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...

This past month in Istanbul has truly been life-changing. The program has provided me with a glimpse into the life of a foreign correspondent, while introducing me to one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was inspiring to work with others–fellow students and faculty–who were so passionate about journalism, foreign affairs, and making the world a better place. I was surprised by how much I learned and transformed in such a short period of time, and am more excited than ever about my chosen career path.
by Stephanie Henkel, California State University, Northridge, Istanbul Project 2014