Flooding history: the local fight against the Ilisu Dam in Turkey

Spring has started, and the small town of Hasankeyf in Turkey’s unruly southeast is buzzing with activity. Young men are busy building a new pavilion on the Tigris river bank while across the water a man is planting saplings together with his family. A local hotel owner recently built a couple of new bungalows, and one of the ruined pillars of a 12th century bridge … Continue reading Flooding history: the local fight against the Ilisu Dam in Turkey

Kazova workers claim historic victory in Turkey

After a seemingly endless cycle of exploitation, intimidation and injustice, the workers of the Kazova textile factory in Istanbul decided to take matters into their own hands. Now, they run their own factory. “No, I didn’t receive any compensation, but I did get a factory,” was Aynur Aydemir’s response to one of her former colleagues from the Kazova textile factory, when she was asked if … Continue reading Kazova workers claim historic victory in Turkey

Je Suis Tayyip: exploring the limits of press freedom in modern Turkey

In January 2015 the Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu walked together with many of the world’s leaders on the streets of Paris to stand up for freedom of speech. It was only days later when he ordered the offices of one newspaper to be raided because it dared to republish some of Charlie Hebdo’s controversial cartoons. “If you had a dictator, you couldn’t call him a … Continue reading Je Suis Tayyip: exploring the limits of press freedom in modern Turkey

Resisting capitalism one cup of tea at a time: the 26A collective in Istanbul

A “lotus flower in the mud”. This was the image that came to mind when Özlem visited the 26A cafe in Taksim for the first time. The comparison rings true now more than ever, on this cold and grey January afternoon, with the heavy rain outside turning the streets into fast flowing rivers while we enjoy our hot tea in the warm and cozy interior … Continue reading Resisting capitalism one cup of tea at a time: the 26A collective in Istanbul

Revolution under attack: Local fights and global gains in the battle for Kobani

After almost two and a half months of fierce fighting between the Islamist militants of ISIS and the local defense units protecting the city, the odds in the battle for Kobani finally appear to be in favor of the defenders. The fighting has left the city in ruins and forced hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes. When I traveled to the Turkish … Continue reading Revolution under attack: Local fights and global gains in the battle for Kobani

Kalashnikovs and cameras on the road to Syrian freedom

The contrast could hardly be more striking: the colourful children’s paintings on the wall and the disorderly stacked board games on the shelves provide a strange, mismatching decor for the horrors Fadi is recounting to us. We speak with him through a translator, and whilst he is answering our questions in Arabic we have ample time to study his young and handsome face, his bright … Continue reading Kalashnikovs and cameras on the road to Syrian freedom