t was an invitation to a party like any other. Dress as you like. Come after nine. There will be music, dancing and snacks. Bring your own.
Except this was no ordinary party. It was the first party invitation I had received following the months-long coronavirus lockdown that has turned Istanbul, like other once-vibrant cities around the world, into a night-time ghost town.
Since lockdown measures were eased earlier this month, plenty of weddings, funeral ceremonies and parties for departing soldiers have been held across Turkey. But although this party wasn’t technically violating any rules, it still felt more akin to the booze-fuelled underground parties I used to attend in Tehran than an ordinary night out in Istanbul. “Please don't make noise or wait in the street outside,” said the invite. “Please don't share any details on social media.”
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