and time the hill where the mentioned cafe takes place is also called “Pierre Loti Hill.”

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