Random Encounter is explained by Wikipedia "as a feature commonly used in hack and slash role-playing games and computer and video games whereby encounters with non-player character enemies or other dangers occur sporadically and at random."
Perhaps not as dramatic, but in a city of 15 million people random encounters are bound to happen at any given time framing odd moments of co-existence. Sometimes they pass you by, sometimes they hold you in your tracks.
Wikipedia piece goes on to continue: "In general, Random Encounters are used to simulate the challenges associated with being in a hazardous environment such as monster infested wilderness or dungeon, but do not contribute to the plot".
It's true in our stress-induced lives we are growing to be less tolerant to what's different and conceive them as 'monsters' or 'aliens' or to be totally ignorant and let encounters disappear in the flowing crowds.
But then again in 15 million one can imagine to have all sorts of games going on at the same time. Some may totally be hazardous, some not as much, some just innocent.
In a city as old as Istanbul, it's not only people who are victims of strange random encounters, but also their 'things' which are left to circulate the town in search of new lives once they fall out of use or fashion. They mostly travel quite a bit from hand to hand parking at times on sides of streets, on top of collectors' carts or in vintage-vitrines hidden behind reflections of street-life staring at random encounters.