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Before prayers...

"I come to work everyday by boat" said the sheet metal cutter. Apparently he lived on one of the islands in the Marmara sea and came in each morning to his shop on the shores of the Golden Horn set in the narrow alleyways of Karaköy. The neighbourhood occupies a prime spot overshadowed by the Galata tower which rises above from a more frequented part of touristy Istanbul. He turned out to be of Greek origin as many of the island dwellers are, as if to prove it he scribbled the name of his daughter in Greek letters on a scrap of paper. His huge cutting mill slid through the sheet of metal with ease and he handed me the piece I was after.

The Arab mosque occupies the space a little further down the narrow path. The structure resembles some kind of church building. Its complex history started with an early invading Islamic army from the mists of Byzantine history which was then replaced by a church and then switched back to being a mosque. Everyday the craftsmen working in the surrounding alleyways and streets file in to pray namaz at the Arab Mosque.

Before entering to pray it appears that they put out their cigarettes around this particular drain cover...



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