Antique and vintage items displayed in front of a store in Ankara, Turkey.
Here’s a man selling a handful of stuffed foxes on the street in Diyarbakir, Turkey.
An Assyrian Orthodox priest walks through the courtyard of his church in Mardin, southeast Turkey.
A street scene with handmade items in Ankara, Turkey.
Hand-woven Anatolian and Central Asian carpets and wall hangings, displayed on the outer wall of a huge repurposed caravanserai in Göreme, Turkey.
In the Cappadocian town of Derinkuyu in central Turkey, there’s an entrance to an underground city that dates back to the time of the Hittites. The city features eight stories of underground tunnels and rooms, and that’s only the upper half that’s open to tourists. Tour buses come in and out of the parking lot of the place all day long.
On the other side of the parking lot sits a large, impressive Armenian church built some time in the 1800’s. The church is now empty and locked year round; there are no Armenians here anymore, and apparently no one who wants a church. No one approaches it except local children passing through the yard on their way to school.
This is one of the locked side doors of the abandoned building.
Just kidding! I’m sure he is a devout Muslim and would never think of such a thing. The circular design behind him just looks a lot like a rising sun to me. I imagine a person could get desensitized to the brilliant patterns after hanging around these things all day long for years on end … you know, like teenagers playing violent video games. Of course, in other ways, repairing Turkish carpets is nothing at all like playing violent video games. I admit the analogy is limited.
Whatever else the carpet repairman’s job may or may not be, there is one thing it is for sure (at least, wherever I’ve seen it being done): a man’s work. In the same way that I’ve never seen a Turkish man sitting at a loom weaving a carpet, I’ve never seen a Turkish woman sitting in front of a shop repairing one. While I’m sure there are exceptions, the roles in my experience seem clearly defined. My best guess at the explanation is that in traditional Turkish village society (which bore the weaving tradition to the present day), women more generally are responsible for work done in or around the home, whereas men are more often responsible for work done someplace else, such as at a shop or office. As Turkish society becomes more modernized, of course, in many places these sorts of divisions (and skills?) are beginning to disappear.
A visitor looks through a sunlit window into a cave full of centuries-old Jewish ossuaries, or bone boxes, on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Ossuaries have been used for the internment of skeletal remains by many different cultures throughout history, but they were especially popular among Jews of the Second Temple Period (40 B.C. – 135 A.D.). These date to that time.
Here’s a selection of shots from a recent trip to Jerusalem, featuring Christian, Muslim and Jewish sites, mostly focused around or viewed from the Mount of Olives. In future posts I’ll try to put up some shots from the Wailing Wall (or Western Wall) of the Temple Mount, as well as some of my best attempts at street photography from one afternoon in the city. Enjoy!