A beautiful mahalle

One thing I remember from the time I lived for two months in the Istanbul mahalle (neigbourhood) Kuzguncuk, is when my doorbell rang a few times and a man appeared to ask if ‘that car is yours and if so could you remove it?’. The man was maybe working for one of the film crews which quite often were on location in the mahalle. I saw funny things happen from behind my work desk, from where I had a nice view over a street and small square. One guy, for example, seemed to be hired just to walk around and pick up tiny bits of rubbish like cigarette butts, small scraps of paper and leaves off the street, with a bag in his hand. Once I didn’t know there was a crew working around the corner, and was at first frightened and then surprised when I saw one man running after another, then the men shouting at each other and eventually hugging – it was a soap opera being recorded.
I live in another neighbourhood now. It’s not at all interesting for filming – to begin with, the guy picking up rubbish from the street would need a whole team of colleagues here. Now I hear the people of Kuzguncuk are getting a bit sick of one film crew after another occupying their streets. They are gathering signatures now to urge the crews to at least follow some basic rules. One of them would be that they leave the streets as clean as they would like them for their own filming, as it appears they leave more and more rubbish after filming is finished! Someone even suggested the crews could contribute to a community chest from which community activities could be paid for. Very good, I support the Kuzguncuk neighbourhood. When you have a beautiful mahalle, you had better make the most of it!

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