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.
Hand-painted pottery and handmade dolls sit outside a store in the town of Avanos in Cappadocia. Avanos is a small town of about 100,000 people, well known in central Turkey for pottery handmade there from the rich red clay in the banks of the river that runs through the town.
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.
A Catholic souvenir shop within Jerusalem’s old city.
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.
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.