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Homes of resistance

Pictures and text by: Moa Aulanko –  A look into the gecekondus of Gülsuyu and Gülensu On the outskirts of Istanbul the neighbourhood of Gülsuyu and Gülensu overlooks the sea. Gecekondus are low, self-built houses dating from the 1950’s. “Gecekondu literally means ‘built overnight’,” says Firat Genç, professor in urbanisation and sociology at Bilgi University in Istanbul. The gecekondus can be found in the area … Continue reading Homes of resistance

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„Music is always political”

Text and photo by Janina Hofmann – Big buildings, clean floors, and a lot of monitoring staff. The Beyoglu Culture Road Festival in Istanbul just started – two weeks of music, poetry, and theatre. From a tourist’s point of view, the festival seemed to be a great place for cultural exchange and the arts. After talking to Istanbulites, it sounds like the festival is meant … Continue reading „Music is always political”

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Forced transition: From gecekondus to gated communities

Text  by Isabella Balanchi – Photo by Moa Aulanko – The houses in Gülsuyu and Gülensu stand on a hill with steep streets and a view of both the skyscrapers of Istanbul and the twinkling turquoise Marmara Sea. The smell of jasmine flowers mixes with a vague smell of chickens and trash. Some of the houses are neat-looking and painted in bright colours, others are … Continue reading Forced transition: From gecekondus to gated communities

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Anatolian music fails to rock Turks

Text by Basten de Jager – Photo by Moa Aulanko – The Sounds of the Saz and melodious Turkish lyrics got the band Altin Gün, Turkish for golden day, nominated for the grammy’s in 2019. The publics reactions was overwhelming as it was really unexpected. The nomination was not only a personal victory, it also marks a comeback of Anatolian rock, an incredibly popular genre … Continue reading Anatolian music fails to rock Turks

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The Azan in Istanbul: love it or hate it

Text and audio y Christiaan Broersma –  Istanbul is the city of a thousand noises, but despite that five times a day the inhabitants will hear a sound that outclasses all the others. The Azan is a call to prayer that can be heard from each mosque in Istanbul. Because of the diversity regarding religion, not everyone enjoys the sound. I dived into the world … Continue reading The Azan in Istanbul: love it or hate it

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“In this way Turks can never really integrate”

Text and photo’s by Sophie van den berg How Turks keep staying together Between 1960 and 1973, 65,000 Turkish migrants came to the Netherlands. These were almost all guest workers who wanted to earn money for their families in Turkey. For most, their lives consisted of nothing more than work. For example, they were not given the opportunity to learn the language. Ismail Ercan (70) … Continue reading “In this way Turks can never really integrate”

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Bottoms up in Maçka Park

Text and image by Diana Miu – As Erdoğan’s fight against secular Turkey moves forward, bans and laws on alcohol consumption are strengthened, affecting both storeowners and young people. Maçka Park, 2022. Image credit: Gökhan Tan It’s 7pm and the Maçka Park seems to be getting more crowded every minute. Friends of friends are joining, young couples are laying down their picnic blankets and opening … Continue reading Bottoms up in Maçka Park

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Journalist, Not Terrorist

Text by Anna Monastyrova –  Photo source;  Instagram, @nevsinmengu For decades several journalists in Turkey have been prosecuted as terrorists who are trying to overthrow the existing regime. But the recent “disinformation bill” submitted to the parliament signifies a new approach to the oppression of journalistic freedom of speech. We can’t help but wonder, are independent Turkish media heading for complete extinction? The original aim … Continue reading Journalist, Not Terrorist

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“It is not a question if it will happen, but when it will happen”

Text and photo by Jesse Hattink –  Earthquakes happen all around the world and can cause a lot of damage.  There is a 70 % probability that an earthquake will hit Istanbul in the next 20 years . How does the municipality prepare for this, and is it even possible to prepare?  Kandilli observatory in Istanbul monitors earthquakes all over Turkey. to do this they … Continue reading “It is not a question if it will happen, but when it will happen”

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Shop till you drop in the Istanbul night

Text and photo by Nina de Groot –  In Istanbul, the shopping experience is one of a kind, as most shops in the tourist areas close after midnight. In this big city in Turkey the life does not stop, and the streets of Istanbul do not sleep at night.  Walking around in the streets of Besiktas in Istanbul, it is noticeable that there are a … Continue reading Shop till you drop in the Istanbul night

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Are women’s rights in danger in Turkey?

Text by Romy Voswijk – Photo from Instagram, @kadincinayetlernidurduracagiz As femicides are on the rise in Turkey, women in Istanbul fear for their safety. That is why the organization We Will Stop Femicide was created; to stand up for victims of abuse. However, the platform is now facing a court case for ‘conducting activities that violate laws and morals.’  Dozens of women with purple jackets and … Continue reading Are women’s rights in danger in Turkey?

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Istanbul’s taxi shortage drives people mad

Text and picture by Daniël Reusink – Istanbul is dealing with a big shortage of taxis. For some inhabitants it is a daily struggle to fight, sometimes literally, for a cab. Taxis in Istanbul are a popular mode of transportation because of their flexibility to travel through the crowded city. Despite the high demand for taxis, the taxi companies and the taxi union have been … Continue reading Istanbul’s taxi shortage drives people mad

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Ramadan & fasting

Natascha de Vries – Although a lot of religions do it, fasting takes an extreme toll on your body. Today we focus on how fasting affects someone, and what the results are for your physical and mental health.  It’s Sunday, April 10, 20:32. Sunset, and the start of iftar. Community center “De Ringvaart” has turned into a big dinner hall, with over 120 people attending. … Continue reading Ramadan & fasting

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Fleeing – with a mental illness

Anna Monastyrova – Fleeing your country because of war is a traumatic experience. Imagine doing that with a mental illness – you could assume that’s even harder. That’s the case for Marianna, a young refugee from Ukraine struggling with bipolar disorder. Back in Ukraine, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but her diagnosis is still not final. She needs cognitive-behavioural therapy and help with choosing … Continue reading Fleeing – with a mental illness

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Increased crimes in cyberspace: an army of robots

Siri Malmborg –  We are living with more and more devices: laptops, smartphones, smartwatches and smart homes are ruling our day-to-day lives. While all these little helpers are nice and useful, they are also potential targets for cyberattacks. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) published a new study today, with following findings: while traditional crime like violence, burglary, vandalism and theft has decreased by 43 percent over the … Continue reading Increased crimes in cyberspace: an army of robots

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Diana Miu: “Humans are social and need to know what’s going on. That’s why the news is so important.”

Moa Aulanko – Diana Miu, 20, studies journalism at Oxford Brookes University. For her, news plays an important role in humans being sociable and making the world a better place.  In Miu’s home country, Romania, young people get their worldwide news from social media, and the national news from their parents. “I don’t think many people from my generation, at least the people I know, … Continue reading Diana Miu: “Humans are social and need to know what’s going on. That’s why the news is so important.”

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‘It makes me sick to my stomach companies even want to get involved’

Christiaan Broersma – Discriminating stickers produced without regret. The political world of Rotterdam was shocked after racist stickers were placed on political posters just weeks before the local elections. The stickers, containing QR-codes linked to a Neo-Nazi movement, were mostly placed on posters with people of colour on it. ‘A White Lives Matter sticker placed on the head of Richard Moti of PvdA’ After seeing … Continue reading ‘It makes me sick to my stomach companies even want to get involved’

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Austria’s dependence on Russia’s gas

Julia Steiner –  As the tension between the EU and Russia rises over the Ukraine conflict, so does the concern about a possible disruption in gas supplies to Austria. Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday 17th February. Today is the fifth day since the attack, and the whole world looks to the east. While the tension was rising, in the last months between the two countries, … Continue reading Austria’s dependence on Russia’s gas

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Living on water – dream or threat?

Diana Miu – New Climate Change report raises concerns for Amsterdammers living in houseboats and floating houses. There are many things Amsterdam is known for: weed, the red-light district, wild nightlife, canals…and now, more than ever, houses on water. Be it houseboats or floating houses, a wave of locals and tourists are looking for alternative places to live around land-scarce Netherlands. Facing a shortage of … Continue reading Living on water – dream or threat?

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“I don’t remember anything nice about that time”

Karel Budde was born March 1935 in Amsterdam. He lived through the Second World War from when he was 5 until he was 10 years old. The memories of the war still trouble him to this day. “In 1940 I went to the first class at the Montessori school. Classes consisted of about 40 to 50 children, of which half were Jewish. Anne Frank used … Continue reading “I don’t remember anything nice about that time”

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“With every airplane I prayed that our small village would be spared from the attacks”

Elisabeth Epple was born on 25th January 1932 in Steinbronnen, a small village near Bad Saulgau in the southwest of Germany. Born into a farming family, she was the youngest of six children. Just one year after her birth, the Nazis took over Germany under Hitler’s leadership. In 1938, when she was only six years old, World War II started, and she experienced seven years … Continue reading “With every airplane I prayed that our small village would be spared from the attacks”

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A request from the hairdresser: can we please not talk about COVID?

I’m sitting in the hair salon and my regular hairdresser Bente is dying my hair. Next to me, there’s a woman being cut. She and the girl who’s doing her hair are talking about the latest press conference, in which Rutte told us the evening lockdown has been expanded. “That’s no surprise,” I hear the lady next to me say. I think about the first … Continue reading A request from the hairdresser: can we please not talk about COVID?

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Sometimes it’s for the better

Whenever I meet new people, the topic always comes up. We talk about friends, family and siblings. I talk about my two half-brothers, who I love dearly, and the questioning eyes look at me. “Oh yeah, my parents are divorced.” Immediately, the questioning eyes change into sad eyes. They tell me they’re sorry for me, that they didn’t know and will not bring it up … Continue reading Sometimes it’s for the better

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At last, brightness in the tomb

“To great Men the grateful nation” that is what you can see on the pediment of the Panthéon. O, the Panthéon, last resting place of great men but obviously not of many great women. The result of the match speaks for itself: since its creation, the Panthéon has welcomed 75 men and only 6 women. When I say six, I should rather say five as … Continue reading At last, brightness in the tomb

A Woman Standing Near the Fence overlooking Bosporus and Istanbul

What women want: Millenials’ goals in male-dominated Istanbul

Text by Friederike Kunz Young wealthy women in Istanbul can have it all it seems: good education, love, fun. With all the possibilities, they know really well what they look for in life – and what they want to do differently than generations before them. Istanbul is a metropolitan city, buzzing and full of life. Women dress stylish, take care of themselves, and enjoy their … Continue reading What women want: Millenials’ goals in male-dominated Istanbul

“Things are more expensive every day and it makes me angry”

By Veronique Bouwers – Life is getting more expensive worldwide. Last year you paid 100 euros on your shopping basket in the Netherlands and now you pay for the same groceries 109,60 euros according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics. But if you think that groceries in the Netherlands have become more expensive: in Turkey, it’s way worse. For that same shopping basket, … Continue reading “Things are more expensive every day and it makes me angry”