University of Basel

SIBA – A Visual Approach to Explore Everyday Life in Turkish and Yugoslav Cities, 1920s and 1930s

Plea writers and a perfume seller’s stand in Sultanahmet

Plea writers and a perfume seller’s stand in Sultanahmet, © Cengiz Kahramanenlarge


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Object:Plea writers and a perfume seller’s stand in Sultanahmet
Description:Street scene in Sultanahmet. The left half of the photograph shows two male pedestrians on a sidewalk, arm in arm and deep in conversation. The man on the left is wearing a hat and jacket and is holding his elderly companion’s arm with both hands. The latter is wearing a coat, a striped shirt and shawl, a flat cap and shiny shoes. They are passing a roughly built table table displaying several items next to two rickety chairs and a stool with a small showcase containing perfume bottles, alongside an imposing fence. The camera, however, is focused on the background between the passers-by and the deserted table. There, two men are sitting at a small cloth-covered table on top of which is a typewriter. Both are looking towards the camera, one pointing in the direction of the photographer.
Comment:It is unclear whether the items on the table in the foreground belong to another plea writer or to the perfume seller. The fence is from the Ottoman period. The photograph accompanied an article printed in Akşam on 12 April 1931. Pleawriters (arzuhalci) were numerous especially in the Yeni cami area. They either sat next to the park that belonged to the mosque or on its steps, waiting for customers.
Location:Istanbul, Sultanahmet
Country:Turkey (contemporary)
Turkey (historical)
Creator:Şenol, Faik (probably)
Keywords:460 Labor
670 Law
Bibliography:Kuzum ağam… Sana 3 tane çil çil beyaz kuruş.. Bizim köye bir mektup ilet.. Akşam, 12 April 1931, 5.
Copyright:Cengiz Kahraman
Archive:Cengiz Kahraman, Istanbul (Collection Private collection), Inv. No.: ARZUHALCI - ESANS SATICISI - AYASOFYA
Editors:Joël László, Cengiz Kahraman, Nataša Mišković