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...

“It was an unforgettable experience and period for me. I’ve learned lots of things about journalism from great professors. The most important thing is that I had a chance to learn about two different cultures: Italian and American. I’ve met lots of great people. And, Urbino has fascinating historical buildings and people… It was much more than I have ever imagined. Also I am so grateful for our professors’ patience and understanding. I came here with one luggage bag and I am returning to Turkey with tons of experiences and memories.”
by Derya Ozturk, Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, Urbino Project 2012