I received an email from a college the Netherlands asking permission to use my photo (amazing they found it online) in a class on doing business in Turkey.
I was charmed by the Typewriter Men who sit in the public square with their manual typewriters, navigating the bureaucracy for their clients, and writing letters for those who couldn't read or write.
The college commented: "We would like to use your photo of a man typing a petition, 'dilekce'. It is a typical view in Turkey... A lot of things have to be handed in to the government in a typical way. And many people don't know how. But the people with the typewriters do."
I went looking for a Turkish typewriter one day – the characters are different and I love type – and the search took me all over Istanbul. I even received a marriage proposal (see blog entry.)
The last day I was there, I had him write a friend a letter in Turkish wishing her a Happy Birthday, and expressing my love and friendship for her. It is a beautiful document. You don't see the imprint of typewriters on paper anymore.