Accelerate industrialization is mostly liable for uncontrolled urbanization. After 1950 there has been a continuous migration from the East to the West, from rural areas to urban areas and from small cities to larger ones (overcrowded, having difficulty to adapt their infrastructures). Poor constructions called "gecekondu" meaning "built overnight", increase in the suburbs, and can be found next to residential districts.

Istanbul is the largest city with 12 million inhabitants. Ankara, the capital, comes second with about 4.5millions. They are followed by Izmir, Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Konya....

With the concurrence of modern industrialization, traditional craftmen is still florishing. The bazaar, a traditional centre of merchants, traders and artisans, is a typical place where shops and workshops are bubbling over with activity.

People of modest conditions work as street hawkers and vendors (selling "simit" breads, corn, ayran…) or do lots of small jobs.

Grand Bazaar - İstanbul

Fruit vendor

Bazaar of Şanlıurfa

"Simit" vendor

Traditional water vendor
In the towns just like in the villages one can still find the traditional " kahve" (café), where people are sipping tea in traditional small glasses.

The Narghile or water pipe (which is a Middle Eastern type of pipe to smoke tobacco) is smoked in "nargile kahveleri", these traditional cafés where smokers usually sip coffee or tea (alcohol is not served) as they puff. One of the oldest famous narghile café in İstanbul is the Çorlulu Ali Paşa Medresesi located at Beyazıt. Also the cafés located at Tophane which are very lively at night.
These cafés are the remains of thousands that sprouted after the first tobacco leaves arrived from America in 1601. The Turks took to smoking with a passion, and it became one of the main pastimes of the male population . In 1633, outraged at the rapid spread of this new vice, Sultan Murad IV even banned smoking on pain of death. But this prohibition merely drove smokers underground, and a few years later, officials lifted it. The narghile used to be at the center of Istanbul's social and political life. Offering one to a guest became an important sign of trust, and withholding it could be taken as a serious insult. Later the advent of the cigarette changed the way the Turks use tobacco. Today Turkish people no longer have the time to sit and smoke a water-pipe. Skilled craftsmen still make the traditional narghile which are bought by tourists as souvenirs.

Narghile smokers - Tire

Pierre Loti smoking the narghile