Yellow Dolmuşs are the small buses that are set up on specific routes passing through the various districts of Istanbul. It is neither bus, nor taxi; it is something in between. Its transportation capacity is for nine persons including the driver. There are just starting and ending spots but no specific stations on its route. The driver is supposed to let the customers get in or leave at any point on the route (wherever the traffic allows it).
In this text, the transitionary public- private space relations and the interaction between people and physical space in Dolmuş, will be analyzed relying on the very very personal observations and one to one public survey. :)
The system of the yellow Dolmuş is neither driven by any company nor by the government. Every driver or independent Dolmuş owner can lead his or her own hiring system. In other words, they are small-scale transportation systems, available for twenty-four hours in a day. It can be also stated that they are covering the wholes in Istanbul’s infrastructure especially where state services are getting limited.
There are no specific timetables for the dolmuş. One can take them at any point, If knows the specific routes. They serve a very unique experience with their usage of the space that their customers are attending for a limited period of time. These customers are more likely to be the residents of the city rather than tourists. Because of the fact that tourist have less knowledge about where and how to use yellow dolmuş.
The seat number 1 is little bit confusing location. It is the seat of the ones who wants to be invisible in the crowds. There are two options for the residents of that seat. He/ she can hide its legs through the window and let the people of the seats numbers 2-3 and 4 slip away without any interaction. On the other hand, if the resident wants to socialize, this seat gives chance to talk with any of them, even with eye contact.
The seat number 5 can be defined as the seat of challenges.
In the past years, traffic police intervened to the seats 7, 6 and 5. The police had forbid the seat number 5 and checked out for months if it had been really cancelled or some drivers had gone on taking customers to the seat number 5 residents to the seat of 7 and 6. But after a while they stopped checking, so the modification process has started for most of the dolmuşs. That’s how the seat number 5 come back into existence again and at the last case total space of the 7, 6 and 5, become the seats for two and a half person instead of three. That’s how the seat number 5 become ‘geopolitically critic’ zone.
The resident of this seat has to be aware of the importance of external support by holding the door and the front seat to be able to fit properly to the space. And additionally it’s the responsibility of the seat number 5 to help to open the window, if the seat number 1 attempts to open.
Though, it always remains as the most desired part of the dolmuş. It is the closest seat to the door. Elderlies and short distance customers have made that seat popular. And also as there is enough space next to that seat for big luggages, the customers with huge bags follow them.
The seat number 6 is most interactive seat. In the various combinations, there is a possibility for the resident of this seat to pass four more person’s money to the driver. It can be called ‘the hottest point for the incidental interaction.’
The resident of the seat number 7 can take the personal decision in terms of interaction. Whether she/he can take the responsibility to extend money coming from the seats number 4 and 3 or just look through the window and leave the duty to seat number 6 in a tricky way.
One more considerable thing for the resident of the seat number 7 is its dilemma between the seat number 6. Because there is the third option that both residents decide to extend money simultaneously. And that situation can even lead to be in physical interaction from the hands. But no fear, this person has to interact with the 6 and 5 anyway, he/she is leaving the Dolmuş.
The seat number 8 is one of the most popular seat. There are many reasons for it to deserve this popularity in terms of private space:
· This is the best seat for the ones whom asks for little bit isolation and privacy from the rest of the customers.
· One can sleep without being visible to the others.
· The resident of this seat is only responsible from giving her/his own payment.
· And this seat is the only seat equal to the driver’s seat in width and comfort.
· For the ones who have many bags it is even worth to wait for the next dolmuş, as you can keep them nearby without interacting with anyone.
· One can enjoy peacefulness depending on the function of dampers.
But like all the other seats, number 8 has some challenges too.
· As the steps at the gate of number 8 is little bit higher, one got to be very athletic to jump over the seat, in the middle of the traffic.
· The person siting in this seat is responsible from cleaning the window in vaporous climates in wintertime.
· If the driver changes the route, again number 8 is the seat that should help driver to change the name boards.
· Though the reason is still very unclear, residents of this seat have the tendency to sit closer to the right side of the seat. And this tendency is warping the sloppy shape of the surface of the seat. That slope in the ground of the seat can be painful for the waist especially for journeys taking more than thirty minutes.
· The person sitting in this seat also has to take into consideration of getting tired from following the road with full concentration.
Driver and the seat 9:
Needless to say, within the all dolmuş residents, the driver is the toughest leading actor . That’s why, the driver will be the focus rather than the characteristics of the (unfortunately very exceptionally) seat in this part.
He/ She is the person who has the widest personal space in the all-interior space of the yellow dolmuş. Besides, the customers have very little knowledge about the opportunities of this seat.
The driver is the person that takes the fares and drives in sync. He/ she can be whether the owner of the yellow dolmuş or the temporarily hired driver. But mostly, the wife or the mother of the owner of the owner dolmuş driver makes the personal belongings like lacework towel at the front side of the dolmuş.
If he/ she decides to be fast, you are fast. Especially during the night, if he/ she decides to spend less time on the road but risk little bit from your lifespan, he/ she has the skills to do it.
Don't pay attention the way I define the sex of the driver as 'he/ she'. Most of the drivers are very HE. But just, sometimes there is the legend that there are some women drivers exist. Personally, I as a very permanent resident of yellow dolmuş (more than fifteen years) never seen one, by any chance.
The seats 7-6-5 and 4-3-2-1: Gender relations can be counted as something binding for those seats.
Between the seats 7-6 and 6-5: Incidental dilemma about the expanding money of the seats 3-2-1.
Two aspects about 4- 1: Those are the seats sharing the same speciality in terms of the warped shape of the seats. They both have the same viewpoint angle through the window not to be in contact with others.
Between the seats 9- 8, 4-5, 5-6, 6-7: Higher possibility to have social interaction like the money exchange, dialogue or eye contact.
Between the seats 3-2, 4-5, 5-6, 6-7: Danger of physical intervention to the other the seat through width of hips.
The seats for the elastic bodies: Number 7 and 4
The seats for the narrow shoulders: 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1
The seats for the ones whom do not have any anatomical problem from the waist: 1, 4, 8,
The best seat for the athletic bodies with wide hips: 8
Asocial mood seats: 8, 7, 4