” ‘I cannot accept your money…’ The Turk is pleasantly surprised and leaves the shop. The next morning when the barber opens his shop, he finds a thank you card and a box of lokum waiting at his door.”
-from page 56 of The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
There is actually much more to the extract above than an example of Turkish welcome and kindness, but I won’t spoil the book for you. This excellent novel was part of my Istanbul reading list and proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting way to get a feel for the country.
I am back now and my overriding memory is of the friendliness and hospitality of the locals. As a photographer with a particular enjoyment of street photography, I have never been anywhere where people were so happy to be captured on film – sorry, showing my age, on digital media. My week in Istanbul simply flew by and I shall most definitely return soon to make yet more new friends.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 1 May 2015