The Rubbish Collectors of Istanbul

Faceless men and women, struggling up rain soaked cobbled hills clogged with traffic. Faces windswept and facing the floor. Ignored and cursed in equal measure. These wretched images as iconic in Istanbul as the minarets and monuments, stealthy tourists will often try and snap them as they haul a burlap load past shops with shelves…

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Black Sea

Black Sea At that (Homeric) time, the sea was not navigable and was called Axenos (inhospitable) because of its wintery storms and the tribes that lived around it, and in particularly the Sythians in that they sacrificed strangers… But later it was called Euxeinos (friendly to strangers) when the Ionians founded cities on the seaboard.…

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Tarlabaşı; An Ode.

Saying goodbye to Tarlabasi Tarlabasi is a hive of informal commerce, the streets alive, trade and toil and the struggle to survive in a city overwhelmed, carts with squeaky wheels pushed up and down the hills, hawkers crying and calling, the rag and bone man and the Sahlep seller, in the afternoons the itinerant musicians…

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Sadness in Syria, Hama.

Faisal was the first Syrian friend I made on my first ever visit, he was also the first friend I lost in the war; I made many more friends and lost more too. My first visit to Syria must be some twenty years ago now, only my diaries lost in my Mothers cavernous loft have…

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Syrian Tears in Istanbul

On my way back from applying for my Turkish residency a process that reminded me so much of being back in Damascus, not only the chaotic bureaucracy and complete lack of information but also the fact that the building was full of Syrians, a babble of various Syrian dialects grumbling at the 200 Turkish Lira…

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