Photographers capture Turkey's unrest and upheavals
The exhibition "Türkiyeli" at Berlin gallery "f hoch drei" shows the work of seven contemporary Turkish photographers. Their critical reflection on hot topics such as refugees and protests express the turmoil in Turkey.
Between art and documentation
The range of themes covered in the exhibition is huge: refugees, the war in Syria, police violence in the Kurdish areas of Turkey, the construction boom and gender issues. Kürşad Bayhan's photos of bottles that have been decorated by Kurdish women symbolize the war-like conditions in southeastern Turkey.
The Human Chain of Suruç
Magnum photographer Emin Özmen focuses on the conditions in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. "Turkey's Hidden Wars" is the title of his black-and-white series. His works show water cannons and tear gas being used by the police and he captures curfew hours. His photo from January 2015 (above) shows Kurds forming a human chain in Suruç to support Kurdish fighters battling the "Islamic State" (IS).
Celebration despite war
Thousands of people came to the Newroz new year's festival in Suruç in March 2015, which took place despite the war. Above, men take a break during their journey. Suruç became a symbol of resistance to the IS. Emin Özmen considers his work to be like a documentary: "In order to find solutions to the massive problems in our region, we need to have a detailed picture of what is happening."
Refugees from Kobane
In his series "Moving Portraits," Barbaros Kayan focuses on the fears of refugees from Kobane who were being housed in camps in Turkey. He wanted to find out what happens when these people return to their home countries. Kayan traveled to Syria and documented the destruction and devastation there.
New conceptual imagery
Barbaros Kayan also photographed Syrians living in the Turkish refugee camps as part of the series. He placed their silhouettes on photos of their hometowns, creating compositions that confront the viewer with new visual themes.
Gentrification in Istanbul
Göksu Baysal mainly focuses on the construction boom and gentrification, especially in Istanbul, in his series "Istanbul Reloaded." The pictures depict violence against nature and highlight the rising demand for energy caused by the aggressive building boom.
Under the pretext of making the city safer against earthquakes, a program called "urban renewal" is replacing historic neighborhoods with gray landscapes built of concrete. The local population is often too poor to afford these new apartments and as a result is usually driven out of these areas.
Gezi - from protest to civil movement
What started as a protest against the building boom in Istanbul turned into the Gezi Park demonstrations of summer 2013. In his picture series called "Gezi," Kemal Aslan addresses the resistance of the population against the arbitrariness of the political system. For several weeks, thousands of people in Istanbul demonstrated for freedom and against oppression by institutions.
Women between autonomy and oppression
Since the Gezi protests, the role of civil society has become more prominent, and in particular the role of women. At the same time, however, violence against and murders of women continue to increase steadily. Emine Akbaba's series "Precious Blossom" focuses on women who are unable to free themselves from oppression.
Women as victims of violence
In international comparison, violence against women is extremely high in Turkey. Every other woman reports that she has been harassed on at least one occasion. Between 2010 and 2016, more than 1,600 women were murdered in the country. Emine Akbaba, winner of several photography awards, tries to raise awareness through her work about women's rights, gender equality, and freedom of expression.
'Isn't it love?'
Turkey's LGBT movement has also gained more attention since the start of the Gezi protests. "Isn't it love?" is the title of the series that Ceren Saner produced, which highlights images taken at queer parties. In this photo compilation, Saner questions the nature of love - not sexuality. In Turkey, the series is only shown during the Pride Week or at private events.