Solmaz Kamuran’s Budapest

Author of a recently published novel, ‘Macar’ (The Hungarian), about Ibrahim Müteferrika, who established the first printing press in the Ottoman Empire, Solmaz Kamuran described Budapest for us.

When did you first go to Budapest?
I first went to Budapest in the fall of 1998. It was a fabulous trip. I was smitten the minute I laid eyes on the city. “This is it,” I said. “This is one of the places where I want to live.”

İbrahim Müteferrika came from Hungary to Turkey in the early 18th century. You turned that around and traveled to Hungary to write your novel, The Hungarian. What sort of experience was that journey for you?
I got to know Hungary very well on the research trips I made while writing The Hungarian. I made a journey to that country’s past and its tragic yet dignified people.

What sort of impression are readers of The Hungarian going to get of today’s Budapest and other Hungarian towns?
Despite the wars it has suffered and the destruction they have wrought, Hungary is a place that has preserved its beauty and its own unique essence. If readers of The Hungarian go to Hungary, they will definitely feel at home there.

What would you recommend to people going to Budapest?
There is a planned tour of Budapest that is recommended to everyone. They should certainly do that. I would also tell people going there to stroll through the City Park behind Heroes Square and sit on a bench next to the pond. They should also be sure to sit for a while on the banks of the Danube, because its waters seem to flow differently morning and evening. They say the Danube only appears blue to lovers. Let’s see what color it will look to them...