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"A Magic Trick" Streetlife Tip by gilabrand

Streetlife, Istanbul: 8 reviews and 16 photos

  Put them behind bars
by gilabrand


So much advice on how to get rid of the annoying hawkers that accost you in the markets and streets of Istanbul – and nothing works. Smiling at them politely and shaking your head doesn’t work. Saying “no” only lets them hear your accent and start a round of guessing “where you’re from.” It is very hard to go about your business with people tagging after you and sometimes surrounding you from all sides, shoving boxes of fake perfume and other counterfeit goods into your hands.

But I discovered a magic trick that does work. These hawkers are breaking the law and they know it. If they are caught by one of the police patrols in the area, they are done for. I personally saw several of these characters being handcuffed and questioned by the police.

So here’s what you do: Look them in the eye, and quietly say “Be careful, poLEEZ”, with a knowing look. They scatter and run off into the bushes like frightened rabbits. Maybe it makes things harder for the cops, but at least they leave you alone. I can tell you from experience that it works like a charm.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 6, 2006
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