Simit sellers to be back in central Istanbul, municipality says
The municipality said in a statement on Sept. 25 that just 85 simit stalls had been temporarily removed from their spots for 'cleaning work and the updating of simit vendors’ information.'Street vendors selling simits, a local savory enjoyed by all walks of life, will return to their spots after having been removed from central spots across Istanbul, according to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB).
The municipality said in a statement on Sept. 25 that just 85 simit stalls had been temporarily removed from their spots for “cleaning work and the updating of simit vendors’ information.” The İBB also said the 85 stalls would be returned to their old spots on Sept. 29.
The total number of registered street vendors who sell simit in the city is 1,396, said the statement, adding that only 172 vendors were located in central spots.
However, Tayfun Karaali, the head of the municipal patrol (zabıta), previously said in a statement that the municipality had made such a decision to combat pirate simit sellers.
“Soon, those simit sellers who are really in need of a job will return,” Karali said, adding that the municipality would help those who need to sell simit to make ends meet for some time.
Ali Yücel, the head of the simit vendors’ chamber, told Hürriyet that the İBB had not dealt with the issue for the last four or five years, adding that decisions about who is permitted to sell simit are made by district mayors.
According to Yücel, there are about 8,000 simit vendors across Istanbul, with 250 vendors removed from central spots.
It is a tradition for many Turks to have simit for breakfast, and street vendors can generally be found at every main street, subway station or any other central point.