My apologies for the many blurry photos. Autofocus seems to be letting me down. But. This is my take on what I see here.
Turkey is going through a difficult time right now. But the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, and the values he represents — fair treatment and equality for all, openness to the world and to new ideas — are widely admired, even though they are, at present, under attack. Many expats are returning to their native countries and many educated Turkish people, the ones who should be able to make a good life here, are emigrating. However I think, or maybe just hope, that those who choose to stay will be able to turn things around.
I am seeing plenty of wonderful things. As is the case most everywhere, traditional skills are being lost. However some people are learning to package and market those skills and items as luxury goods. The photos that follow are an assortment of things seen on my way around town: items lost or in need of rescue and those that have been rescued or fully transformed.
Turkish food is still quite seasonal. These summer fruits and vegetables have been pickled to preserve them for the winter. This shop sells to locals, but in fancier neighborhoods you will find similar items in smaller jars with pretty labels and much higher prices. I wonder which is better positioned to withstand increases in rent and labor costs.
They eat every part of an animal here. This man is cleaning a lamb’s head.
Coffee needs no introduction. Istanbul has many artisan roasters. The man in the photo below makes simit, a round bread something vaguely like a bagel.
The arts are down, but not out. Here you see a used bookstore, a street musician and a truly lovely infill building. Long may it remain untagged.
Here are a few more places that are holding on. Istanbul is an absolute bargain destination right now and quite safe. It’s easy to get a table in some delightful places.
And that is it. I’ll be here for a few more days and I surely will return.