In one of the backfall streets, a householder surrounded by a group of children tries to push uphill an old Renault (our Dacia break). He waved us to help him, so for more than five minutes we pushed the car, accompanied by the children’s shouting. Behind the steering wheel stood the smallest of children, so we climbed in a zigzag manner, which almost crushed the old men standing by the narrow road. The child, whose head could hardly be seen from behind the steering wheel, was frantically turning the steering wheel to one side only, until his father and the old men by the road began to shout. He changed the direction just as determined but then resumed the zigzag. The car stood still in the middle of the road and the father thanked us, his hand over his heart, and mentioned the name of Allah. I couldn’t understand if it was an exercise or a game for his offsprings and we began to walk down the hill, somewhat bandy.
The houses are very small, some of them even carved in stone. We entered a house that was nearly a ruin - a quarter of the main room looked like a cave, providing an outright access to a portion of rock apparently too solid to be removed. Many of the houses around seemed deserted, on the verge of being demolished. On the surrounding hills the land appeared to be thoroughly grubed. The Turkish government massively demolished this kind of houses, in order to allow the construction of private buildings – the apartment houses we saw ever since we got near Istanbul.