Picture Essay: Up Close In Istanbul, Or The Djinn Is In The Detail

December 3, 2018

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It’s easy to lose sight of the small stuff in a city like Istanbul, spread across two continents and home to 17 million people. Looking up at the minarets and the gargantuan domes is easy, but if that’s all you do, you’re likely to miss out on what’s beneath your feet, or nearly lost in the fuzz of your peripheral vision.

And that would be a shame.


Drain covers: germ-ridden, ugly things that serve a purpose but have no aesthetic value whatsoever.


There is a good deal of graffitti on Istanbul’s walls, with this one the unmistakable mark of the Flying Pigs gang.


Lattice have another look at the finer details of the hulking edifice that is the Hagia Sophia.


The bloke who lost this pair of glasses is somewhere along the waterfront, sitting in a restaurant squinting at the menu, hoping that he’ll get an honest waiter, because he can’t see a damn thing in the price column.


In one of the many tombs scattered around the city, a sultan’s sarcophagus is surrounded by a rail decorated with lustrous mother of pearl. Splendour, even in death.


Blinged-out takkies in the clothing section of the Grand Bazaar, alongside the antique silver and the beautifully woven rugs. And for this you left Benoni?


One of the annexes of the Grand Bazaar was packed with all manner of hardware, from cabling and spanners to, um, gas masks. How extreme is the nightlife here? All pictures by Bruce Dennill

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