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On a walkway near the harbor in Istanbul, N, a young French professor, meets a mysterious Frenchwoman who refuses to divulge her real name and seems to be accompanied by a Turk (M) and two large dogs. L, as the woman becomes known, takes N on a tour of the mosques, cemeteries, and other sites and then suddenly vanishes. N frantically searches for her, making inquiries with people around town who probably know her but will not talk. Just as abruptly, however, she reappears; N sees her in the crowded city streets, followed by M and his dogs. Although L seems preoccupied, she insists that she is alone and suggests that they take a trip out of the city. As they drive through the countryside, one of M's dogs suddenly crosses the road, and L swerves to avoid hitting it. The car crashes, and L is killed. N is obsessed with her memory and again seeks to solve her mystery. His investigation proves fruitless, and he begins to doubt that she ever existed. One day he comes upon L's car, which seems to be undamaged, and buys it. Driving over the same road which he had taken with L, he swerves to avoid hitting M's other dog, crashes, and is killed.