ThursdayFiled under News
Metin Akdemir is a filmmaker based in Istanbul. In 2011 he made a short film about street vendors in the city. The film, “Ben Geldim Gidiyorum” (“I’ve Come and I’m Gone”), won several awards in Turkish and international film festivals, and we think it’s a very valuable piece of work that captures a side of Istanbul’s culture that is slowly disappearing. We caught up with Metin to talk about the film.
What attracted you to the subject of street vendors?
Street vendors represent the voice of a city. Every city has a smell, a texture that is remembered, but the voice is often forgotten. Street vendors are the most unique and valuable elements of the voice of a city. The ever-growing pressures of capitalism will devour these voices. I think they need to be recorded and highlighted.
What is the value of street food vendors in Istanbul?
Street culture is slowly dying. Everyone shops either online or inside shopping malls. Street food vendors resist this tide and still roam the streets with their rich and cheerful voices.
Read the rest of this interview at Culinary Backstreets.
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no responses - Posted 09.18.15
The Yenibosna bus station sits at the intersection of numerous transit routes, where passengers can embark on journeys to the furthest corners of the city as well as to its beating heart. Close to Istanbul’s main airport, and wedged in beneath several high-rise towers that seem to have ascended from the ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.06.15
Don’t people just love to fight about food? Punch-ups over which city makes the best pizza, brawls about what’s the right way to barbecue. Louis and Ella nearly called the whole thing off over the pronunciation of the word “tomato.” In this pugilistic spirit, we took our place at a couple ...continue
no responses - Posted 06.09.15
For the past 24 years, Cemil Tuncay has wheeled his small metal cart to the biweekly produce pazar in Edirne. He sets up shop around noon, lighting coals under what can be described as massive, torpedo-shaped sausages. Kokoreç is a simple fast food made from bits of sheep leftover from butchering, ...continue
no responses - Posted 02.24.14
By the name of the place, you’d expect the Sütçüler (“Milkmen” in English) district near Isparta in southern Turkey to be a dairyland paradise, thick on the ground with men carrying buckets sloshing fresh milk, cheese wheels stacked in cool dark sheds, verdant hills freckled with cows. But there are ...continue
2 responses - Posted 12.03.13
When we last visited Cemal Bey, he was sitting behind a desk in a small, bare office on the second floor of a decrepit building near the Egyptian Bazaar in the city’s old quarter (he has since moved). Three large burlap sacks filled with what look like jumbo-sized yellow raisins ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.24.13
As rapidly as Istanbul marches toward its modern destiny, street food in this city is still served the old-fashioned way, by boisterous ustas with a good pitch and, sometimes, a really good product. When the bars close, hungry Istanbulites cruise the streets looking for the gas lamp of a rice ...continue
1 response - Posted 02.04.13
One of the big downsides to Istanbul’s otherwise great food scene is the lack of a credible Mexican option. We’re not asking for anything special, just a place that serves simple, tasty tacos or burritos. But when the craving for Mexican gets strong, we don’t despair; we just head down ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.21.12
Recently, while continuing our research into how kokoreç (grilled lamb intestines) became a fast-food staple in Istanbul, we were told by our favorite kelleci (vendor of cooked sheep’s head), Muammer Usta, about one of the oldest kokoreç masters around. Ali Usta’s shop is in Dolapdere, down the hill from the Tarlabaşı Sunday market and just ...continue
1 response - Posted 08.07.12
(Editor’s note: This post was written by “Meliz,” an intrepid explorer of Istanbul’s culinary backstreets and frequent Istanbul Eats guest contributor who would like to keep her anonymity.) At Istanbul Eats HQ, the conversation comes up every once in a while about how çiğ köfte has emerged as a sort of fast-food franchising ...continue
3 responses - Posted 05.24.12
In Rotterdam, one of Europe’s most culturally mixed cities, you’d expect a more diverse street food scene. The Rotterdam diet does embrace shwarma, Vietnamese spring rolls and Turkish lahmacun, but then Dutchifies the food by dousing it with liberal squirts of mayo. Due to cultural assimilation or by catering to ...continue