Exploring the timeless fisherman culture on the bridges of Istanbul

Discovering the Art and Tradition of Fishing in the Heart of Turkey’s Vibrant Metropolis

As I stroll along the Bosphorus, admiring the stunning views of Istanbul’s skyline, I am struck by the abundance of fishermen casting their lines into the water. It’s a sight I’ve never seen before – dozens of men and women of all ages perched on the sides of the bridges that span the strait, patiently waiting for a bite.

Curious about this unique aspect of Istanbul’s culture, I strike up a conversation with one of the fishermen. He’s an older man with weathered hands and a warm smile, who welcomes me into his world with open arms.

Over the next few hours, he teaches me about the art of fishing in Istanbul. He shows me his collection of handmade lures and bait, each carefully crafted to attract a specific type of fish. He points out the different species that can be found in the Bosphorus, from sea bass to mackerel to squid.

As we talk, I realize that fishing isn’t just a pastime for these people – it’s a way of life. For many of them, the daily catch provides a crucial source of income and sustenance. They have a deep respect for the sea and the creatures that live within it, and they take care to only take what they need.

But fishing on the bridges of Istanbul is more than just a practical pursuit – it’s a social and cultural tradition. The fishermen often share stories and jokes with each other, passing the time as they wait for a tug on their lines. They welcome outsiders like me with open arms, eager to share their passion and knowledge with anyone who’s interested.

As I watch the sun set over the Bosphorus, surrounded by the gentle sounds of water lapping against the shore and fishermen swapping tales, I feel a deep sense of appreciation for this aspect of Istanbul’s culture. The city is full of surprises and hidden gems, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience it in a new and unexpected way.


Smilo Visuals

A documentary photographer, filmmaker, journalist, and traveler. Being creative and documenting stories keep me happy and smiling.


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This is a space where I share my passion for documentary photography and videography. Here, you will find daily updates, pictures, videos, articles, and stories from my various projects, as well as my travels and personal sharings.

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