Turkish people in 12 photos

Turkish people in 12 photos - header

I have never been good at taking photos of people, as I never knew how to approach them. I didn’t know if it’s better to try and take a more natural but sneaky photo or, quite on the contrary, ask for permission and be prepared for rejection.

As we had to spent 2 weeks waiting for our Iranian visas in Trabzon, an opportunity arose to do a photography walk with Elias, another traveller we met, who also wanted to gain more confidence at taking pictures of people. Below you can see the effect of our walk: “Turkish people in 12 photos”.

It turned out that asking for permission is certainly the way to go. Most Turkish people felt excited at the prospect of being photographed, sometimes they even asked us to take a photo of them after seeing two foreigners with cameras around their necks. This also created some unique opportunities to interact with the locals, as we were invited into many shops and cafes, and I was even offered some free food in exchange for taking a photo!

– 1 – 

This photo was taken in a traditional Turkish tea house, which is usually reserved only for men. Read more about Turkish tea houses and take a look at more photos.

Men playing okey in Trabzon– 2 –

Man selling oranges. Markets are usually the best places to capture people and their everyday lives.

Turkey street scenes 16– 3 –

Three old men taking a break in the sun.

Take a look at the beads which one of the men is holding. They are called tespih, are used for praying and usually consist of 99 beads (corresponding to the 99 Names of Allah). Younger generation uses them as stress beads rather than prayer beads, and they are very popular both among young and elder people.

Turkey street scenes 28

– 4 –

A man selling chestnuts (called kestane in Turkish). Turkey street scenes 18

– 5 –

A hairdresser at work.

Turkey street scenes 23

– 6 –

Man selling axes.

Turkey street scenes 19

– 7 –

Turkish shoe-shining. This profession is still done by some in Turkey which often use a traditional brass stand.

Turkey street scenes 29

– 7 –

Man in a furniture shop.

Turkey street scenes 35

– 8 –

Man and his mannequins. Can you spot the man? :)

Turkey street scenes 20

– 9 –

Baker at work.

Turkey street scenes 38

– 10 –

Jolly homeless man and his cardboard boxes.

Turkey street scenes 34

– 11 –

Boy with his broom in a puddle.

Turkey street scenes 44

– 12 –

Chainsmith at work.

Turkey street scenes 2

– Bonus #1 –

As Muslim women cannot be photographed, I have only pictures of those women who approached me and explicitly gave me their permission to take a photo. Here is a picture that Elias took of a super friendly mother and daughter who were so excited that we visited their country, they gave me a kiss!

Turkey street scenes 49

– Bonus #2 –

Here are some photos taken by another photographer and turned into this cheesy carpet art, quite popular in Turkey.

Turkey street scenes 31

– Bonus #3 –

Streets of Trabzon.


Turkish people in 12 photos

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  • Great photos! I think you’ve captured life in Turkey well here. Interesting that the men have such a distinct, yet similar look. I love the mannequin shot, what a great pose!

    I’ve always felt a bit odd photographing people too, but felt better when I braved up and did it.

    • Hey Andy, Thanks a lot for the nice comment. We have been trying to pluck up the courage to take more photos of people whilst on the road this time and we are really happy with the results.

  • 10 picture
    man collecting box not homeless
    no homeless in Turkey
    There are certainly home
    Look for non home state
    or relatives would support

    Man sells collecting box
    because the better
    he can not find work

    family structure is very strong in Turkey
    one is never alone