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  • Jacopo Rufo

Istanbul (pt. IV)

So, here we are... This is my last week here. I'm quite sad to leave this city, I was just getting into it and I'm convinced that one month is not enough. Anyway... As I told you last week I moved to Fatih, which is a very interesting district. I'll tell you why.

The view from my room in Fatih

Fatih's a good compromise between internal tourism and local people. Before my arrival I was almost sure that it couldn't be very interesting, that's why I reserved an apartment here just for few days. But after the first night I realised that, for me, it's maybe one of the most intriguing part of this city.

Streets are full of people. It's the first time that I can feel that I'm in a 20 million people city. I've spent a couple of nights in this crossroad and it was very challenging. Maybe one of the most challenging crossroad I've ever experienced in my life.

Also, late at night, when the streets get empty, you can see some authentic scenes. I think that if I could come back in time, I would probably go out to take pictures just between 22:00 and 05:00 am.

One night I was walking in a park when I see a guy, a teenager, taking pictures of a tree. It was a very weird situation, I was sure he was taking pictures of a cat, or maybe a bird. But when I approached him I realised that... He was taking pictures of another guy..

It's the first time I connect with teenagers. I was very curious about how they live this city, what's their routine, what are their dreams and nightmares. I tried to talk with them in English, but they speak just few words. Anyway, I took a picture of them. A picture you maybe don't like, but I'm posting it anyway because I like it :)

Another think I really love about this city is the mix of lights you can see. Warm light and cold light is always mixed, and sometimes it creates acid combinations.

In Fatih I experienced the beginning of Ramadan. I also tried it (as you can read on my Facebook page). Spoiler: at 15:00 I shamefully gave up and I ate a dish of meat and salad.


The first night of Ramadan I heard a very strong drum roll and I woke up scared. When I looked out of the window I realised that there was a man playing the drum. At first I didn't understand, but then I realised that this man was a Ramadan drummer.


Every morning during the holy month, which ends either on Saturday or Sunday, depending on geographic location and religious sect, drummers stroll the streets of Muslim communities around the world, waking worshipers so they can eat a meal before the day’s fasting begins.

Anyway, as I told you I haven't spent the whole week in Fatih. After a couple of days I moved to Kadıköy, on the other side of the sea. I was sad to leave Fatih, but I'm sure I will come back one day.

Going to Karaköy to Kadıköy

Kadıköy is a fancy district for young people, there is a big market and bla bla bla. I haven't enjoyed it so much, it's that kind of place you enjoy if you're a student or a worker based in Istanbul for a long time and you need to chill and feel like you're on holiday.

It seems that the authentic soul of this district is eclipsed by the young life style, but if you search enough you can also discover nice realities.

I haven't had significant encounters. As I already told you on Instagram I'm not very interested in my generation and Kadikoy is a young quarter full of people like me. And I'm not interested in people like me.

Also in Kadikoy the best comes late at night. The young lifestyle made of fake Irish pubs and fancies cafès decays giving way to the raw essence of the gentrification.

The flat I was living in was like an Okupa. I still don't know who was living there, I've seen too many people in few days that I don't even know their names. They use to do what every young people use to do in spare time: drink alcohol, smoke, chill out, listen electronic music, talk about bullshits. I really enjoyed this ambience, I felt at home.

I've spent the last days buying things like Turkish Coffee, Turkish sweets, Turkey pots, Turkish lamps and shit like this. But the best things I've bought are: a fashion magazine about hijabs, another magazine about poultry, a taxi light and a fucking shabby portrait of me dressed like a sultan.


So long Istanbul, and thanks for all the balık ekmek.

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