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The Stairs - Karaköy, İstanbul

Sunlight filters through the leaves of the vine striking the uneven, though smoothed, masonry (allegedly the remains of the Genovese Saint Michel cathedral) now forms the surface of the courtyard. A mosaic of shapes, textures and colours undulate throughout the space surrounding the ancient columns holding up the upper storey whose irregular crooked profile frames the deep blue of an Istanbul sky. Next to the gateway of the courtyard lies an upturned Corinthian capital maybe dragged from a nearby Byzantine structure, being used as the base of a water pump. The stairway rises tentatively, patched and repaired from the centre of the rectangular space leading wandering tourists up to the passage flanking the cells from which spring makers, locksmiths and packaging suppliers operate. This window into a world of skill and industry, fast disappearing into memory may delight the curious, but those fighting the hard economic realities of life barge past with their wares.. To them there isn’t the time to take in the atmosphere or muse at what the ruined stones have seen over the centuries. The Byzantines, the Venetians, the Ottomans have passed, it’s the present which requires paying for.



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