The government continues to pour investment into the transport infrastruture of the city, which makes the commuters glad! There are the usual disputes, complaints and moans about other political issues I'll not comment on here, but getting around the city is getting easier (as long as you avoid using a private car!).
One anachronistic mode of transport remains; the minibus. I expect precious few tourists who come to the city would brave transport on a minibus as it's pretty hairy and requires knowing some of the Language. You can flag one of these minibuses down anywhere along it's route, although you'd only know it's route if you were pretty familiar with the area. Likewise you can get off one of these at any time too, if you can make it to the door past the human flesh and bones that are often crammed in tight.
|Map of Istanbul minibus routes|
Passengers on the minibuses are a set of different stereotypes. There are the young students (usually girls) who quietly sit listening to music through head-phones whilst furiously texting. They look to be in a world of their own trying to ignore (understandably) the riff-raff around them. They are also impervious to the hard stares of any standing elderly passengers, who by all that Turkish culture holds precious should be offered the seats of the younger passengers. This particular type of passenger often sits down in a seat and then passes the fare up through the bus via the people sitting in front. This is a clever ploy to avoid losing the possibility of getting a seat through wasting crucial seconds walking up the bus and paying the driver. I have sympathy with these young people as commuting on a minibus everyday is a tiresome thing and these habits are born of necessity, plus my daughter is one of them!
Anyway, lots more sterotypes to come, I'll stop there.
Untitled Watercolour - on 600gm paper