Photo EssayI laughed sympathetically as I watched this scene from the ferry I took from Kasımpaşa to Eminönü. The two younger women in these pictures really wanted to throw rocks into the Bosphorus. They weren’t harming anything, except maybe the chances of the couple of people fishing from the dock, who actually caught a nice-sized fish immediately after these women were chastised by the ticket-taker for the ferry.

1. “Is it OK?”

Muslim mother and her children in Kasimpasa, Istanbul, (c) 2016 Brian Awehali


2. “Yeah, I think it’s OK. Let’s throw rocks in the Bosphorus over here….”

Muslim mother and her children in Kasimpasa, Istanbul, (c) 2016 Brian Awehali


3. “I guess it wasn’t OK.”

Muslim woman and her children in Kasimpasa, Istanbul, (c) 2016 Brian Awehali

Note the man in blue wearing sunglasses in the background — I’d spotted him behind me on the Galata Bridge and around Galatasaray multiple times in the hour before I boarded the ferry from which I took this photo, and when you follow a random route through a heavily urban area for an hour and remain paired with someone it’s no coincidence. Turkey may look ancient and venerable — and to be fair, it actually is — but in terms of its policing of its state, its quite modern, and you can bet that any Westerner on Istiklal or on the Galata Bridge is being closely watched, and that all mobile phone and internet activity is likewise being closely monitored.

There was no real consequence for me to this surveillance, other than that of any self-respecting person’s “f-u,” but you’ve got to feel for women in Turkey. The hegemony of male authority in Turkey seems like a suffocating and unnatural burden for everyone. Cogitate on the the daily life of Mr. Bluejeans & Sunglasses, for example… Just try to vividly imagine the hours of his days and who he relates to, and how, when he’s NOT working.


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