Arianna Pagani Arianna Pagani

Arianna Pagani, 1988, is a freelance Italian photographer based in Crema. Her approach to photography is documenting the stories about social issues through the reportage following the professional ethics of photojournalism. In 2011, she graduated from Brescia Academy photograph ( Laba ) and in 2014, she completed the master of Photojournalism at Obiettivo Reporter in Milano and after she lived in Turkey and made the deepening reportage in Romania, Bosnia, Turkey and Kurdistan/Iraq.

Until now she works on long-term personal projects which focuses on women social issues in the middle East.

Collections created

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Cirque Bidon - On the Road with Europ...
Noyers-sur-cher, France
By Arianna Pagani
31 Oct 2015

"The arrival of the circus at night, the first time that I saw it as a child, had the character of an apparition. This kind of air balloon preceded by nothing. The night before it was not there, and in the morning it was there in front of my house,” said Federico Fellini.

The Circque Bidon is a noted street theater company founded in 1976 by Francois "Bidon" Rauline. From the beginning, he lived an itinerante life; and in the early seventies he met a camp of manouches, a nomadic group of Sinti origin, that has inspired him. The first version of his own circus was called the Anar circus, which resonated with the political period experienced by Francois and his fellow adventurers.

After forty years, Bidon’s concept changed in relation to social and political changes in the country. No matter, the show carries on year after year. In the 80's and early 90's it was easier to create a show based on 'improvisation artists' while today the show has guidelines that must be followed. The improvisations have ceded their place to very specific numbers from artists who prepare with hard work during the winter months. The Cirque Bidon is considered by experts of performative arts the precursor of the "nouveau cirque," a new type of show that brings together circus numbers, live music and theater.

The current company is made up of artists: Leo, Laura, Davel, Corontin, Frederique, Thomas; musicians: Nicolas and Frederique; technicians: Pierre Jean e Martiall; and the ticket office: Philippe and Rita the monkey.

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Syrian Kurds Seek Refuge in Istanbul
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
14 Apr 2015

After the outbreak of war in Syria in 2012, a large part of the Kurdish population of Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan has sought shelter in Turkey. Many of these refugees passed at first through refugee camps in eastern Turkey and left due to the harsh conditions. Others succeeded to enter Turkey otherwise and to make their own way to major cities. The situation for refugees in Istanbul shows two distinct tendencies. For Syrians, refugees of war are given what is called "temporary protection," which involves more help from the government, while for Kurds, the government of Turkey offers what it calls "temporary asylum." 

In a wide spectrum of refugees with greater or lesser economic capacity, some have found accommodation in neighborhoods with Kurdish communities already present, while other parts of the refugee community have been forced to squat abandoned buildings. To start the asylum process requires an application to the Turkish government and a separate one to the UNHCR (for recognition of refugee status), however some do not posess the necessary identification to even begin. A high percentage of refugees in Istanbul arrived in the city directly from the refugee camps along the Turkey-Syria border. They have less opportunities and greater chances of being arrested by the authorities and being sent back to the camps.

People living in the poorest neighborhoods, such as Tarlablaşı, which extends nearly down to the main tourist streets of the city of Istanbul, are now confronted with a new restructuring plan implemented by the government of Prime Minister Erdogan. The continuous flow of refugees who come to Turkey from Syria, and the difficulties Kurdish refugees face in being recognized as asylum seekers by the Turkish government indicate a situation that is far from ending.

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No Surrender: Impoverished Minority B...
Turkey
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

Istanbul, Turkey 

May 26, 2014

 

On 22 May 2014, 34-year-old Alevi-Turkish protester Ugur Kurt, cleaner and father of one, was killed by Turkish police. He was shot in the head by a stray bullet as the police dispersed a group of demonstrators expressing their grief over the Soma mining distaster that had taken the lives of 301 miners on 13 May 2014. The demonstrators were also protesting the shooting death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, killed by a police-fired gas canister during protests in March of that year. Kurt, for his part, was killed outside an Alevi worship sight in the impoverished neighborhood of Okmaydani in Istanbul. 

Following these events, the Chepesi Party, an unrecognized political party comprised mostly of young people, clashed with the police. Members of the party shouted "Katil" (Criminals) at authorities. On the morning of 23 May, a police bus was hit by a Molotov cocktail, causing panic among policemen and leading one of them to fire in the air to disperse protesters. As the day continued, clashes in the neighborhood continued. By nightfall, protesters were taking aim at security cameras. More than 38 were arrested during the night of 26 May.

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Holiday in Sarajevo
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
By Arianna Pagani
20 Feb 2014

The Holiday Inn hotel in Sarajevo is recognized as one of the monuments in the city’s recent sad history – the Bosnian War in 1992. For many, it was a forgettable sight, “ugly” according to some journalists who used it as their main base while covering the war; “a joke facade” in the eyes of construction workers who helped built it.

Now called the Olympic Hotel Holiday Sarajevo – after losing its Holiday Inn chain license in 2013 – it closed its doors for the first time in its history in February 2014 after the staff went on strike. Despite a deal being reached, the hotel has officially closed its doors for good.

Since February 2014, the hotel faced protest by the employees who demanded payment and who occupied the lobby of the hotel, although employees signed each day for the start and end of their shifts.

They blamed “privatization and continuous failures to pay salaries” for a decrease in the number of employees, who once numbered 280 and are now only 140. Sajma Gugula, Mevlida Bekto, Sefka Topalov are waitresses working at the Holiday Inn for about thirty years. “We’ve been without pay for four months,” said one of the staff.

Of its 10 floors and 330 rooms, in its final days the hotel only occupied eight floors. The others were sold to third parties after the privatization, including the dining room - turned into a casino.

Designed by the celebrated Bosnian architect Ivan Straus, and built in 1982-83, Sarajevo's iconic Holiday Inn hotel was built for the 1984 Winter Olympics. It opened its doors officially in October 1983, presented by the then President of the International Olympic Committee Antonio Samaranch.

The Holiday Inn became one of the symbols of the Bosnian capital and it remains Sarajevo’s most interesting building, though it was a source of aesthetic controversy.

The bold yellow, ochre and brown exterior was of no much appeal to many, deviating from the boundary of gray buildings all around and making it different from all other hotels in the city.

"The original scale model had been designed with a similar yellow facade, but no-one expected that the actual exterior of the hotel would be same color. Construction workers thought it was a joke," Straus told many media outlets in the past years.

Before the war, the Bosnian-Serb Serbian Democratic Party (SDS), led by Radovan Karadzic, held numerous meetings in the hotel and by February 1992 even served as a temporary home for the Karadzic family.

However, in April 1992, demonstrators marched from outside the Bosnian parliament to the hotel. They were shot at, allegedly from within the building, by snipers loyal to Mr Karadzic. The hotel was then stormed by Bosnian government forces and the snipers arrested, by which time Mr Karadzic and his entourage had fled.

As the war went on, Bosnian Serb forces were surrounding Sarajevo and the siege tightened. The Siege of Sarajevo was the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare, lasting 1,425 days (from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996).

“The hotel has a real story and this is what sets us apart from our competitors,” says Mario Franjevic, 54, the hotel receptionist, showing a photograph made in wartime.

Franjevic was born in Sarajevo and started working at the Holiday Inn thirty years ago as a waiter. He has not received his monthly salary for four months.

Located on the famous "Sniper Alley," the hotel was in one of the most dangerous areas in the city, and very close to the front line. Speaking to the media, its manager at the time said the Holiday Inn was hit more than a 100 times during the early weeks of the siege, although it was far less a targeted than other neighboring buildings.

International media sent their crews to cover the increasingly violent war and established their bureaux in the Holiday Inn. The hotel quickly became famous as the headquarters of international war reporters covering the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

According to many journalists who spent weeks and months in Sarajevo under siege, stepping out of the hotel was an “everyday survival exercise to avoid getting shot.”

And every day, the hotel staff faced many dangers from snipers to go to work. Nonetheless, they maintained the hotel’s appearance and services (even if set-back by a lack of resources) during the war, purchasing diesel fuel on the black market that was used to heat the rooms during the winter.

After the war was over, the hotel has hosted many famous "international" personalities who descended to Sarajevo with the intention of rebuilding the country. After the international engagement in Bosnia ended, however, the fortunes of the hotel started to change, faced with many challenges because of the global economic crisis and political instability in Bosnia.

The hotel was initially privatized in 2000 and then sold for 22.8 million euros to a private Austrian group. Through privatization of the hotel, the Bosnian government has also sold the legal actions of employees (54%), who are awaiting trial at the Court of the Canton of Sarajevo for a compensation of over 12,000 euros.

Franjevic lost invested shares during the privatization process with the Austrian company and has been taking part in the protests inside the lobby of the hotel. “I don’t believe in a resolution to the problem anytime soon,” he said.

Today, despite its recent closure, the hotel is still seen by locals and visitors as an important symbol of Sarajevo, both architecturally and historically. And despite its name change, and going out of business, people still simply call the building “The Holiday Inn.”

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
15 Oct 2014

The mountain of Bashiqa, where are the Peshmerga that control the city below to Bashiqa in the governorate of Mosul, in northern Iraq. Now is in the hands of the Islamic state.
After the capture of Mosul in June 10 and the expansion of the territories occupied by the caliphate the Peshmerga have reinforced their presence to control the situation. The ethnic minorities like Yazide, Christian and Shabak were forced to flee their villages to avoid being killed by the militia of the Caliphate.
Many soldiers who are serving on the mountain of Bashiqa are very young. The average age is between 17 and 25 years and many of them come from cities that have been invaded by the army of Islamic state. After Iraqi forces have failed, abandoning their position and shipments in Iraq, the stability has been reset with the military Kurds.

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In exile: Iraqi women seek refuge
Bardarash, Dohuk, Rovia, Diyarbakir
By Arianna Pagani
24 Sep 2014

During the days of terror on Mount Sinjar, about 200 women were kidnapped by the militias of the Islamic State to be converted to Islam and sold in the occupied cities of Mosul and Tal Afar. This barbarism is not new to the chronicles of war.

The Islamic State's attack on Mount Sinjar led to the exodus of about 500,000 people, mostly from the Christian, Yazidi and Shabak minorities. These refugees, currently under the protection of the Kurdish militias, are living in the streets, under bridges or in abandoned places in Erbil and surrounding villages. Many of those who manage to escape the conflict have suffered losses in their family that effect them not only economically, but mentally and emotionally. Depression and anxiety in addition to insecurity are a constant challenge.

The UNHCR anticipated there to be over 900,000 internally displaced people in Iraq by the end of 2014. With the rise of ISIS, that number has been more than tripled, with 2.9 million displaced according to International Displacement Monitoring Center. The situation of internally displaced women, not only in Iraq but in conflict zones around the world, is especially precarious as the breakdown in social structures is a risk factor for gender-based violence. In their planning document for 2014, the UNHCR says it is ramping up its efforts to protect refugee and internally displaced women. However, agencies like the UNHCR as well as local associations can only care for and provide aid to so many displaced people, leaving others to fend for themselves.

The condition of the women and children displaced in Iraq is tragic: not only from a material point of view, but also from a psychological and ethical perspective. While talking with them, the elderly were crying because they don't see a future for their land, culture or traditions and were continuously asking, "What did we do wrong to deserve to be killed?" The women were mostly passive, trapped between emotions, tears, the inability to react, “deafened by pain and suffering.” They seemed to understand that as time passes by, the hope of returning to a normal and fair life fades away.

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Iraq: Qaraqosh's Christians in Limbo
Erbil
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

After bombings in Qaraqosh, the Iraqi government has decided to evacuate the entire town. About 5,000 families have taken refuge in the city of Erbil, where schools and sports centers have been made available by local volunteers and aid organizations.

A major city for Christians in Iraq, Qaraqosh fell to ISIS shortly after the latter's conquest of Mosul. Residents of Qaraqosh were reportedly terrorized by ISIS, who took Sharia law into their own hands, lashing one man for selling cigarettes, and killing several women found guilty of adultery. The city later suffered heavy bombardment during fighting between ISIS fighters and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Media created

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 19
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Marcelo is the handyman of the company, one who helps and manages the technical parts. Here, through an umbrella, help Laura to switch between carriage without being seen by the audience.He’s alongside circus from 7 years.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 18
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Laura gets ready for the scene of Marionette while Toma waiting to prepare the horses. Carriage are very important in the show being the only ones available for costume changes.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 16
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Spaces used for backstage change depending on different locations. Sometimes the company can rely on wide spaces and sometimes they must be adapted. The carriages are used like a fifth stage.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 15
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Davelle is a Spanish guy on the first year of employment with the circus Bidone. He is represented as a juggler and as a clown. He knows how to mix the two techniques making fun and magical numbers.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 14
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Once the circus is located inside the municipal areas the show are programmed each day. The duration of a show is two hours. Artists must follow strictly the lineup and can not change the numbers.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 13
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Coco is the clown of the company. Lives in the carriage Clarabelle, the only one built by a midget and not by Francois. Very young he’s the first year of employment with the circus. He’s quiet and peaceful person during daily life but becomes an excellent clown during the show.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 12
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Pippo is a juggler and musician and he’s for more years at work with the circus Bidone. He’s always available when there is work. Pippo is very caring and responabile to the whole structure of the circus.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 11
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

During the breaks Laura exercising with Fisarmonica, her great passion. She would like in the future to integrate it into one of her numbers. During the winter period she’s always looking for new job opportunities.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 10
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

The oldest carriage circus called La Vielle and is currently occupied by Laura and Pippo, couple both on stage and in personal life. Carriages are small and contain everything needed to an itinerant life; from clothes for the show to life memories.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 09
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

The Barrique is a carriage built by Francois for his son and is currently occupied by Freddo, musician of the company. When he has some free time he’s playing or practicing juggling with clubs, another of his passion.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 08
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

During the summer tornee rarely reprove parts of the show, called "returns". During some afternoon hours Francois follows the company giving advice about improving some numbers.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 07
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Toma, french guy, is on road with Bidon’s Circus for a year. He mainly deals with parks horses and keeps responsibility throughout torunee. He has a wild personality and brings much cheerfulness in to the company.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 06
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

In moments of telage, great part of the equipment is disassembled and ready for departure, the artists eat fast food all together before going back to work.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 05
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Laura is an aereal dancer. During the show she does two aerial performance with a tissue and with the hoop. Every day she has to fix the "verghe", the structure where they hung the tools available for her number.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 04
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Nico and Freddo try the instruments during a break. Guitar and Fisarmonica accompany the circus troupe during moments of work and stall.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 03
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

Laura is an italian artist of the theater circus. She is traveling with the circus from 4 years. She moved permanently to France and with Freddi, is the only girl in the company.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 02
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

The story about Francois Bidone is based on an itinerant life began in May '68 in France. His hands gave birth to the first carriage and then the next five. Francois is responsible with Benedicte about the whole organization: from the construction of new structures to the show at the choice of artists. Currently there are over forty years that Bidone Circus is in operation.

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Roadside with Cirque Bidon 01
Noyer-sur-cher, Frace
By Arianna Pagani
20 Aug 2014

The Circus Bidone was born in France in 1976. Maintained by Francois Bidone, until today is the last itinerant circus that still moves with horses and carriages in the Berry area. The crew is formed by 7 carriages, 8 horses, one mule, one donkey, 8 artists, one responsible, one monkey, one henhouse and Francois Bidone.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 24
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

There are two ways to request political asylum in Turkey: "temporary protection" for Syrian refugees, and "temporary asylum" for Syrian Kurdish refugees. In the Turkish metropolis, a destination for millions of tourists every year, the reality of the war in Syria has become visible to many people from all over the world.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 23
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Since 2012, there are about 1 million Syrian refugees and 70,000 refugees from minority groups from Syria living in Istanbul.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 22
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Memories are drawn on the walls of Sobhi's room. He explains that it is a habit of some refugees to write phrases and make drawings reminding them of their homes on the walls.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 21
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

A.C. fled from Damascus where he worked as a French teacher.
Refugees who entered illegally into Turkey from Syria face difficulties finding regular jobs.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 19
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Solidarity between Kurdish refugee families is very present. Many times other Kurds are hosted even if they are not from the same family.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 20
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Sobhi has lived with his family in Istanbul for three years. Arriving legally in Turkey, he has had to make his request for asylum before to the government, then before the UNHCR office. Sobhi and his wife can work regularly, and the children can go to Turkish public school, now that his application has been accepted.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 18
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

The proportion of refugees between 8 and 24 years-old is constantly growing. At night they come together for dinner in temporary shelters.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 17
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Aldar shows photographs of his house in Aleppo after the bombing. The photographs have been printed and used to create an exhibition to educate people about the Syrian situation in his neighborhood in Istanbul.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 15
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Rebuilding a life in a new city and being able to share moments of intimacy in an extended family can be complicated. Social networks help families to maintain contact with people who are still in Syria.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 16
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

The bedrooms in refugee housing are shared by several people. Boys and girls tend to be in separate rooms.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 14
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Refugee families in the Bastabya district express a form of solidarity through the time they spend together. A friend Sobhi's family came to talk about his son who remained in Syria to fight against the army of Assad.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 13
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Many refugee families of Syrian and Iraqi minorities live on the outskirts of Istanbul. Europe is regarded by most refugees as a possible alternative to their situation.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 11
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

In the evening the women of some Kurdish families in the Bastabya neighborhood gather in one of their homes to drink tea together and discuss possibilities for the future.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 12
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

A family of Syrian Kurdish refugees living in Bastabya crossed the Turkish border illegally, paying smugglers for their passage. Since they arrived, the family of six all live on the outskirts of Istanbul without a permit.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 10
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

A Turkish landlord in Bastabya has not cleared the entire apartment before new tenants, paying per month, move in.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 09
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

This district in the Beyoğlu municipality is the lively heart of the Kurdish community in Istanbul. In 1990, a large number of immigrants from southeastern Turkey moved to Tarlablasi, and even today it is arrival point for many Kurdish refugees.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 07
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

A mother shows the only document that she possesses, the identification card from the refugee camp in Diyarbakir from which she and her seven children were able to escape. This alone is not enough to file a request for asylum.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 08
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Composed of 9 blocks and 278 pitches, the Tarlablasi area was declared a regeneration zone by the government. Down the narrow streets of the neighborhood, many refugee families live in unfinished buildings without a permit to stay.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 06
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

A refugee woman walks through a side street in Tarlablasi. The continued violation of the human right to move away from a war zone and to remain in another country is a reality not end unless governments take resolute measures.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 05
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Istanbul, Tarlablasi. Even inside abandoned places Kurds providing refuge and sources and arranged the room "of the first night marriage".