Friday, September 16, 2011

Turkish fishermen: new edit

I revisited the outtakes of my Turkish fishermen story and based on feedback I got from Riccardo Venturi, I came up with a new edit. Please click here (or on the photograph below) to check it out:

Friday, September 9, 2011

A conscript soldier's send-off


Family members pose for pictures with the conscript soldier (center, with red scarf) at Esenler Bus Terminal in Istanbul, Turkey. I took the picture from inside a bus to Ankara. The terminal was packed with people sending off these young men. The police did nothing to facilitate the traffic; they were just watching, total chaos! The ride from where we were to the exit gates of the terminal (about 300 yards) took 45 minutes! Anyway, this picture pretty much summed up my observations during my morning walk around the back streets of Bayrampasa, apparently a quite conservative neighborhood. References to Islam were all over the place. The hamam (Turkish bath), where I took a bath, for instance, welcomed me with a big sign saying "Sovereignty belongs to Allah."

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the mastermind of Turkish secularism and the founder of the Republic of Turkey, on the other hand, said "Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the nation," and this is also the first sentence of the 6th article of the Turkish constitution today. Under the AK government, the Turkish society seems to be becoming more conservative. If you are wondering, the "Lüks (luxurious) AK" print in the top right corner is a happy coincidence.