Photographer's Note

Cibali is a traditional quarter on the hills looking upon the Golden Horn, in the old city of Istanbul.

With its wooden houses, children playing in the narrow streets, flowers on the windows and laundry left to dry on ropes, Cibali is a favorite place for new photographers.

I took this shot in 1988, the year I seriously got involved with b&w photography. Its title is inspired by the gesture of these children (who must have turned their 30s by now), who made me think of Wilhelm Tell shooting the apple on his son's head.

Scanned from analog, cropped, increased contrast.

For the first shot of the “Istanbul, 22 years ago” series:


William Tell (German: Wilhelm Tell / French: Guillaume Tell / Italian: Guglielmo Tell / Romansh: Guglielm Tell) is a folk hero of Switzerland in early 14th century.

The legend goes like this:

William Tell was known as an expert shot with the crossbow. In his time, the Habsburg emperors of Austria were seeking to dominate Uri. Gessler, the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf, raised a pole in the village's central square, hung his hat on top of it, and demanded that all the townsfolk bow before the hat. When Tell passed by the hat without bowing to it, he was arrested. As punishment, he was forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son. Otherwise, both would be executed. Tell was promised freedom if he successfully made the shot. Tell split an apple on his son's head with a bolt from his crossbow. Gessler noticed that before the shot Tell had removed two crossbow bolts from his quiver, not one, and after the shot asked him why. Tell replied that if he had killed his son, he would have used the second bolt on Gessler himself. Gessler was angered, and had Tell bound. He was sent to prison but managed to escape.

Tell finally killed Gessler, shooting him with his crossbow. Tell's defiance sparked a rebellion, in which he played a leading part. The struggle eventually led to the formation of the Swiss Confederation.


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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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