Cornucopia (Magazine)

Cover of issue 32
Editor John Scott
Categories Culture, Travel, Design, Style
Frequency 3/year
Publisher Berrin Torolsan
First issue 1992
Country International
Based in London, UK, and Istanbul, Turkey
Language English
Website ISSN 1301-8175

Cornucopia is a magazine about Turkish culture, art and history, published jointly in the United Kingdom and Turkey.


Cornucopia was founded by John Scott and Berrin Torolsan in 1992. It is an English Language magazine that concerns Turkish culture. The magazine has a broad scope that covers Turkey’s heritage (prehistoric, Byzantine, Ottoman and Republican and that of the Turkic peoples.

Thus there have been articles on Nemrut Dağı, Sagalassos, Mimar Sinan, Mount Athos, Ottoman Damascus, the Turkic-speaking Uighurs of western China, Göbekli Tepe, Nevalı Çori, Knidos, Termessos, Aphrodisias, Kariye Camii, Theodosian Walls, Ayasofya, Leighton House in London. Cornucopia has also profiled Freya Stark, Lesley Blanch, Steven Runciman, Godfrey Goodwin, Rifat Ozbek, Hussein Chalayan, Rebiya Kadeer, Pierre Loti, John Frederick Lewis, Sultan Mahmud II, Stratford Canning, Herbert Chermside, Grand Vizier Ali Pasha, Ismail Kemal Bey, and the Young Turks.

The magazine also documents recent auctions and exhibitions of Turkish Art and Islamic art around the world. It has a large books section with reviews by prominent contributors.

Cornucopia also carries regular features on food, restaurants and life in Turkey by Berrin Torolsan, Andrew Finkel and Azize Ethem respectively.


Notably, Cornucopia has brought publicity to some of Turkey's threatened heritage.

  • At the end of 1993 it documented the Mocan Yali in the historic area of Kuzguncuk, in ‘The Pink House’ by Andrew Finkel. The building has since been pulled down and rebuilt.[1]
  • The 1999 article ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ by John Carswell documented the 14th-century tiles of the Murad II Mosque in Edirne. These have since been vandalised.[2]

In both cases this is the only photographic record in print.

  • In 1999 James Mellaart chose to publish his controversial discovery of 9,000-year-old paintings of Çatalhüyük in the early 1960s.[3]

Critical reaction

  • Maureen Freely, The Guardian: "Finally, no one should go to Turkey without reading at least a few issues of Cornucopia (, which has to be one of the most beautiful magazines in the world. Published here, its remit is Turkey - not its sordid politics, but its art, architecture, history and antiquities."[4]
  • Craig Brown The Daily Telegraph: "Surely one of the most intelligent and beautiful glossy magazines in the world".[5]
  • Tyler Brûlé, founding editor of Wallpaper* and Monocle: "Focused on celebrating and chronicling all things Ottoman-inspired and influenced, Cornucopia is a cross between World of Interiors and National Geographic, with a gentle Turkic twist. I've been trying to collect all the missing back issues for years now and still have some annoying gaps in my neatly arranged stacks."[6]
  • Travis Elborough, The Guardian: "… boasting pages with the sheen of baklava and sumptuous full-colour photography throughout (and the photos, many stunning, do have the edge over the words in amount of space occupied), Cornucopia … doesn't skimp on writing of quality either."[7]
  • Caterina Scaramelli, quoted in Today's Zaman: “I see articles in Cornucopia as a journey into intriguing aspects of life, culture and history in Turkey; some are secret pearls waiting to be discovered, while others are subjects represented to the public with great attention to detail and accompanied by splendid photos. Cornucopia is a great travel companion, whether the journey is real or imagined. It's published three times a year and distributed both in Turkey and worldwide with around 18,000 copies sold each time.” [8]


Notable contributors have included:


  1. Insider's Turkey, 1992
  2. The Essential Rose, 1992
  3. The Pink House: Inside the Mocan Yalı, 1992/93
  4. The Absolute Guide to Istanbul, 1993
  5. Palaces of Diplomacy I, 1993/94
  6. Palaces of Diplomacy II, 1994
  7. The Great Walls of Istanbul, 1994
  8. A Turkish Summer, 1995
  9. Ideal Worlds, 1995/6
  10. Ingres and Lady Mary, 1996
  11. Anatolia Rediscovered, 1996
  12. The Black Sea, 1997
  13. The Turkish Garden, 1997
  14. ''Objects of Desire: Books on the Ottomans, 1997/98
  15. Mountain Secrets, 1998
  16. Beguiling Büyükada, 1998
  17. The Republic, 1999
  18. The Ottoman Riviera, 1999
  19. Forgotten Riches: Poland's Ottoman treasures, 1999
  20. The Lake that Time Forgot, 2000
  21. Ottoman Damascus, 2000
  22. The Sultan's Chalet, 2000/01
  23. Haute Ottoman, 2001
  24. The Wild East: Travels in Southeast Anatolia, 2001
  25. The Abstract Heart: The Visionary Photographs of Zafer Baran, 2002
  26. The Birth of Art: The Discovery of Göbekli Tepe and Nevali Çori, 2002
  27. Sublime Simplicity: The Timeless Pots of Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye, 2002
  28. Peoples of the Black Sea, 2003
  29. Ottoman Gardens, 2003
  30. Early Journeys, 2003/04
  31. China's Wild West, 2004
  32. The Connoisseur's Guide to Istanbul, 2004
  33. Great Exhibitions, 2005
  34. Ottoman Kaftans, 2005
  35. Istanbul Elegy, 2006
  36. Beauty on the Bosphorus, 2006
  37. A Riot of Textiles, 2007
  38. The Big Bursa Issue, 2007
  39. Diplomatic Secrets, 2008
  40. Highlights of the First 40 Issues, 2008
  41. Bathing Beauty:The Imperial Hammams of Istanbul, 2009
  42. Adventures in Anatolia, 2009
  43. Shrines & Sanctuaries, 2010
  44. Classics With a Twist, 2010
  45. Painting the Orient, 2011

Most back issues are still available, or can be found in second had book stores. Some have become collector's items, fetching large sums of money.[9]


External links

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