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Javad Parsa February 6, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran, Turkey.
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Iranian refugees in Turkey, Ankara 2010

Javad Parsa (b. 1985, Iran) grew up in Iran, but had to flee in 2009 due to an arrest-order by the Iranian government after his images of the Iranian uprising that year were published abroad. He has since lived in Turkey and in 2010 has been living in Oslo and currently freelances for VG, one of Norway’s largest newspapers. In 2013 he was selected as a participant of the Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo. His work has been published in numerous national and international publications including TIME magazine, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Le Figaro, Paris Match, The Guardian, 6Mois and Amnesty International.

About the Photograph:

“Every year large numbers of Iranians travel to Turkey. Of this group crossing the border there are people, who have  political, social, and religious views in conflict with Iran’s government policy. Many feel it necessary to apply to the UN for refugee status. Danika is nine years old and has been living in Turkey for the past two years. Davood and his wife and their two daughters have been living in Turkey as refugees for the last two years. Davood’s wife is from Philippines. They met in Japan and married in the Philippines. Davood was introduced to Christianity through his wife and converted from Islam to Christianity in Iran. His brother informed the authorities that Davood had changed his faith. He had to flee Iran for fear of being prosecuted. In this photo, Davood is getting ready for church where Iranian Christians get together once a week.”

Marika Dee January 2, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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From the project “Deadly Jeans”. Istanbul 2012

Marika Dee (b.1972, Belgium) is a documentary photographer based in Brussels. She graduated with a law degree from the University of Leuven in Belgium. After years of working as a jurist specialized in international law, Marika recently started working as a freelance documentary photographer. Since then she has photographed in Kosovo, Romania, Turkey, Belgium and Italy. Her images have been published in De Volkskrant, dS Weekblad, LeVif/L’express and Arbetaren among others. Her work has received recognition from UNICEF POY and International Photography Awards.

About the Photograph:

“The photograph is part of the series called “Deadly Jeans” on the human cost of sandblasting in the jeans industry in Turkey, one of the world’s biggest exporters of jeans. Before being diagnosed with silicosis, an incurable and often deadly pulmonary disease, Mehmet sandblasted jeans in workshops in Istanbul. He ives with his extended family in the working class neighborhood of Gaziosmanpaşa in Istanbul. Like many who ended up working in the sandblasting industry in Istanbul, the family came from a poor region in eastern Turkey looking for work. Mehmet spends most of his days in bed, often in the company of his nephew Faruk. He suffers from a severe shortness of breath and oxygen therapy facilitates his breathing. Since being diagnosed with silicosis seven years ago, Mehmet’s medical condition has steadily deteriorated.”

“The sandblasting technique is used to give jeans a worn look. Workers use compressors to blow under high pressure sand at jeans. In Turkey the practice was widespread until banned in 2009 when doctors diagnosed silicosis in former textile workers. Although the danger of silicosis has been known for a long time, especially in the mining industry, Turkey was the first country where textile workers were diagnosed with the disease. Until now approximately 60 persons have died and about 1200 have been diagnosed with silicosis. But medical experts fear that more than 5,000 persons are affected in Turkey.”

Tommaso Protti August 22, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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From the project about Kurds in Turkey. Mardin, Anatolia 2012

Tommaso Protti (1986, Italy) grew up in Rome and is currently based in London. His interest in social problems led him to getting a degree in Political Science and then into photography. He worked as an assistant to Francesco Zizola and received an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. His stories document social, political and environmental issues. Tommaso’s work has been widely exhibited in Italy and the UK. He received a Lucie Award and two first prizes at the Fotoleggendo and Portfolio Italia. Tommaso is a contributing photographer with Le Monde and The New York Times, and a member of Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of a long-term project that aims to identify how social, political and economic factors have contributed to alienating the Kurdish minority in Turkey, and to capture the social fabric of the region and Kurdish struggle to obtain full recognition of their cultural identity. The photo was made inside a primary school in Mardin, one of the largest cities in the southeastern Anatolia region where the Kurdish population is predominant.”

“I wanted to raise questions about the issue of the Kurdish language and the fact that it has not yet been fully recognized and authorized to be taught in Turkey. The language challenged the national myth that all citizens of Turkey are ethnic Turks. So it was treated as a crime against the state. Repression and forced assimilation were so brutal that many Kurds in Turkey no longer speak Kurdish fluently. When I saw the portrait of Musafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder father of the Turkish Republic, inside the school I immediately thought that it could symbolize in a picture the strength of the Turkish State and its strict control over the young Kurdish generations. The rest was a patient aesthetic research of how to combine all the elements available to me, and the wait to place everything in a spontaneous way.”

Susana Girón August 1, 2013

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Refugees in Istanbul, Turkey 2012

Susana Girón (b.1975, Spain) received her Master’s degree in Physical Education. Years later she graduated in Photography and Visual Arts at the University Miguel Hernandez in Elche. She received the Fototraballo International Grant and also was awarded in the International Photography Awards Competition IPA 2012 with two Honorable Mentions. Her images have been published in GEO, Le Figaro, ABC, EIKON Magazine, El País Digital, Art Magazine and Basel Zeitung. Susana has published two books: Legados: Generaciones en tránsito (Artual 2010) and Faith, Passion, Destiny (Nortempo 2012). She is represented by Polaris Images.

About the Photograph:

“This picture of Alwande is part of a project about Iraqi refugees in Istanbul. She divorced her husband in Iraq and was forced to leave her country and go to Turkey after receiving several death threats. Her husband, her family and the society  rejected her for being divorced and a single mother with two kids. She is journalist and worked in Teheran for local newspapers focused on women rights. After she arrived in Istanbul she waited to cross the Greek border and reach the United Kingdom with all her savings – 1.500 €.- after years of work:  She was evicted after being unable to pay her rent. Alwande has no legal papers. Her children were oblivious to the drama their mother was going through. I tried to seek asylum for her at a Catholic church and later tried to contact her several times but didn’t receive any response.”

Ton Koene March 11, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Istanbul, 2012

Ton Koene (b. 1963, Netherlands) holds a degree in Humanitarian practice from Oxford University. After graduation, he worked for sixteen years (1989-2006) for Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), primarily as Head of Mission in twelve conflict areas including Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Angola and Sudan. In 2006, he resigned from MSF and began working as a freelance photojournalist. He has covered prostitution in Nigeria, coal mining in Bulgaria, malnutrition in Somalia, Genocide in Darfur, the Inuits of the North Pole and police training in Afghanistan. Ton has produced five photo books and one textbook. He is based in Afghanistan and freelances with De Volkskrant. In 2012 he won the World Press Photo award for his Afghan police portraits.

About the Photograph:

“I was on assignment for the travel magazine TRVL to shoot a photo documentary on Istanbul. Each neighborhood has its own character. There is the eastern and more boring site across the Bosporus. There is the touristic center where you can photograph the diversity of people hanging around, all buying the same useless souvenirs.  But there are also many local areas across the city where tourists don’t go because they feel uncomfortable with these unknown areas. They are scared to leave their safe touristic habitat. These are the living quarters of average Turkish families. In the evening, when the sun goes down and the city cools down, families gather outside in front of their houses to chat, smoke and laugh. This picture was taken in one of these neighborhoods. A mother is playing a ball game with her kids, the mullah was praying in the mosque which you can see in the background, people relax in front of the houses and share the latest urban gossip. There wasn’t much light beside the yellow streetlight but it was enough. This is the real Istanbul when you go off the well know path and let yourself be surprised with the unknown.”

Massimo Mastrorillo February 4, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Early morning commuters. Istanbul, Turkey 2011

Massimo Mastrorillo (b. 1961, Italy) studied at the University of Perugia, in Italy, and is a graduate of the European Institute of Design in Rome.  He works mainly on long term documentary projects, devoting himself to the deep consequences of war and natural disasters and their aftermaths on society. His  awards include: World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International (POYi), Best of Photojournalism (Magazine Photographer of the Year), the PDN Photo Annual, the International Photographer of the Year at the 5th Annual Lucie Awards and an Aftermath Grant (finalist, 2011). His work has been published in: Espresso, Newsweek, Internazionale, Vanity Fair, Vrij Nederland, Le Monde and Wired. Massimo recently founded the collective MASTODON.

About the Photograph:

“For years, the number of city dwellers has surpassed that of rural areas. New suburbs emerge to meet the growing demand for housing. A jumble of concrete covers the earth with no apparent interruption.  Between them, like a jigsaw puzzle interlocking recreational areas and shopping malls—the new places of socialization. Turkey is a country with a rapidly developing economy. Here the suburbs expand even more at dizzying rhythms. I wanted to photograph them in two large cities. One on European ground, Istanbul and the other on Asian ground, Gaziantep, in a sort of ideal transcontinental trip to point out the similarities. This work was the result of an assignment from Zaman, a Turkish newspaper celebrating its 25th anniversary. They called 25 photographers from all over the world to document different daily life stories in Turkey.”

Jonathan Lewis March 8, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Istanbul, Turkey 2010

Jonathan Lewis (b.1969, Wales) has been based in Istanbul for the last two years. From there he covers the region for various international media. He is a contract photographer for The Open Society Institute’s Eurasianet, documenting current news events and features through Central Asia. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications from the Guardian, Telegraph, Politiken, Der Spiega and the New York Times. Jonathan has exhibited at the Bursa International Photo Festival. He has a particular interest in issues relating to housing, urban regeneration and social migration which he has been exploring through his long term project about the central Istanbul district of Tarlabaşı. He is represented by Polaris Images.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken of a salepci (literally “salep man”) walking through the streets of the threatened central Istanbul district of Tarlabaşı selling salep, a hot drink brewed from the roots of the orchid and served up since Ottoman times in Turkey and Istanbul. Tarlabaşı is an area that prior to subsequent waves of forced expulsions of it’s ethnic Greek and Armenian population was home until the 1960s to a prosperous community of craftsmen and skilled working class, occupying Levantine-style homes in the center of the city. Following the pogroms of 1955 the district acquired a not undeserved reputation as a center for crime. Tarlabaşı is now a community for many of Turkey’s minority groups. African immigrants waiting to get to Europe, Roma evicted from their homes in redevelopment projects elsewhere and transsexuals on the margins of Turkish society.”

Pari Dukovic July 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Edirne, Turkey 2010

Pari Dukovic‘s (b.1984, Turkey) first connection to photography was through his father who gave him his first camera when he was about nine and later the work of Turkish photographer Ara Guler. In 2002 Pari moved to the United States to complete his undergraduate studies. After graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology he moved he New York City where he started developing several bodies of work and focusing his photographic style. His work has been published in Cent Magazine, Lee Jeans and has been exhibited at The Woodstock Center of Photography (NY) and Revel Scalo d’Isola Gallery, Milan. In March 2011, he was named one of the PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers.

About the Photograph:

This photograph was taken during the Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival in Edirne, Turkey. Kirkpinar is the oldest sporting competition in the world and a fascinating subculture. It is a tradition with a 650 year past. Wrestlers train for this festival for a whole year and their dream is to finally attain the Gold Belt. To the participants it is not just a sport but a way of life: discipline and dedication. In this image, the wrestlers are waiting in the cage area watching the matches taking place on the grass. I have been working on this project, all shot on film, since June 2010. By using my camera as a way of capturing their energy and freedom I, in turn, am able to capture my own.”

Frederic Lezmi June 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Istanbul 2008

Frederic Lezmi (b. 1978, Germany) grew up in Dakar, Geneva and the Black Forest. Due to his mixed roots, born to a Lebanese father and German mother, his work focuses on topics in the Middle East. His long term project “Arabian Prospects” has been awarded the Kodak Young Photographers Award 2004 and the Epson Art Award in 2007. His graduation series »Beyond Borders« has received the BFF-Promotion Award as well as the Reinhard-Wolf Prize 2009 for best final degree work in photography. “Beyond Borders” has been published by White Press/Schaden.com and has been nominated by Gerry Badger as his favorite photo book for the Kassel Photo Book Awards 2010. Frederic is represented by the Empty Quarters Gallery in Dubai and is a member of the German photo agency Laif.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture in Istanbul in late summer 2008 while working on my Beyond Borders project. I was en route from Vienna to Beirut by car to see where the west ends and where the orient begins. This picture is taken from the bar of the Marmara Hotel on central Taksim Square. During the first days in a new city I often try to get on a high point, a hotel or business tower to have a view of the town, to see where it ends and where it would be interesting to go. I usually do not take pictures from the top as this kind of view does not interest me and I prefer to take my pictures from street level. But on that day, entering the bar of this hotel there was a window cleaner blurring the whole city behind him and just doing his final stroke. What a lucky moment.”

Guia Besana April 11, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Istanbul, Turkey 2006

Guia Besana (b. 1972, Italy) is a freelance photographer currently living in Paris. After studying media and communication in Italy, she began photography in 2004. With her first personal photographic essay, “Inside Teheran”, she was selected as a finalist for the Leica Oskar Barnack award. Since 2004 her photographs have been published in magazines including Leica World Magazine, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, D La Repubblica delle Donne, Max and Marie Claire. In 2005 she documented Aids in Swaziland, South Africa, with her project “Traces” which was published as portfolio in Courrier International. In 2006 she joined Anzenberger Agency and works on several public commissions and personal projects with particular attention to subjects related to women.

About the Photograph:

“The woman in the picture is Ferda Erdinç, owner of Zencefil, a vegetarian restaurant in Istanbul. As it usually occurs to me when I start thinking of a photographic project, I try to find a visual structure which can illustrate an idea I already have in mind. In 2006 I decided to approach the subject of  Turkey joining the European Union and  my idea was to review woman’s opinion on this. I decided to make a series of portraits of women of  different religious and social backgrounds. This series of portraits is titled  “Interview in Istanbul” and is accompanied by an interview of each woman portrayed. The restaurant was on the ground floor of a very beautiful old building. As soon as I entered her blue office and saw her sitting on the sofa I knew I had my picture and the interview begun.”

Bas Uterwijk December 3, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Sirkeci Train Station, Istanbul, Turkey 2008

Bas Uterwijk (b. 1968, The Netherlands) is a freelance photojournalist based in Amsterdam. He started out in Special FX for film, but his career moved from classic model making for museums and advertising photography, through 3D animation and compositing FX to video game art-direction. Having worked with the creative basics of imagery for a long time, the move to photography wasn’t that strange. Some of his work on Indian Kushti wrestlers has been published in the Dutch edition of National Geographic Magazine.

About the Photograph:

“The image was taken in Istanbul, at the Sirkeci Train Station. Once inaugurated as the terminal for the legendary Orient Express, the Sirkeci station is a  beautiful remainder of times passed. Built by a Prussian architect in 1888 the bulding is characteristic for the many glorious times this city, a majestic link between East and West, has had. The man in the foreground is a waiter in the tea room of the station. One of my biggest challenges in photography is to be able to peek into the lives and vulnerable moments of people. Being accepted by subjects without them keeping on a mask or feeling uneasy requires a very non-verbal way of communicating. I feel this is quite important in most forms of photographing people, but especially for street photography.”

Vanessa Winship February 24, 2010

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School girls, East Anatolia, Turkey

Vanessa Winship (b.1960, Uk) is a graduate of Film, Video and Photographic arts from the Polytechnic of Central London . In 2009 she received second prize from the NPG for a portrait from her recent Georgia series, in 2008 she won the Godfrey Argent prize for the best Black and White image, from the same competition for one of her images from the Sweet Nothings series.The same work has been exhibited at Les Rencontres Arles Photographie, Host Gallery, London, and the Kunsthal, museum of contemporary art in Rotterdam. Vanessa is represented by Agence VU in France and currently lives in London.

About the Photograph:

“This particular image was made at a school on the outskirts of a town called Hakkari which lies very close to the Iraq border. On the evening we arrived at our hotel we were visited by the police who had come to tell us that the only real road leading out of the town had been blown up. At first we thought there had been some kind of an attack, but in fact it was being blown up in order to start new work enlarging the road. They cheerfully told us that it probably wouldn’t be open again for a few days and that the only other road out was over a mountain pass which wasn’t so easy to navigate! I’m working with a 4×5 camera was lucky with the light on this occasion. In many of the other schools I’d really struggled with there not being enough light inside, or there being impossibly bright sunlight outside. I usually asked the teachers if there were any sisters who might like to be photographed together, and so of course these two almost identical small girls presented themselves to me.”

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George Georgiou July 4, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Martyrs’ Day. Gillipoli, Turkey

George Georgiou (b. 1961, England) is a freelance photographer represented by Panos Pictures (UK) and Signatures (France). He has photographed extensively in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Turkey for the last decade, living and working in Serbia, Greece, and, for the last four years in Istanbul. Georgiou’s work has focused on people caught between communities, cultures, and ideologies. He recently finished a book project about Turkey to be published by Mets & Schilts, called Fault Lines: East to West. His awards include two World Press Photo prizes for “The Serbs” 1st Portrait stories 2003 and “Flour War, 2nd Arts stories 2005” a Pictures of the Year International first prize for “Istanbul Bombs,” 2004 and a Nikon Press Award UK for best photo essay 2000. He recently moved back to London and started a new book project looking at the topography and migrations of London.

About the Photograph:

“This Photograph was taken on Martyrs’ day in Gallipoli, Western Turkey. I was really surprised when I arrived at Gallipoli because I had always associated Gallipoli with the failed Allied campaign against the Ottomans during the first World War and the image of English, French, Australians and New Zealand veterans commemorating their dead on Anzac day. For Turkey, Gallipoli is perceived as one of the most important defining moments in their history and laid the grounds for the Turkish war of Independence and the foundation of the Turkish Republic. They celebrate this victory, which cost the lives of over a 100,000 people, on March 18, marking the day in 1915 when the Allies launched their naval attack on the Dardanelles. For me the significance of this event in relation to the work I was doing about contemporary Turkey was how the central position of how the Military and Ataturk have continued to play in modern Turkey and in many ways is best symbolized on this day.”

Kathryn Cook May 2, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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cook_turkey.jpg
Memory Denied: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Kathryn Cook (b 1979) is an American photographer based in Istanbul who is represented by Agence Vu and Prospekt fotografi. Her project on Turkey examines the impact of the Armenian massacres of the early 20th century and the scars it left on the country’s national identity. Turkey still refuses to officially label it “genocide,” a word Cook uses in the title of the project. Cook has worked as an Associated Press photographer in Panama, freelanced for a variety of publications including Time and The New York Times, Stern, Newsweek and was featured in PDN’s 30 emerging photographers. Her project Memory Denied was the recipient of aftermath Project award the in 2008.

About the Photograph:

“An Armenian man from Aleppo holds the photo of his mother, who survived the journey through SE Turkey to Aleppo, Syria. His memory is of course created out of her memory, as she passed down what she saw to him. Another reason the photo isn’t in focus in this picture. This passing down of memory is also an interesting aspect to this project, as it happened so long ago that children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have a different collective memory. The diaspora and politics have also influenced it. In Turkey this is especially interesting because of the political situation with not recognizing or discussing the past. What does a memory/collective memory “denied” feel like? And for me, what does it feel like visually? That is one of the main themes I am trying to explore… among others.”

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