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Jonathan Lewis March 8, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.

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.”

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