Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Photo Walk -- Nisantasi (photography)

Today, I met a friend in Besiktas to walk around.  This is her part of the city and I hadn't been there at all.  I was excited for her to show me around.   We walked around and she showed me were the weekend market is located.  I am still amazed at how each part of the city has a different feeling;  a flare of it's own.  After lunch we were walking up toward the Nisantasi area (Yes, this is when the fateful deed happened!  Forever it will be known as "spit street"!) to see what we could find.  We walked through a nice little park and looked at the bronzes of local writers.  As we walked out I saw a man laying in the grass taking a nap in the shade.  I guess he was alive, thinking back on it, I do think it was strange that he was on his stomach.  This street is where the high-end stores are located.  Gucci, Rolex, etc, they are all there!  And of course, it is up-hill.  I mean UP-HILL!  I really haven't decided if it's easier to walk down or up a street.

We get to the next big intersection and we see a really neat old looking entrance. To something!  So we walked up and it was an old cemetery.   Cats were laying around (waiting to scare us!) and on some of the concrete thingys, people had put bee hives.   The weeds had been chopped down and many of the graves had been disturbed.  As we walked we could see bone pieces.  Joy was just sure they were from cows, I'm not so sure.  We found dates from 1924 to 1933 as burial dates.  I am sure when this was first established it was a beautiful, park like place with a nice entrance.  
Very different from what we are accustomed to in the US.  When they bury a loved one, the body is washed then wrapped in some kind of shroud.  A coffin is used for the ceremony but the body (without coffin) is then lowered into the ground by the male members of the family.  It is my understanding that the same plot can be used for multiple family members.   It seems that this cemetery has been abandoned for whatever reason.  I was curious that I didn't see and "evil eyes" here.  

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl


  1. Nice! Now, you just need a pair of those kick-butt shoes and you are good to go! =)

  2. I wish I could wear kick-butt shoes! Hahaha!

  3. I know! I just wish I could wear 'em! hahaha!

  4. Sheryl, if you're intrigued by local cemeteries, be sure to check out Yahya Efendi cemetery which is located directly across from the Cirağan Hotel and, yup, up a hill. It is my absolute favorite Ottoman cemetery. You might also want to read Death in Istanbul: Death and Its Rituals in Ottoman Islamic Culture by Edhem Eldem. I think it is available from the Ottoman Bank bookstore.