Istanbul, You Are Awake!

Today I walked across town, over the Ataturk Bridge which spans the Golden Horn and took these photos. The wind pressed hard on my face and I wore the hand-me down jacket my father had bought for Wisconsin winters back in 1973. I wore boots and my gloveless hands froze quickly to icicles in my pockets.

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Winter. Viewed from afar Turkey, the “Islamic World” and the Middle East all conjure images of camels and carpets and fairy chimneys and whirling dervishes. Certainly snow and winter ain’t on the menu. Still blizzards blow here in Istanbul a few times in a year.

Now in the heart of winter is the time when the city cooks with oil. Now Istanbul is running from place to place. New jobs and new concerts and new Mayhane nights when the Turkish Rakı flows in wonder head buzzing milky white. Now when the fish meals and the appetizers are sold. Now, now, now is when the whole toilet of the city flushes magnificent and then fills again. Now Istanbul. Now Istanbul.. you are awake.

Yazar hakkında

Sean David Hobbs is a writer and multimedia journalist who lives in Istanbul. He works to chronicle the stories of the voiceless in Istanbul and can be reached at His memoir about Istanbul called "Sex and Homeland" is his second book.

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