Street Photography in İstanbul

14.1 million people. 14.1 million stories being made every second.  That’s İstanbul,  the fifth biggest city in the world by density with the richest history I’ve encountered yet in a city. Everywhere traces of its history as capital of four empires (Roman, Byzantine, Latin, Ottoman) can be seen. Between the chaotic history and streets that ignite all the senses, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed, even as a proclaimed lover of big cities.  So many stories being played out in the streets at every moment, and I regret not taking a million more photos, but here are the ones I got. Live and learn right? Next time, get closer. Always get closer.

Turkey grafitti  (1 of 1)


İstiklal Avenue

Aka Independence Avenue, it sees 3 million people pass by on weekends. As we were there during a holiday weekend, I think we saw much more. This is where it’s at.

Taksim trolley bw (1 of 1)

Old trolley that goes up and down the street

protest Istiklal (1 of 1)

Protest in front a university. Unfortunately they didn’t speak English so we couldn’t find out what it was about!

couple walking Istiklal street (1 of 1)

One of the many street food stands that sold either roasted chestnuts, grilled corn, mussels or round bread/bagel like pastries.

Cats. They're everywhere.

Cats. They’re everywhere.

The cats of Istanbul. I must have taken over a hundred photos just of them. They roam around like the citizens of the city that they are, lapping up water and snacking on food and leftovers that shop and restaurant owners place next to their doors. Beware if you’re eating outside at a table: they will jump on your lap and try sampling your food!


A "participant" in the annual Feast of the Sacrifice

A “participant” in the annual Feast of the Sacrifice

Down by the Bosphorus

Tea culture isn't just something for the tea shops.

Tea culture isn’t just something for the tea shops.

3 plus mosque (1 of 1)

Fisherman and mosque  (1 of 1)

Fisherman and the New (500 year old) Mosque.

Passing over the Galata Bridge every day to get to the museums and main sights and then back home, we passed countless fishermen no matter what time of day or night it was. Just below the bridge was another level of fish restaurants serving up fresh fish sandwiches. Not like I had any desire to try one, but after passing a tourist take a bite into one and proclaiming, “I just had one bite and I don’t want any more,” I took a severe pass.


Maddie and Dad hill 3 (1 of 1)

Descending the steep hill coming from the medieval Galata Tour

Bazaar old man (1 of 1)

Entrance to the Grand Bazaar and a piece of old Turkey



2 thoughts on “Street Photography in İstanbul

  1. I Googled some of the words in the banners of the third photo to see if I could find out why those women were there. The banner behind them was for The Turkish Armed Forces Soldiers Foundation. I believe from the following website that the foundation is somewhat similar in purpose to our American Legion Posts;
    The only word could find meaning for in the ground banner was Kadinbar which basically means a female. So I don’t know if the women were protesting, holding vigil, or bringing awareness. Looks like photos are on banner. Maybe this info. will help you piece it together.

    • Thanks Marybeth! I can’t believe I didn’t think to google it – what an idiot I am haha! Yeah it seemed to be a women’s issue since we didn’t see any men at the protest. That makes sense though, I remember there being soldiers on some of the banners too.

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