Istanbul: In The Square Opposite The Yemi Jami

Friday – Quranic recitation
Qirat – very beautiful
Sitting at a drink kiosk
In the square opposite Yemi Jami
Under an umbrella
Purchased for ten lira
It is raining
The kiosk owner and waiter are Kurdish
Should have had tea
The wine is bad and sweet

Women come out of the mosque
Some remove their hijab once in the square
Others keep them on
Women different from the ones in Istaklal
Men different also
Two sides of Istanbul
Coming together through tourism

Stops raining
Clouds open letting in rays of sunshine
The square comes alive with colour
People start moving around
No lovers here
Unlike Taksim

Touts competing with each other
Selling their kiosk to visitors
Aggressive salesmen
But on good terms with each other
Friday is a good day for business
So says Murat the Kurd
God is great on this day
He rains down customers
The azan again
People get up from the kiosks
Move to the mosque
Sometimes I wish I was a believer
But the mind and the heart do not agree
And both are comfortable with it

(16 October 2009 at 1315 – 1400 hours)

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