"I first learned of Turkey's window baskets when one landed on my head. I was walking through Istanbul's residential Tophane neighborhood, and I looked up to see a teyze (Turkish elder) in an upper-story window, holding the end of a long rope tied to it. She leaned over her planter box to wave apologetically at me, then asked me a question in Turkish that I didn't understand. I stood there looking up, confused, until a corner store attendant nudged me aside and placed a bag in the basket. The elder then hoisted the basket up to retrieve her groceries. Along with Istanbul's street cats, these baskets, often ad-hoc creations made of colorful plastic wash bins or woven picnic baskets on a long rope, are one of the city's endearing anomalies---and a regular fixture, just like the elders who use them. They've seemingly been around forever, but amidst the coronavirus crisis, the basket tradition has taken on a more crucial role than ever." Learn more about how Istanbul's famous basket tradition has become essential (especially for Istanbul's significant senior population) amid coronavirus---link in bio. 📷: @sezgiolgac
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