İZMİR…. Not all cramped streets

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Saturday 27 September, 2014 by Uncle Spike

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This is another in my series of looks at İzmir, the large coastal city on the Aegean (western) coast of Turkey. Like most Turkish cities, there are plenty of old or original parts full of narrow streets stacked full of higgledy-piggledy arrangements of offices, shops, apartments, and old village houses where wise old families are sat on a goldmine with developers eager to ‘help them out’.

Developers do not pay ‘cash’ usually, but they’ll build a block of say 20 apartments, and the original land-owner gets perhaps 3 apartments in exchange. One they’ll usually then live in, and two to rent out at extortionate city prices (well, expensive relative to our Turkish incomes anyway). Needless to say, many sell their old single story ramshackle houses to suddenly own a nice new 3 bed apartment, AND have a monthly ‘income’ equivalent to a high school teacher thrown in for life. As land ownership (deeds) is a relatively new thing in this part of the world, most families never paid much, if anything for the original plot, so not a bad deal I guess. 

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But in areas such as Bostanlı where we were based, it is pleasantly open and spacious, which I guess is why I don’t feel too hemmed in there; unlike some cities we visit.

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Most of the roads are wide and tree-lined, and even have passable pavements/ sidewalks, which is quite a rare thing here too in much of Turkey. Even in our capital city, Ankara, still many areas have sidewalks that are not usable with a pushchair, so most people seem to amble along the road, dodging taxis and small, fast courier motorbikes rather than dice with death negotiating the official ‘walkways’. Any visiting western lawyers used to filing lawsuits against municipalities for the slightest ‘bump’ would no doubt have a coronary looking at the state of most of our country’s roads and sidewalks 🙂

But not here…

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For other posts in this series on İzmir, click HERE !

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4 thoughts on “İZMİR…. Not all cramped streets

  1. Joanne says:

    Now you have me wanting to return to Izmir – fingers-crossed Hubby’s next posting is somewhere in Europe! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joannesisco says:

    You always provide such an interesting perspective on your corner of the world!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Thanks Joanne… There are of course many interesting well-renowned sites stuffed border to border in our country, but you all have seen those images posted a thousand times by blogging travellers ad infiinitum; my thought trail is that ‘normal’ stuff will rarely be seen by my followers in different lands. Doesn’t always make for popular impacting attractive images that gather 000’s of likes, but I’m weird like that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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