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Since the siege of Troy, the Turkish Straits between the Dardanelles and the northern end of the Bosphorus have been of vital strategic importance. The water has been both a source of prosperity and the cause of political battle for Istanbul. As the city adjusts to a changing population and the impact of worldwide energy needs, To de Waal takes a journey up the Bosphorus on a 107,000-ton oil tanker and talks to writers Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak , to professors Gun Kut and Edhem Eldem, and to captains Rajiv Kumar and Mete Kocar to present a portrait of Istanbul as seen from its seaway. Producer Neil Trevithick
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