Just over 12 hours after Istanbul riot police cleared Taksim Square of protestors, municipal authorities plant geraniums on June 16 in the central flower beds around the Atatürk Monument in the center of the square.
Jonathan Lewis is a freelance photojournalist based in Istanbul.
Nearly two weeks after a protest to defend a downtown Istanbul park mushroomed into a near-national movement, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opted June 11 for a power play against his critics. But the protest movement isn’t showing signs of crumbling.
Master electrician Kahraman Yildiz produces from his pocket a folded piece of scrappy paper. Its distressed state disguises the fact that it contains the phrases that are designed to illuminate Istanbul’s mosques during the holy month of Ramadan and inspire the city’s Islamic faithful.
In 1972, Yorgo Güller, a Greek Christian from Istanbul, visited leafy Burgazada, one of the Princes’ Islands just off the city’s coast, looking for love. Almost forty years later, he is still there tending to a neglected, 18th-century Greek monastery.
The June 12 election triumph of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party not only signaled a political change. It also heralded the start of evictions within the central, working-class Istanbul neighborhood of Tarlabaşı to make way for an ambitious municipal government project to beautify the city.
The central Istanbul neighborhood of Tarlabaşı has long been labeled a no-go area, a safe haven for shady business, even a “terrorist’s nest” for the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party. An ambitious urban renewal project hopes to scrap that image and introduce five-star hotels, upscale shopping facilities and office lofts.
For half a century, Hasankeyf, a Bronze-Age-era town on the banks of the river Tigris, has faced the threat of being submerged by construction of the proposed Ilisu Dam, part of a controversial 23-dam project in southeast Turkey. If completed, the dam would wipe out a town that has been continuously inhabited for over 6,000 years.