Natalia and Lucy here –
On our Sunday excursion we stumbled upon possibly the strangest event we’ve ever experienced. We were wandering up the Golden Horn intending to find the Chora Museum when an unexpected turn took us elsewhere. We arrived at a gated field filled people- which we originally assumed was either a carnival gathering or market. We decided to walk in to check it out. What we saw wasn’t fresh produce but rather cages and cages of squawking birds. Pigeons to be exact. Was this a prize winning bird show perhaps?
Completely baffled and utterly confused we approached a man tending to his birds, and had the following broken turkish/english conversation-
Us: “What is this?”
Pigeon Man: “Bazaar!”
Us: “To eat? As pets? ”
Pigeon Man: (laughs. puts bird in Lucy’s hands)
(we felt silly asking but the kebab grill to our left containing strangely shaped meat made it seem like a possibility)
After walking just a bit further we realized how wrong we were- we didn’t realize how many ways there are to improve a pigeon’s life.
Hand crafted pigeon housing?
Bejewel your pigeon with assorted colors of pigeon anklets?
Is your pigeon sick? No problem! We have FlyQuil, Adbill, Flylenol….
Pigeon on a leash?
Pigeon with fluffy feet?
We hear that if you head out to Taksim Square at 3 in the morning you can see the men gathering their birds. JUST KIDDING…The pigeons for sale were much prettier than your average street pigeon.