“One city does not greet another, but one man greets another.”
– Sumerian proverb from Ur, c. 2000 B.C.
This proverb, quoted in Rory Stewart’s excellent book The Prince Of The Marshes, does a pretty good job of explaining how I think relationships are most genuinely formed on the international stage. In our case, we usually leave the greeting to our children. These pictures should give you an idea of the scene a year or so ago when we went on a walk with our kids through the historic Ulus neighborhood in downtown Ankara. Kaya is the little blonde two-year-old in the picture above; at that age he was still loving the attention and hadn’t gotten sick of it yet, whereas his older brother Moses (in the stroller below) was starting to develop some reservations. Perhaps it’s just a personality thing – international diplomacy can’t be every preschooler’s job.
Murat and Servet’s wedding in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş was a typically chaotic celebration with plenty of dancing, attended by just about as many people as could comfortably fit on the (very large) dance floor. The entire town is often invited to a wedding in Turkey, and the more people come the greater the honor for the father of the groom.
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.
Moving away from Anatolia now, but remaining in the Middle East – some would say the center of the Middle East. Here, pedestrians walk through a Palestinian neighborhood just outside Jerusalem’s Old City.
Men spend the day at the corner tea house in Tarsus, Turkey, wearing their traditional shalwar pants.
It’s hard to find a small town back street in Turkey where kids aren’t kicking a ball around on a summer afternoon. Avanos, a pottery-making town in Cappadocia, is no exception.
Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/7.1, 1/200 sec.