OLIVER HOLT: Beauty sits on one of City's shoulders cynicism the other

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2023-06-08 21:30:46  • 7 mins

One of the multitude of ferry services that criss-crosses the Bosphorus, the strait that separates Europe from Asia and one half of Istanbul from the other, shuttles between Eminonu, on the European side, and Uskudar, on the Asian side.

Some of the first of the Manchester City fans to arrive here on Thursday took the trip, sat on the top deck in the balmy sunshine with local commuters and drank in the spectacular views it affords of the many faces of one of the worlds great cities.

Istanbul is an enthralling metropolis, partly because it asks so many questions. Does it belong to east or west? Is it an Asian city or a European one? Is it religious or is it secular? How does it manage its collision of ancient and modern?

Sometimes, its casual nods to the glories of its antiquity make it feel like walking around Rome and then you remember that, as Constantinople, this place was long the capital of the Roman Empire. In many ways, it is hard to imagine a more perfect setting for Citys attempt to establish their own dominion over the continent.

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