Age 85, still on the street in Berlin.


85, still on the streets of Berlin.

Ali Akdeniz and spawzoe Spawton first met outside a cafe in 2012, with one hand on his hip and the other holding his rosary.

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

He drew her attention by putting together a furry dress. Today, ali wore a delicate beige suit, pigskin hat and parka.

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

Ali arrived in Berlin 45 years ago from Turkey. He said he had been working on the wardrobe.

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

Spawton, from Melbourne, Australia, took his picture three years ago and is talking about it. It became a daily ritual and the photos formed what ali was wearing.

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

Spawton says ali throws a fashion curvy ball from time to time, but that may come as a surprise.

“There were fans, uniforms, pants, hats, don’t forget his triple jeans,” she recalled.

Ali said he was happy. “I know zoe said hello to me first.

Ali’s eyes twinkled with 15 sons and three daughters, whom he considered 80 grandchildren, though he said he had never counted them. But none of them lived alone in Berlin, so spock soon became part of his family.

Ali, who lived in Turkey until he was 40, was shown on the left at age 25.

Thank you Zoe Spawton

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

Their communications were broken, but they kept improving the germans. She had a lot of guesses during the conversation. “In a sense, it’s exciting, especially when I find these little pieces about him,” she said.

Only recently did he know that ali was a circus performer: “he was in the circus, of course. Ali asked us to develop his phagocytic technology.

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

Self-improvement is part of their Shared immigrant experience.

“It’s interesting because we all represent two very different kinds of immigration from Berlin, perhaps an implicit understanding,” mused Mr Spatton.

In this city, the children have finished their Mohawk and fashionista, but on average, berliners don’t blink. Ali’s unorthodox street style caught the attention of outsiders.


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