This famous photo of a newspaper-selling boy was taken in 1958 at the Little Hagia Sophia district in Istanbul by the journalist Hilmi Şahenk (1903-1972). The 9-year-old boy is running, waving a newspaper in his right hand, and there’s a small bunch of newspapers under his left arm. There’s a 1950 Plymouth in the background.
Hayrettin Baş was the newspaper-selling boy in the photo
The name of the newspaper-selling boy was Hayrettin Baş. His father was a carpenter, working for a radio maker, making the radios’ wooden frames. Hayrettin was working as a pupil at this radio-making shop, varnishing the frames built by his father.
In his spare time, he was selling newspapers. He was earning 30-35 pennies, which was about the price of a loaf of bread. Hayrettin recalls “I was giving the bread to my mother”.
Hayrettin remembers the day, saying “there was a photographer in a beige trench-coat, he was wearing a fedora, and his camera was really big”.
Haytrettin also became a carpenter when he grew up. He died on July 6, 2021, aged 72, due to diabetes.
- Little Hagia Sophia district is named after the Little Hagia Sophia, formerly the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, a former Greek Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople. It was built between 532 and 536, and converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. This Byzantine building with a central dome plan was erected in the sixth century by emperor Justinian (482-565); despite its Turkish name, it likely was not a model for the world-famous Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”), with which its construction was contemporary, but it is nonetheless one of the most important early Byzantine buildings in Istanbul.
- Little Hagia Sophia on Wikipedia