17 Minutes Outside of Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar

Bird seed vendors, New Mosque, Istanbul

The latest in the occasional speed shooting neighborhood documentary series, here are a handful of images shot outside of Istanbul’s famed Spice Bazaar, aka Egyptian Market, over the course of about 20 minutes last Monday (25 April).

Dating back to the 1660s, the Spice Bazaar is the largest and most famous covered shopping area in Istanbul after the massive Grand Bazaar. I didn’t have the time or the interest in going inside; I was more interested by its location as part of the New Mosque, or Yeni Cami complex, near the Galata Bridge that spans the Golden Horn waterway. It’s a lively, busy place, which, even given its popularity and prominent inclusion on tourist maps, remains more used by locals than visitors. That was especially evident on this day, just an hour after strong rains cleansed the area and with the threat that they’d resume still hovering overhead.

I don’t claim that these short series even come close to capturing the essence of a place, but I enjoy the exercise. It keeps my mind focused and my eyes open. I have little interest in photographing ‘the sites’; I’m more interested in the moments.

With that goal in mind, I think only a couple of these managed to stop the clock adequately. The rest are just snapshots of things, colors, shapes and compositions that I want to remember. Especially Malta Erik/Eriği aka Yeni Dunya or Maltese Plum, which tastes kind of like an apricot with a sweet plummy texture. Truly sublime.

For those curious about what’s inside the Spice Market, check out this post from a visit in 2012.

Outside of a fish shop, Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
Outside of a fish shop, Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

 

Maltese Plum or Malta Erik or Yeni Dunya, Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
Maltese Plum or Malta Erik or Yeni Dunya, Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

 

Ablution at the New Mosque, Istanbul
Ablution at the New Mosque, Istanbul

 

Cheese shop, outside of the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
Cheese shop, outside of the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

 

Grape leaves, Istanbul Spice Bazaar
Grape leaves, Istanbul Spice Bazaar

 

Bird seed sellers at Eminonu Square in front of the New Mosque, Istanbul
Bird seed sellers at Eminonu Square in front of the New Mosque, Istanbul

 

Fish shop outside of the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
Fish shop outside of the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

 

Street behind the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
Street behind the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

 

Olive stand at the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
Olive stand at the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

 

Seed and beans, Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
Seed and beans, Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

 

All images made with a Samsung S4 on 25 April 2016.

~~

And for the record: the lead photo serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 846th straight.

All images © Bob Ramsak. All rights reserved. High resolution images available.
For stock or editorial use please get in touch.
Interested in purchasing a print or other photo product of this image? They’re available here. If you’d like a print or card of an image not yet listed in my Redbubble portfolio, let me know. I’ll be happy to make it available.

 

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  1. niasunset says

    The Grand Bazaar and also Spice Bazaar, or Egyptian Market, are the most colorful and lively places in the city. There are many people (tradesmen) coming from the other cities of the Anatolia. They buy things, and they sell in their city market or bazaar. You can find anything what you need. I recommend you to explore these shopping streets around the Spice bazaar, whitesmiths, junkmans, mat makers,…etc. The only problem is (for me) it is so crowded… so crowded… Makes me dizzy… But especially for a photographers it is amazing place.. You captured beautiful photographs, I loved the fishes and fish heads… Thank you, Have a nice day and travel, with my love, nia

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks — I did walk around the area briefly and yes, it was VERY crowded. There was a much smaller but similar district near my hotel, located well off the normal tourist trail, where I actually did all my shopping.

  2. jacquelineobyikocha says

    Oh my word! We have the Maltese plum back home in Nigeria and we call it Udara. Beautiful pictures Bob.

    1. Bob R says

      I really liked that plum. At the moment, my favorite fruit. 🙂

  3. gardeninacity says

    I remember the spice bazaar fondly from our visit in 2009.

    1. Bob R says

      A very colorful area. The sounds, scenes and smells of commerce there stay with you for a long time, don’t they.

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