Freelance Multimedia Storyteller based in Germany. My work has made me a part of international media teams from CNN, AP, TIME, TVE, BILD in various roles. My background is not just confined to news, I create multi-media content for different mediums in addition to having experience with TV and Film Production in all stages of production.
Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration in Istanbul.
Interviews with 4 person.
1- Ozdes Ozbay, Turkish, 30, Political Science PHD. Student: Member of the Organisation "Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism (DurDe*)" that have been organising the commemorations since 2010.
2- Sakine: Play Actress, Activist, Turkish
My name is Sakine and I am Play actress. I have been attending to commemoration for about 5-6 years. At the beginning there were much more less people than now but the crowd of people have been getting bigger gradually.
3- Arto Tuncboyaciyan: World-wide known Grammy award winner Musician, Turkey born Armenian-American.
4- Jordan, American Teacher Living in Istanbul
Except for the 2. interview, all interviews were held in English.
Halfeti and Hasankeyf, Turkey
The ancient village of Hasankeyf, located in southeast Turkey is said to be one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world. Situated on the banks of the Tigris river, this picturesque village has settlement activity and artifacts pre-dating the Mesopotamian era. However, in 2015, that history, and the entire village, is set to be drowned when South West Anatolia (GAP) Dam project activates its latest installment and creates a large water reservoir that will engulf the village.
The villages inhabitants have been fighting the Turkish government for years, trying to cling onto their ancestral lands. However, it looks like their struggle is coming to an unsuccessful end and they are set to be relocated to a newly built village overlooking the old one.
If government plans move forward, Hasankeyf will face the same fate of the village of Halfeti, another ancient town located nearby on the Euphrates river. Halfeti's homes and ruins are now buried under the water reservoir of the Birecik Dam, also part of the GAP project. With the villages traditional livelihoods all but erased, the inhabitants have abandoned agriculture in place of lake tourism and moved to new homes either nearby or in the cities.
This story profiles the contemporary struggle of Hasankeyf through the eyes of one of its inhabitants. It also foreshadows the possible future for Hasankeyf by visiting the village of Halfeti, which has already been submerged by dam waters.
Road sign of the Turkish town Hasankeyf, expected to be submerged by an artificial water reservoir.
From the beginning of the battle for Kobane, many volunteers from numerous districts around Turkey gathered in the villages close to the border to help patrol the border and prevent ISIS fighters from slipping in and out of Syria. Despite the fact that that Kurdish forces have now cleared Kobane of ISIS fighters, volunteers still patrol in the villages close to the border, fearing ISIS remnants will slip through.
Interview with Halit Çelikarslan – Villager
00.37– 00.50: Since the first day of the resistance, from different parts of Turkey, even from abroad, people came here, with the aim of helping the people resisting in Kobane.
00.52 – 00.56: We received help from them.
00.57 – 01.26: Usually young people and women were coming here. They worked united, stayed in tents for days in bad weather conditions and served the cause in many ways.
Interview with Emin Baran – Lawyer and Volunteer aid worker in Suruc
01.31 – 01.36: Why were the border patrols initially started?
01.36 – 01.43 People were passing the border from Kobane to here, so people felt obligated to welcome them, since their passage was stopped frequently [by Turkish border patrols].
01.44 – 01.46 [Turkish] Soldiers tried to keep them in restricted areas.
01.47 – 01.53 Some of them [refugees] were injured. So, to have a front group on the border became necessary.
01.56 – 02.04 After the displacement came to the end, people kept patrolling in order to ensure that ISIS would not get help in Kobane.
02.05 – 02.10 Essentially, it was aimed to not letting ISIS gain strength in Kobane by using Turkish land.
02.18 – 02.28 The border patrols had two purposes. First, to show the people of Kobane that others are supporting them in their resistance.
02.29 – 02.35 Second, to narrow the movements of ISIS in Turkey. [Turkish] Soldiers blockaded the villages in which people were border guarding.
02.36 – 02.46 Every time the [Turkish] soldiers tried to force people to leave the [border] villages [which were located literally right beside ISIS held areas]. ISIS attacks gained enormous strength, immediately after.
02.47 – 02.50 Without exception, this happened each and every time.
Interview with Figen Yaşar-Mayor of Mus Bulanik from HDP
02.52 – 02.56 We initially came here during the beginning of the resistance in Kobane.
02.57 – 03.02 We first watched the border for seven days, during the peak of the clashes.
03.03 – 03.07 After, we went back to Muş and Bulanık, where we came.
03.09 – 03.16 During our second shift [on the border] we stayed here for nine days. Those days the clashes were really severe.
03.17 – 03.23 From Kobane to the air, smoke and fire clouds were raising.
03.24 – 03.30 We brought 12-13 martyr bodies to our village alone.
03.31 – 03.37 They were all the children of this land. Some of them joined to the war three months ago, some five months, and some six years.
03.39 – 03.46 Kobane has been cleansed [of ISIS fighters], but there are hundreds of villages connected to the Kobane [which ISIS controls].
03.47 – 04.02 Until the villages of Kobane are liberated, until the people of Kobane go back their homes and settle there, the people of Kurdistan and Turkey will guard and keep guarding.
Interview with Head of the security in the Village-(Name withheld)
04.07 – 04.13 I am responsible for the security of this district. I have been here for 95 days.
04.13 – 04.19 We explain to the border guards how to prevent ISIS from crossing.
04.20 – 04.23 Usually they cross from this district.
04.25 – 04.29 The ones who want to participate can easily cross the border.
04.30 – 04.36 As you see, that's the border for the guards. Between 6 pm and 6 am people [civilians] keep guarding.
04.38 – 04.42 There are other check points in other villages.
04.43 – 04.50 When they see them [refugees] from the distance, they inform us and we help them through.
04.54 – 04.57 The border guards notices us.
05.03 – 05.04 “hello” “hello”
05.10 – 05.11 Are taking over the shift?
05.11 – 05.12 Yes, two people in each shift.
05.19 – 05.20 Thank you.
05.28 – 05.29 We keep guard here, we can't leave.
05.29 – 05.31 We came for the shift change. You can leave now.
Filiz Aydın - Volunteer Watch Guard
05.34 – 05.42 We began guarding when ISIS come to Kobane. Not only in this village, but also in others.
05.43 – 05.55 The reason I keep guard is to prevent ISIS soldiers crossing the border. I also lost my brother at the war.
05.56 – 05.58 Not in Kobane, but in Rojava, in Serikani, I lost my brother.
05.59 – 06.04 My brother might be still alive if we watched the borders in Serikani.
06.06 – 06.14 It was his cause, and if we have the same cause, if we want his dreams to come true, we can also contribute.
06.15 – 06.25 Not everyone can get involved in armed battles in the mountains. Not everyone can fight in Kobane, but you can do whatever your hands find to do.
06.27 – 06.32 We say Kobane got liberated, but some of the villages are still under the siege.
06.33 – 06.39 Even if Kobane is cleansed [of ISIS], it's not just Kobane. Until Rojava gets liberated...
06.41 – 06.47 As I said it's not only about ISIS, it was first Al-Nusrah, Al-Qaida, and now ISIS.
06.48 – 06.54 There is Qamishle, Afrin... Until Rojava is completely cleansed,
06.55 – 07.05 Until the canton's [Rojava] political autonomy is recognized by the world, this is my opinion, the threat won't be defeated.
Reyhanlı, a small town in Hatay on the Syrian border where the biggest terrorist bomb attack, of Turkey's history, was executed on 11th of May caused 51 people killed and this is how the government trying to control the raising rage of the people protesting against government policy adressing Alawit people which might cause a secterian conflict in the region .
Mustafa 25 years old university student, who works in a local sisha shop to finance his studies, was taken into custody beacuse of the pacisfist pancarte that he was carrying in the protest.
-I lost my cousin and 2 of my classmates in the bomb attack. When I was carrying that pancarte I was just remembering their dead bodies, their eyes. I just wanted to protest the policy of the government. Everybody would do the same thing.
Hatay is very diverse city and people from all kind different backgrounds have been living there without any problem for centuries. Reyhanlı is having dozens of visitors everyday from all around Turkey, that they all have same motivation.
-We are here as mothers, we are coming from all around Turkey but now we are all from Reyhanlı. We are all sisters and brothers, this is a big project, we are all aware of the game and we are aware who is the responsible. We will never let it happen.
The recent policy of the government reaised the fear of secterian conflict .
The spokesperson representing more than 20
NGO's in Hatay province.
- The government is disregarding the sensitive situation of Hatay. We have the impression that the statements given by the government is targeting Alawite people here, and this might cause a secterian conflict here, it is not only Alawite who are anxious but also Sunnis and Christians.
Ferit Hannoud working as an accoutant, an activist who is the member of Christian community.
-We already had the fear of the probable spread of the confliction in Syria to Hatay. And after the bomb attack the journalist taken to custody and the pressure by government makes us feel really uncomfortable.
This is one of the protests that are being held almost everyday organized by different activisit groups and opposition party.
Opposition Party Parliamenter "Hasan Akgöl" representing Hatay
-We've been warning the goverment since the Syrian confliction started. We've said them many times that they are in the wrong way and should keep the relation steady with the Syria with which we have a lof of cultural and ethnic connection but they've never listened. Alawite community Leader "Ali Yeral"
-Government always accused us of being Essad or Baas supporter when we said we are against the war between brothers. But we've never accused them for supporting Nato,Usa,El Kaide,Taliban,El Nusra,Imperialism, Sionism. Because our moral and belief wouldn't let us to say so. Emre Student-Activist
-The Rulers in Turkey should get their power from the public instead of going to USA and getting Obama's advice and permission.While we're having huge pain here the Prime Minister is visiting USA to have a meeting with Obama. Armenian Community Leader "Cem Çapar"
-As the people of Hatay we've been living in Peace as Armenian,Turkish,Sunni,Alawit and we always defend our right together regardless of our background and we will not let this spark to start a fire.
During the first week of a bomb attack in Reyhanlı, a Turkish town on the Syrian border, where dozens of people killed. People gathered to protest the governmet policy and make draw media attention to the place where the bomb exploded. First they were blocked by police, resulting with violence against victims' families.
Adana! Mostly known as the city of Kebab.
People of Adana have reputation of their crazy and chilled lifestyle.
Spacious areas, good spicey food, cool booze and..
00:38 - 00:37
-I can't attend every race because I can't afford it. I can't use LPG during the race and the oil quiet expensive. And each race there is some part broken that has to be fixed or changed. It costs a lot.
This is an opening of another new garage where the racers mostly meet to show off.
And since it is in the middle of the city resident of the neighbourhood is not so happy with the situation.
-It is vandalism. This is not a race track, this is neighbourhood. It is sunday and peple are resting. They don't have right to disturb people.
-Cop is Coming!
And soon after officers arrives upon the complaint of the neighbourhood, as always.
-Take these cars immediately! -Ok sir!
-They said if it occurs again they will punish us so bad.
-Should we go to the highway all together or to the hill ? -To the hill. The highway is also problematic now.
But nothing seems like to be avoid them from racing or gathering up, Because they always have an alternative secret place to gather up and start racing.