A look inside Istanbul’s alleyways

Bookshop in Istanbul's many lanes
Turkey's ancient city offers curious discoveries around every corner

Istanbul’s mazes of streets, swarms of people, ancient edifices, and curious discoveries around every corner (case in point: stores that sell fasteners of all kinds, such as zippers, buckles, buttons and snaps) can easily enthrall and  travellers and locals alike. Especially in the Beyoglu neighbourhood, where İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) is a constant hive of activity.

But take just a few steps off the main strolls down one of Istanbul’s labyrinthine lanes and you’ll easily find respite from the masses, though complete solitude is still hard to come by outside of a mosque.

I snapped this photo in a courtyard I visited a couple of times to relax at Haco Pulo, an open-air cafe serving of strong Turkish kahve and cay, where we sat on short stools at tiny tables sipping our beverages out of traditional cups. And that’s where I spotted this delightful bookstore, with its resident cat, napping on dog-eared paperbacks. Φ

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