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...

I really don’t know how to convey what an incredible opportunity it is. I guess the coolest part for me was getting to investigate an issue, work with a local fixer, interview locals, talk with experts and officials, and be mentored by journalists who are actively working in the field. If you want to be a journalist, this is your chance. This program is seriously the real deal.
by Patrick Torphy, Emerson College, Jerusalem Project 2014