Faces of Istanbul – 2011

A computer scientist who decides to give up his days in the lab, to become a ferryboat captain on the meditative Bosphorus strait. The impish chef renowned for researching great Anatolian recipes of the past, and popularizing them with a modern twist. The feminist activist who spent years fighting for women’s rights, only to witness some of those rights compromised in an increasingly religious society.

These are just some of the faces of Istanbul. Their stories represent the diversity of ideas and personalities in a country known more for its rugs, mosques, and Turkish delight than for its ethnic influences, its struggles for balance between religious freedom and secular ties to the West, and its continuing march toward democracy.

University students in ieiMedia’s Istanbul Project sought out these stories, during a one-month international journalism program in Istanbul. Here they share their discoveries about the complexities, the beauty and the many personal triumphs of the people of Istanbul.

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Students Say...

Spending four weeks in Urbino has been a phenomenal experience. I find myself walking down the cobblestone hills, in awe of my surroundings as people pass by, laughing and talking and living their lives. This is the most photogenic place that I’ve ever been in, yet I still feel as though it’s impossible to capture the beauty in this town through a lens. The very air breathes history and sentiment that exceeds all expectation.
by Kendall Gilman, James Madison University, Urbino Project 2015