In 1556 Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq was packed off to Constantinople to be Ferdinand I Archduke of Austria's Imperial Ambassador to the Sublime Porte, the court of Süleyman the Lawgiver a.k.a The Magnificent. He was to spend some eight years in Turkey, much of it under virtual house-arrest. He wrote letters to friends which formed the basis for his publication 'The Turkish Letters' some years later.
In 2005 Shiralee Saul and John Bleaney hurriedly packed themselves off to Istanbul to escape the horrors, if only for a brief time, of life in an Australia increasingly sufffering intellectual arrest. These are our letters to you...