A harried man in his fifties darts up and down the narrow alleys around Istiklal Avenue on the European side of Constantinople (Istanbul), carrying packages of tightly folded newspapers in his arms. His name is Sebahattin Esen and though he doesn’t speak any Greek, he’s the longest-working distributor of Turkey’s oldest Greek newspaper, Apoyevmatini (“Afternoon”).
The paper caters to Constantinople’s Greek community, known as the Rûm, and has been in circulation for 94 years. Today, Constantinople is home to some 600 Greek families, most of whom get a copy of the paper, says Michalis Vasiliadis, its publisher.
Launched in July 1925, Apoyevmatini was the second paper to appear in the newly established Republic of Turkey, after the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet. Five days a week, it covered the politics of Turkey and Greece, and the goings-on of Turkey’s Greek community. Alongside harder news, readers can find announcements of christenings, graduations and obituaries.
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