“İstanbullu Rumlar” — Greeks of Istanbul; and a Politike Kouzina addendum

15 Nov

The photos don’t say much, but they do capture the smart, urbane joy of Constantinopolitan life; and begs the question: did Greeks have a special sensory feel for the pleasures of Istanbul life, or did Greeks themselves generate that joy, now sorely missing from the contemporary city and its overgrown vulgarity?

Plus, dress and hairstyles look kind of early to middle 60s. Meaning that after the repeated blows of Varlık Vergisi in 1942-43, the Pogrom of September 6-7, 1955 and the Deportations of Istanbul Greeks in 1964-1965 (subject of incredibly moving scene in Tassos Boulmetis‘s film A Touch of Spice (Πολίτικη Κουζίνα/Politiki Kouzina/Istanbul Cuisine — see video at bottom), Greeks still knew how to have a good time in their beloved City.

And the scene from Politike Kouzina, with the family, deported and once settled in Athens, waits for the grandfather to come from Istanbul for a family wedding:

“I’ll tell you something and get it into your thick heads. Grandpa won’t come tomorrow and never intended to. Grandpa wouldn’t come to Greece even if Aemilios was marrying a film star. Grandpa hasn’t come all these years because he didn’t want to. He would never leave the City. None of us would, for anything in the world…

“Constantinople was called the City because it was the most beautiful city in the world.”

[My emphases]


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