Football. No way you can live in Istanbul and not stumble on it. You can try to ignore it but eventually you will hear about it. If not via television, radio or eavesdropping, then via the supporter groups that take the streets before the game.
Last week there was a game between Galatasaray (I guess) and Trabzonspor. The visiting team supporters, probably a few hundred of them, wearing blue and burgundy, walked through Beyoğlu chanting and clapping their hands. People stopped and watched them go by, smiles on their faces, taking pictures. Some of the fans have probably come a long way from the Black sea coast city Trabzon (we are talking hours and hours on the bus). Just to see their team play, and of course: to make some good supporting noise!
A friend took me to a tiny meyhane, a restaurant with a duo playing Turkish classical music, popular tunes everybody seems to know. The place was on a small street, just a turn away from the crowded İstiklal street. There was no sign on the street as there usually isn’t. We climbed up the stairs to the (if I remember right) fouth floor. Still no sign. Just a faint echo of music and people talking and laughing trickling from the door. Once the door opened it became clear that this was a very popular place indeed.
I really enjoyed evening and the welcoming atmosphere. Listen to the lively soundscape:
This crowded high street of Beyoglu is for pedestrians only excluding the tram leading from Taksim Square to Tünel Square. The nostalgic tram was revived in late 80’s. It rides pretty slow, so there is plenty of time to listen to the soundscape from the open window of the rear platform. The hum of the voices, shouts of the merchants and the shop loudspeakers are accompanied by the drivers’ hand-operated bell intended to warn the tourists and the local pedestrians.