February 16, 2011

Kadiköy, Istanbul. June, 2007

Young Turks. Literally. Why is it, I wonder, that most people I encountered in this City of the World’s Desire liked to have their pictures taken? These guys, for instance, workers at a popular corner lahmacun stand, casually having their morning meal together (tea, bread, jam, cheese, olives) before they open to the public. The smile on the young man facing straight into the camera, the comfortable way he drapes his arm across his co-worker’s shoulder, the inquisitive half-grin of the check-shirted man in the back, the lovely sense of unselfconscious ease I found in every part of the city. Shakers of red pepper ready, containers of sliced lemons and parsley filled, just waiting for customers to scatter their contents (“Lemon first,” reminded Nick) on the day’s lahmacun, hot from the ovens. Which is exactly what we did the minute these young men finished their meal and opened for business this beautiful Sunday morning on the Asian side of Istanbul.

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