A gathering around the dining table in Cankurtaran, present company includes regulars, a few tek (glasses of single rakı) and heart-to- heart conversations. Across the crowd sits Ayşe Anne. She starts talking.
- My friends call me Ayşe Anne. (“Mother Ayşe”)
- I am a restaurant manager and cook. If I hadn't done that, I would have wanted to take on hotel management, which I am already trained for.
- According to my friends, my specialty is cooking food. Hospitality, if you ask me.
- I live in Cankurtaran in Istanbul, but in my heart I am from Büyükdere.
- If I'm not at home in the neighborhood, I'm usually in Giritli, my restaurant.
- If I find a beloved neighbor in the community I live in, I feel like I belong there.
- In the neighborhood, I like walking on the shore the most because the seaside gives me peace with the smell of iodine and the southwester.
- In the morning, I start my day by drinking mint tea around 7-8 a.m. I don't end the day without a glass of wine.
- When I'm looking for a quick chitchat in the neighborhood, I go out the door. I speak with all the neighbors or the children of the neighborhood.
- Only a true Cankurtaran local, who is fond of their stomach, knows that Giritli is the hood tavern.
- You can find the songs that are currently playing at Giritli in this playlist. This is mostly the ones I gathered during my travels to Greece.
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📍 Cankurtaran, Ayşe Şensılay
Newsletter & Author
A weekly journal of neighbourhoods to dig into urban culture, people stories, and sociocultural dynamics. In every issue, we meet an inhabitant in their hood where they live, create or belong.