Detail of the Sultanahmet Mosque, or Blue Mosque, in Istanbul.
Che Guevara is a popular figure among certain groups in Turkey, especially political leftists and Kurdish nationalists (there’s a lot of overlap between the two). College students pattern their hair styles after his and his words are quoted in young adult literature. So it’s natural to run across his picture on a visit to the southeast, as here where he guards the door of a souvenir shop in Gaziantep’s downtown market area. Che is joined here, in a thought-provoking tableau, by Ali the nephew of the prophet of Islam, and Ataturk the founder of the Turkish Republic.
A seed and spice seller sits behind his shop door in Ankara, Turkey.
All state holidays in Turkey are marked by elementary school programs featuring various groups of children singing, reading poems, or performing dances (both modern and traditional). This first-grade class (including my son, who is not technically Turkish) delivered a spirited rendition of several folk songs and anthems in praise of Ataturk.
Antiques and art for sale in Ankara, Turkey.
A little girl sits among Oriental carpets in a store in Ankara, Turkey.
A Muslim man performs the namaz prayers on a rooftop in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Many people in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir are religious, especially the older generation. Part of being religious usually means faithfully performing the daily prayers at the sound of the ezan from the mosque minarets. Although performing the namaz at the precise time of the call to prayer is not required, doing it five times a day is. When a Turkish person wants to say someone is religious, he might often just use the expression, “he does the namaz five times.” The elderly gentleman in this picture seems to fall into that category.
Antique and vintage items displayed in front of a store in Ankara, Turkey.