Istanbul-a city of traders?

One of the striking things that hits you as you walk around Istanbul is the number of traders and small shops you will encounter.

There appears to be a disproportionately large number of small shops and traders selling just about anything. Maybe they are all scratching out a living. Obviously some are more successful than others.

But the sheer number and the enthusiasm with which they try to sell you whatever they have can be wearing after a short while.

Maybe the reason is the position of Istanbul/Constantinople/Byantium historically as a crossroads for traders between East and West, between Asia and Europe and the Silk Road/Spice road history. Even physically getting down the narrow streets in certain areas, especially the Galata area, can be a bit of a struggle.

Nevertheless, they give a great deal of colour and vibrancy to the city. For some, however, it is just too much. If you are born and reared into retailing it is an easier thing to accept.