Our time in Istanbul is coming to and end, and while we are looking forward to the adventures lying in front of us, we also had a really great time here. Thanks to our friend Hakan who hosted us, and played music with us, brought us to many interesting places, thanks to the A.I.D-collective who organized a great party in the Vault 34, which seems to be the place to be for underground music and culture in Istanbul at the moment, and all the other nice people we met.
It’s my second time in Istanbul, and in only three years there were quite some chances. I feel the whole city became more crwoded. The Istiklal Street feels fuller than ever. Also full of cops, police with machine guns is everywhere in Beyoğlu. There are even two water canon tanks stationed on Istiklal 24/7. But when we went to Kadiköy, a place i perceived as rather calm, last time i was there, this time it was also full of people. We got told that many people moved from Beyoğlu to Kadiköy and that there was some Gentrification going on (where on earth this doesn’t going on?). We were staying in the absolute center of nightlife, in a sidestreet of Istiklal, and every night the sound of the live music almost every bar has, mixed with the sound of the more or less talented Darbuka and Clarinette players who go from bar to bar and play right in peoples faces as loud as they can till they give them money and endless lines of Taxis honking and trying to make their ways through the narrow alleys and being held up by the garbage collectors with their huge carts. For sure it was very noisy here, but it was also inspiring. Also there are going to be elections in Turkey soon. Actually just on a local level, but all over Turkey so it is kind of important. So where ever we go we meet cars who shout political messages over speakers, or portraits of politicians, some as big as house walls (you can guess whose face that bore), or people handing out flyers. At Taksim Erdogan is building a huge new mosque now. Just today on World Womens Day was a big protest in Istiklal, unfortunately met by police violence, teargas and rubber bullets. Politics are definitely a big issue right now in Turkey and many people we meet are not very satisfied with the political situation. But life goes on and especially in Istanbul, it’s going faster than ever.

On sunny days the bridge from Karakoy to Eminönü is full of hobby fishermen, which use this clever construction to not have to hold the rod themselves all the time…
Some guy trying to trick people into shooting a ball and try not to hit the woodboards, it looked kind of impossible in the first place and the price was just a pack of cigarettes, so not too many people tried their luck, although he had quite some audience.

Still the same bridge. A man sells some snacks in an interesting food container out of glass and metal.
Street cats are everywhere in Istanbul, although they tend to often have their spots where they stay and get fed. This one apparently lives in this Metro Station as I saw her again the next day and our friend also knew this cat.
We visited the atelier of a instrument maker Birken, crafting all kind of instruments, mostly with strings.
Ostrich eggs between lights of the chandeliers which are illuminating the Suleymani Mosque. Apparently this is because the smell of ostrich eggs keeps aways bugs and insects.
View from Eminönü on the other side of Istanbul.
We visited Okay Temiz in his Ritm Atelier. He is a Jazz Percusionist and lived long time abroad, mostly in Sweden. Later he went back to Istanbul, to found this music school and workshop, which is full of interesting instruments, some of them build by himself. We didn’t really know what to expect there, but when we arrived it only took 5 minutes and we found ourselves in the middle of a turbulent percussion class 😀
Odd ocarinas and a double double reed flute 😀
A very interesting drumset, the bassdrum reminds a bit of a Darbuka.
Not sure what that is, a Kora?
Two waterphones
A cowbell orchestra and an interesting glwing pyramid (Might be an electronic drumset?)
In Beyoğlu , is this a movie reference or something?
On the ferry to Kadiköy, the “asian side” of Istanbul
The dessert selection inone of the Büffet Restaurants, Istanbul has so many of. Those are my favorite places to eat, as i can always see what i will order and they have many different things for affordable prices.
Selection of salads. The thing on the left is a whole artichoc.
Mhjam, Mhjam
Thats what we settled for this time.

Tomorrow we will go to Eskisehir. We will try to hitchhike with the bikes, let’s see how that is going to turn out. We will play a concert there on the 10th and then continue to Ankara.


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