From Konak Square, it’s is not a long way off to an old and glorious market in Izmir. Kemeraltı Çarşısı, the historical market of Izmir, is a trip back into time. Parts of it are covered by brick and mortar, parts of it are sheltered by large canopies. I walked along old hallways, on cooling marble, I still remember the musty smell of things long forgotten. Outside, the marketplace is full of noise and vigor; inside, there is a silence. It’s not an empty silence, but it throbs with secrets; you have to walk along those lanes and look into windows smeared with dust to discover some of them.
Along treasures and old things no one wants, antiques and what-nots dating as far back as World War I, I stumbled upon this wedding dress. It was ethereal, almost glowing, yet sad in its loneliness. Would someone wear it again? Or did someone wear it already and give it away a long time ago?
There is beauty and history amongst the oldest places in Turkey. It is just waiting to be discovered by each individual, in his or her own special way. Izmir has magic; the city breathes and lives like a slumbering sea serpent. Kemeraltı is still not so far from the bay that you can’t smell the sea. Once in a while, a breeze will blow by and you’d know not that far away, there is the bay that leads into the Aegean Sea.
So the idea just occurred to me… Why not start a series of photographs of all the city centers I’ve had the chance to see?
Midway through watching ‘The Voice’ reruns from season 6 (wasn’t Josh Kaufman just heavenly?), I realized these pictures, simply sitting in my laptop, are going to waste! On a side-note, as I like to ramble, does anyone else miss Usher as a judge on the Voice? I know I do.
Anyhow, this city scene is from old-town Izmir. It’s right in front of the Clock Tower in Konak Square, which is, incidentally, a lot smaller than can be led to infer from all the travel logs about Izmir- or so it was for me! This is somewhere in September, 2013- so quite hot still, but full of gusty bay breezes everywhere I went. This part of Izmir is worth exploring. It’s close to old markets, unlike the modern parts of the city, and has a different feeling surrounding it. Most of it comes from the scents and sounds of the hustle and bustle of marketplace talk, coffee brewing, large canopies sheltering small stalls and shops- a lot of places to buy nice, oriental souvenirs to take back home. The best part is taking the ferry across the bay- given that I’m water-phobic and terribly afraid of deep, unfathomable water bodies, it’s also extremely exciting!
(Taken with my trusty Canon 600D. I also don’t watermark my photos, so if anyone wants to use it, please credit it back to me. Thank you!)
Three days ago, the city of Istanbul made belated headlines in media around the world. What started as a peaceful protest to save a park escalated into a demonstration in which the Turkish police used brutal and excessive force against protestors, environmentalists, libertarians, students, and the young and old residents of the city who had gathered together to save one of the last snatches of greenery in Istanbul. The news made it to the front very reluctantly because most of the mass media in Turkey was censoring the protests. By this time, the protest had already gained full-scale social media support, which aggravated the Turkish Prime Minister considerably. It has been four days since then and Turkey has erupted into clashes in over 40 cities.
I saved some of the posters which appeared online as part of the social media revolution to publicize the harsh reality of police violence and repression. These posters depict the right of freedom of speech, the right of liberty for the Turkish people, and their struggle to be heard worldwide as a struggle of the people against an oppressive government.