Istiklal Caddesi remains one of the Beyoğlu district’s most eclectic strips. Once a stomping ground for Ottoman-era intellectuals, the street is now a crush of musicians, artists, bar hoppers, tourists, trollies, and young professionals.
Over a breakfast of tomatoes, cheese, olives, bread and hot, black tea, I asked Ergun what he had in mind. He spoke a word I don’t know, kırkım. It was the same word he had used on the phone the night before. “What’s a kırkım?” I asked.