Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | April 16, 2012

Following the photo trail 2005: interesting people in Istanbul

I was looking at old photos and found some I want to share. After some thought, I decided that I would choose the photos and then explain them, so follow me!

These kids are getting their marching orders in front of Galatasaray High School. This is a very common spot for groups of various sorts to gather.








I went to court for seven years about a flat (I won but at a great cost to myself). I usually went to the hearings, which were endless. Here if one lawyer does not show up, another ‘appointment’ is made and we all have to go again. The landlady sued me, we sued her, she sued me again, we sued her again, and on and on. The whole thing was really stupid. This photo is of the scribe, a very old profession that barely exists anymore. The scribe sits with his typewriter to write the document that the person needs. Since then the courthouse has moved to a huge place where all the courts on the European side were combined and I am sure there are no scribes there.

Here is an aerial photo of a cardboard collector. I am very interested in the collection of garbage here. These guys with the huge bags on a cart specialize, some in cardboard, some in plastic.  they take their goods to a central place to be collected and get paid by the kilo. You can tell this is an old photo because there is a tree on Istiklal Caddesi. The other photo is of one from the back, so you can see how big their carts are. You can also see some of the barriers for when they were digging the huge hole that became the entrance to the new metro station.  












This guy was a waiter in the plaza outside the Spice Bazaar. You can see the Yeni Cami in the background. He seemed the quintessential Turkish man, big moustache, well combed hair.








Here is one of the local hamals. I like this photo because he is carrying a wisteria flower as he walked up Galip Dede Sokak. I have seen him carrying washing machines or other big machines on that thing on his back.

This horse seller was an unusual sight seven years ago and now you don’t see them at all in this neighbourhood. The man in the plaid shirt on the right is one of the locals. I have seen him around for ten years and more. The little shop on the left, Saat Pilleri Cakmak Gazi, is a little tiny place where an old man with shaking hands fills lighters and sells batteries for clocks and watches, which he will install.

This is one of my favourite flower sellers at Taksim Square. Her son is all grown up now. They are Rom of course. Since then their kiosks have had to be redone a couple of times (decided by the city). I read a while ago that some bright soul wanted them all to wear uniforms. Sure.





This is something you absolutely do not see anymore– a pot fixer. He had actually retired even seven years ago, but he still had his little place.







Here are some photos of various sellers that would come by the tea garden at the base of the tower.

This man was selling almond cookies. He rarely came around. Over there is a sandwich seller adjusting the load on his head. Notice that at that time you could drive through Galata Square.

This old man still comes around selling his fruit bars. One time he was walking with a cane but he was still out. I see him shooting the breeze with the tea garden guys. Notice my dinosaur cell phone on the table!  It is very common for these food sellers to go to the tea gardens, as most do not sell food.  Some tourists don’t understand this and try to bring their own food into my cafe, which I do not allow.





Every year there is a parade celebrating the police. I think it is because in the past the police were literally brutal, but now they are much better trained. These photos show that there are women cops too, much to the opposite of a common stereotype here and abroad.



















Istiklal Caddesi is the

site of many demonstrations, almost daily, but it is also a place where you can see other gatherings of people. These are folk dancers and their accompanying musicians, drum and clarinet.

Aren’t these girls cute?!

You don’t often get to see a camel in Turkey! Or one with a musician riding it.

Turks love to break out in dance! Even on Main Street Turkey.

This man is dressed in the traditional shepherd’s felt cape.

This is me at home! Ah, life in Turkey!

I hope you have enjoyed the trip.  I will post more photos as I get around to it.



  1. Molly, So glad to be getting notices of your blog posts. I’m working on my blog right now.

    • yeah, we can be blog twins!

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