Window shopping in Ulus. The hatter is probably frequented by older Turks for whom the hat is part of the standard winter uniform while taking their daily constitutional from home to the tea house; The shoes and lamps are nostalgic reminders of medieval times, bought by tourists and more modern Turks to decorate their homes.
This picture was taken in the Ulus neighborhood, just down the hill from Ankara’s historic castle, which was really the only part of the city to speak of before Ataturk made it the capital of the new Turkish Republic. The castle area has been protected from development for tourism-related reasons and can sometimes seem like a village in the center of the city, which is of course now a modern metropolis with four and a half million people living in it. Meanwhile, the streets around the castle have experienced an increasing proliferation of carpet and antique dealers, including this gentleman offering kilims, cicims, and suzani along with knotted-pile hali carpets, just down the street from a row of copper workers.
This hatter in Ankara, like basically every other shopkeeper in Turkey, is a proud Kemal Ataturk fan. I guess that’s not enough to keep him from displaying an Ottoman-style fez, outlawed at one point by the great reformer of modern Turkey. At least it’s red so it matches the Turkish flag inside the shop, and as a photographer I appreciate that.
In front of a shop on the street in Ankara. From top to bottom: a hand-woven kilim, probably Armenian or Moldavian; a hand-embroidered souzani, possibly from Uzbekistan; and an old hand-carved wooden trousseau chest made in Turkey, whether Ankara, Istanbul or one of the towns closer to the Black Sea.
Men spend the day at the corner tea house in Tarsus, Turkey, wearing their traditional shalwar pants.
The shadow of the Ottomans is still visible in many clothing styles worn throughout Turkey today. Although I haven’t seen Ottoman-style leather slippers like this worn by anybody I know in Ankara, presumably somebody wears them if they are on sale at the shop in the Ulus neighborhood where I took this picture. Then again, they could be just for tourists. That doesn’t mean that old-fashioned Ottoman dress isn’t still alive and well in many parts of the country. Shalwar pants like those worn as far east as Afghanistan are still in fashion for men and women in southeast Anatolia, starting in Tarsus.
I like this one a lot for some reason. I think the color of the car works well with the green in the grass, and meanwhile the hill and the houses make for a nice composition together. This is Safranbolu again, still in the old town, with these houses providing an example of what the 18th and 19th century Ottoman architecture looks like when it hasn’t been restored.
In the guidebooks and on the maps of Turkey, Safranbolu falls in the central Anatolian region. But when it comes to the culture and traditions of the town, there’s a lot of the Black Sea region to be seen here. As in Black Sea towns like Amasra or Bartin, one of the leading trades in Safranbolu’s streets is woodworking, and even on a chill, drizzly January morning this man was at work in front of his shop.
Thought it was about time for another door. This one appeared almost directly across the street as I set out for a morning walk on a cold foggy day in Safranbolu. The town, in northern Turkey, is perhaps the most comprehensive preserved example of traditional Ottoman architecture, with nearly all structures in the old part of town dating back 100-600 years, and many of the houses well restored.