Kutlu Sokak
Blessed Street

ISBN: 978-1-7353995-7-7

46 Pages

Photographs by Laurence Salzmann

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Kutlu Street, which roughly translates as Blessed or Happy Street, is located in Istanbul on the hills above Kabatas and down the hill somewhat from Taksim, a center square.

In the mid 1980s, our family bought a flat in a broken down building on Kutlu Sokak, which if truth be told was not a real street but a series of steps that climbed up the hill to the building where our flat was located. I was engaged in a 5 year long documentary photographic and film project to document the Jewish Communities of Turkey; my wife Ayse was the director of the American Field Service programs for Turkey, a program that long before, in the 1950s had sent her to live in Cadillac, Michigan and our daughter Han, then aged 6-9 attended Namik Kemal Ilk Okul, a primary school, just down the hill from where we lived.

The flat was 3 stories up from the ground floor of the building. However, to reach the building’s entrance, if you were coming from below, you would have had to already walk up about 8 flights of steps to arrive at the front door to the building. We had a slight view of the Bosphurs from a side window and could hear the fog horns and sounds of Seagulls and the ubiquitous calls to prayer from the nearby minarets throughout the day. The flat’s main set of windows looked somewhat north onto a checkerboard series of tiled roofs.

The Kutlu Sokak’s flat windows presented a whole new world to photograph. Close and distant. The plastic sheet I had hung over its windows acted as an impressionistic diffusion filter for my lens. Perhaps unconsciously I was thinking of the works of Monet , whose 30+ some impressionist paintings of the Rouen Cathedral explored how the time of day and weather enabled him to paint a slightly different painting with each canvas. In a likewise manner, the changing quality of the light and its effect on the roof scapes permitted me with almost every exposure to create a photograph that was just slightly different from the one preceding it. A growing melancholy and longing for a past where age and time now renders it just a memory: A Moment in Time.

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For more information, contact Laurence Salzmann at LaurenceSalzmann@gmail.com.