Age 85, still on the street in Berlin.


Age 85, still on the street in Berlin.

Ali Akdeniz and Zoe Spawton first met outside a cafe in 2012. Ali leaned forward with one hand on his hip and the other with his rosary.

Spawton, who is taking photos, has been a waitress here. Every morning she would see ali working on the road because she was putting tables and chairs in front of her.

He caught her attention by putting together a furry dress. Today, ali is in a delicate beige suit, pig skin hat and sheepskin coat.

We walked into the warmth of the cafe, where 85 years old, a lively dresser.

Ali arrived in Berlin 45 years ago from Turkey. He said he had been making a wardrobe.

Ali said: “I always like fashion, especially my own fashion. “But at my age, you have to go a long way to look good. I am an upright citizen, and I have a respectable profession, so I wear it like this.

Spawton, from Melbourne, Australia, who came here three years ago, is taking his picture, and she’s talking about it. It became a daily ritual, and photos formed what ali was wearing.

“His staple food is a classic suit,” she explains. “When I say ‘staple food’, he has a variety of suits, electric blue, red, light pink, green, everything.

Spawton says ali throws a fashion curve ball from time to time, but it can be surprising.

“There were army camouflage, military uniforms, military pants, military caps, and don’t forget his triple denim,” she recalls.

Ali said he was very pleased to say, “I know zoe first greeted me, she was fine, but I was generous enough to give me coffee, boss?

The twinkle in ali’s eyes had produced 15 sons and three daughters, who he thought were 80 grandchildren, although he said he had never counted them. But none of them lived alone in Berlin, so spock had quickly become part of his family.

Ali, who lives in Turkey until he is 40, shows on the left at the age of 25.

Thank you Zoe Spawton

“Well, it’s not like my old friendship, because we have language barriers,” she said. “Our conversation was very simple.”

They communicate broken, but constantly improve German. While chatting, she still has a lot of speculation. “In a sense, it’s exciting, especially when I find these little pieces about him,” she said.

Only recently did he know that ali had been a circus performer: “of course he was in the circus, I thought he was a clown, a comedy, yes,” she said with a laugh. Ali let us carry out his sword devouring technology.

Ali is jack of all trades. He retired last month as a tailor. Before that, he said, he was also a shoemaker and a hairdresser.

Self-improvement is part of the immigrant experience they share.

“It’s interesting because we all represent two very different waves of immigrants to Berlin, and maybe it’s a self-evident understanding,” Spawton mused.

In the city, children have done their mohawks and hipsters, but on average berliners don’t blink. Ali’s unorthodox street style found an outsider’s eye.


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