Nick Papantonis

Multimedia Journalist


               One of the many strangely weird things about Istanbul are (some of) the elevators.

               How can an elevator be weird, you ask? You push the button, the elevator doors close, and it goes up/down, picking up people along the way, right? Well, in Turkey, elevators- if the building has them (most new buildings do, especially those with more than four floors)- don’t exactly act that way.

               In the US, elevators work entirely based on the direction they are traveling in. If the elevator is going up, it will continue to go up until it reaches the highest possible floor it needs to go to, to drop someone off or pick someone up. In Istanbul, for all of the elevators I have had the pleasure of riding on, the direction is only a part of the consideration. Here, the order in which the buttons were pushed matters. If you push down, and someone two floors up also pushes down after you, the elevator will stop to pick you up, and then continue upwards to pick up the other person.

               This means that you select a floor below, the elevator arrow indicates it will descent, and then all of a sudden your stomach sinks to your knees as the lift rises. It was quite confusing at first but you get used to it after a while.

               Unfortunately, my Monday morning class is in Galata, which has nine floors and two tiny elevators, and getting up or down can be quite the rollercoaster sometimes.


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