History most wh-iffy

I was surprised to read in this week's NS essay ("Our fetish for fake smells", 11 September), that "The most sophisticated sewage system in the world, built by the Ottomans in the 14th century, can still be found under the hills of Istanbul."

Constantinople, as it then was, was not captured by the Ottomans until 1453 - halfway through the 15th century.

Ian Fowler
London SE6

This article first appeared in the 18 September 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Let the poor seek a place in the sun