Şehir Fikri (Notion of a City)

A photobook about İstanbul

Ci Demi x Onagöre

︎︎︎ December 2022

Şehir Fikri (Notion of a City) is a photobook about İstanbul by Ci Demi, published by Onagöre in December 2022. The third installment of Tefrika İstanbul (the publisher’s serial about the city), the book portrays İstanbul with no one and no language in it.

Printed at Ofset Yapımevi, İstanbul

    ︎ Purchase the book

    ︎︎︎ Türkiye: Dükkan
    ︎︎︎ International: (Soon)


The Book

Georges Perec omitted the letter E in his oulipo novel La Disparition (1969). Inspired by Perec’s lipogram, Ci Demi decided to leave out people, animals, and language while editing Şehir Fikri – so, he and his editor picked photographs from Demi’s archive that did not include any of those. Having spent his entire life in İstanbul, Demi wanted to take something away from the city where, he proclaims, he lost his twenties. What he was left with was eerie and quiet scenes from all over the city – from Başakşehir to Sultanbeyli.

    ︎  As seen on

    ︎︎︎ British Journal of Photography
    ︎︎︎ Booooooom
    ︎︎︎ Maviblau (German)
    ︎︎︎ Calling (Turkish)
    ︎︎︎ Açık Radyo (Turkish)

    ︎ Playlist

    ︎︎︎ Something Is Missing (Spotify)

The Story

We have imagined a city, built it. Is this it though, or just an idea of it? We walked these streets, learned our way back home; it was easy to get lost but we knew that wall with the graffiti on it, we turned left and then right (many times), and it was there.

Stripped off all the clues that tell someone where a place might be, the book portrays a city with no one and no language in it. There are, however, some signs of life: foliage and of course, construction sites. Some other questions you will ask yourself: Where is this? What city is this? Is this even a city?

An attentive eye roams an untamed space; familiar scenes and objects with no context, they all come together to trick you, make you forget the way back home. It’s İstanbul, as a notion of a city that lives in our minds. That’s about it.

    ︎ Credits

    ︎︎︎ Publisher: Onagöre
    ︎︎︎ Series: Tefrika #3
    ︎︎︎ Editor: Ali Taptık
    ︎︎︎ Designer: Ali Taptık
    ︎︎︎ Cover art: Başak Demir
    ︎︎︎ ISBN: 978-605-71541-2-5
    ︎︎︎ Size: 16 × 26 cm
    ︎︎︎ Pages: 56
    ︎︎︎ Edition: 500