An American Abroad

Istanbul: Karaköy

Karaköy is grittier than Sultanahmet, with small shops, cafes, narrow streets, graffiti, studios, music stores, vintage clothing boutiques, and picturesquely derelict buildings. In other words, my kind of place.

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After a trolley ride across the Golden Horn, I looked back across the waterway at the Haggia Sophia.

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I then followed the steeply sloping streets up into an old residential district and then back down to the waterfront.

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I really liked this guy’s wood-fired multi-pot coffee maker.

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This sheep has been dyed with henna to symbolize innocence. It is presumably taking its last walk before winding up as dinner at someone’s Eid celebration.

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This family was begging on the street. I didn’t see very many people in this condition.

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I snuck a picture inside a vintage clothing store.

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Up this road and just around the bend is a side street that contains one of Istanbul’s red light districts.

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Once upon a time it was open to all and frequented by sailors from all over the world. Recently, however, the street has been closed to foreigners. A guard stands at the metal door to the brothel street, inspecting ID cards. No Turkish ID, no entry. This is presumably an innovation of the Erdoğan government, which has been pushing Turkey in a more religious and conservative direction.

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