At the Pera Palace Hotel, opened to host the distinguished guests of the famous Orient Express at the end of the 19th century in Beyoğlu, in the heart of Istanbul, the prominent names from the past to the present have stayed many times. The famous writer Ernest Hemingway was also one of the passersby of Pera Palace Hotel. The master writer stayed in Pera Palace Hotel during his travels to Istanbul in the 1920s. During his stay at the hotel, Hemingway often spent time at the hotel’s bar section, the Orient Bar.
Ernest Hemingway, a master novelist of short stories, a novelist and a war reporter, began writing as a journalist. Hemingway, who went to Toronto in 1920 and served as a reporter for the Toronto Star, continued to do the same until 1924. What brought him to Istanbul during the National Struggle years in Turkey was his reporter duty. Hemingway, who was assigned to observe the War of Independence, was sent to our country by the Toronto newspaper between 1922-1923. During his tenure, Hemingway posted many of his articles in the newspaper from Istanbul, where he provided important information on Atatürk, Istanbul, the war, and many others. In a letter dated 30 September 1922, which he wrote in Istanbul, Pera, Beyoğlu and the sentences he wrote about the atmosphere of the period were remarkable:
“The Turkish driver said ‘ones in the left’ then continued. ‘The ferries on the left go to the Bosphorus, and the ones on the right go to the Prince Islands.’ Towards the upper part of a street like slopes, we were moving through stores, banks and restaurants. There were trams in the way of bar and casino signs written in four foreign languages. British and French soldiers who fill military vehicles on the avenue in the streets, the gangs, businessman clothes and men with fez have seemed. Leaving behind a library-like American Embassy building, we have reached a structure that is central to the occupation forces. This section, which included the British Embassy in yellow, was part of Istanbul, called Pera or Beyoglu. Pera, covered with paving stones, was the European part of Istanbul. Almost all of the official buildings were a definite similarity to the post office buildings in small American cities. In front of the consulates of Romania and Armenia, those who attempted to obtain a visa for their passports had long queues. Armenians, Jews, Romanians, were ready to escape from Istanbul. It was rumoured that the armies of M. Kemal were very close to the city, a fearful rumour everywhere.”
Ernest Hemingway, who succeeded in his reporting as well as he was a writer, had all the merits of a war reporter who used to report the news to the editor-in-chief. In spite of his young years and limited education, the master writer had a thorough understanding of the political and economic problems and a free point of view in order to see the most crucial aspect of the events he observed.
As a result, Ernest Hemingway earned his fame mainly for his outstanding work, his novel writing. He won many awards, with his works including the Old Man and the Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Moveable Feast, The Nick Adams Stories, Men without Women, To Have And Have Not, The Dangerous Summer, The Sun Also Rises, Winner Take Nothing, and many more.
Hemingway, as we mentioned at the beginning of our article, was one of the prominent names stayed at the Pera Palace Hotel. The room, which he stayed in the hotel, can be visited by his enthusiasts as a museum room just like another famous writer Agatha Christie’s…