AYNUR FROM STATES
Lovely Aynur, a Turkish patron of the arts I met in California and later in Istanbul.
This man positively SPARKLES with geniality as he cordially invites people into the Sultan Pub. Thousands of people. He has been doing it for twenty-four years! – From Sivas in Eastern Turkey – Şukru has supported a family & raised two now-grown children. All by being the guy who just keeps smiling.
RATIONAL ANARCHIST & FRIEND
“I’m a rational anarchist.” —– He hung out in Teşvikiye. He’s an architect of note, married to a woman I became very fond of.
THE CUSTOMS OFFICIAL
A wretched bleak day in a horrible place out Topkapi way; I had to go to Customs to pick up something from home…the dour officials were all smiles at the sketchbook and one, Razan, who declined to have his picture drawn, loaded me up with Turkish Delight before sending me on my way. “Tirisi you never have problem with Customs,” he said, “I am here.” SÜLEYMAN DOĞAN / CUSTOMS OFFICIAL—– This dignified gentleman served tea to us in line.
THE CUSTOMS INSPECTOR
Yes, I always had a pleasant experience at the Customs Office.
ATATURK & COVERED WOMEN
“What’s that thing on your HEAD?” – The man loved women! – “Of course I’m smiling, I’m in business.” More and more chadors, and along the tramline near Ayasofya in Sultanahmet, a proliferation of covered women who sit and knit amongst their scarves & knitted wares…this one smiled at me- a first! —Before – Did the “right thing” all her life – Not enough calcium & probably too many kids——Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic, went to great lengths to free women, from the cover and much else.
Yes, the Dervish Monastery for sure.
LUMP OF BYZANTIUM
Leftover lump of Byzantium on Türk Ocağı Sk at Hoca Hani- just before it plunges down to the Spice Bazaar——Another vanished treasure. This was at the topmost section of the Nea Ecclesiastica Complex, a 9thCentury Byzantine landmark, now nearly eradicated. There’s another surviving chunk down the hill, and that’s it. See Book 14: Shouting Down the House.
Mehmet on his day off. This lovely fellow took me furniture shopping at a swap meet- because Nizam was too grand to bother. Thank you, Mehmet——I gave him the original.
KUBILAY & HIS CAT
My friend Kubilay was named for Kubla Khan. A wonderful artist, exquisite watercolors of Istanbul landmarks, much imitated but never equalled. I shall always miss him. Here he is painting on the street with his cat in his lap, outside a shop that carried his art. The woman is Melek, a shopkeeper.