WORLD NEWS: Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish city’s stallholders voice anger over new gentrifying law that bans long tradition of shouting their wares to passersby.
“White butterflies! Only three lira!” The trader at the weekly street market in the conservative Fatih district of Istanbul has few qualms about broadcasting the merits of his wares – but he is breaking the law.
A new law introduced last month aims to put an end to the long tradition of market traders singing, shouting or otherwise extolling the virtues of anything they have to sell, from teapots to potatoes. Offenders face fines and even the closure of their pitches.
Not surprisingly, stallholders at many of Istanbul’s 350 markets are fuming.
“Some traders don’t come any more because of the fines,” Murat Simsek says. His neighbouring stallholder was shut down by the municipal police after calling out to passersby, he adds.
“In other parts of the city, markets are being closed down, and they want to finish this market as well,” says Simsek, adding that the increase in supermarket chains has also had an impact.
“We always have to have one eye on the street to watch out for inspectors. But you’re not a market trader if you don’t shout.”
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