July 29, 2017

Beyoğlu, Istanbul. June, 2007

Look at this handsome Turkish devil, hawking his wares in the alleys of Istanbul on a warm late-spring evening. Couples amble by, on their way to or from dinner at any number of snug little neighborhood spots. Street musicians here and there. See the mussel-seller there in the background, shellfish and lemons at the ready should anyone crave a snack. It’s a welcome tradition, these calm and passive salesmen, never aggressive, often amusing. And with Beyoğlu nightlife in this neighborhood extending into the wee hours toward dawn, with more and more raki being drunk on patios and in restaurants and clubs nearby, who knows? A surprising number of people may somehow reason that they can’t get on without an illuminated headband of devil’s horns. And so this charmer returns night after night, smiling in the dark, proffering a handful of wickedness.

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