Turkey is both a country of immigration and emigration. Because of its shared border with Syria, it is the country housing the majority of the Syrian refugees (more then 2 million), even though they rarely come to Turkey directly but rather enter the country through Lebanon. The EU hopes for better integration of Syrian refugees into Turkish society in order to stop them from travelling further and from entering EU countries. On March 20th 2016, the EU-Turkey refugee deal came into effect, which binds Turkey to take back all refugees who entered the EU illegally from Turkey. In return, the EU is considering whether it will lift the visa requirement currently needed by Turkish citizens when travelling to the EU, as well as continuing the negotiations of Turkey’s admission into the EU.
Participating author: Ece Temelkuran
Ece Temlkuran was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1973. Before finishing her law studies at the University of Ankara in 1995, Temelkuran started to work as a journalist for the oldest Turkish newspaper »Cumhuryet«, and published her first book »Bütün Kadınların Kafası Karışıktır« (»Women Are All Confused«) in 1996. As a political journalist she has worked for several Turkish news papers, for example »Milliyet« and »BirGün«, as well as for foreign newspapers such as »The Guardian« and »Le Monde Diplomatique«. Temelkuran’s investigative reporting and publications on controversial topics such as the Kurdish conflict, the women’s movement and political prisoners have been honoured with numerous awards, including the German government’s Journalist of the Year award (1996) and the Pen for Peace (2001). Her debut novel was published in 2010 and is named »Muz Sesleri« (Engl.: »Banana Sounds«), and her second novel »Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar« (En. »The Women Who Blow on Knots«), which was translated into twenty-two languages, was published in 2013.
A more detailled biography can be found here.
Turkey – Photographs by Davor Konjikusic
In 2016, during the great influx of refugees into Europe, the Croatian photographer Davor Konjikusic went to the Hungarian border and used the border police’s thermovision camera to take these photos. While the refugee – i.e the immigrant in the wider bio-political context – is nothing but a body, a “homo sacer” to the police apparatus, Konjikusic created the works of art to humanize the bodies. These photos were exhibited along with the sound recordings in Davor Konjikusic’s “Aura” project in 2016 (more information about which can be found here). The Turkish author Ece Temelkuran, who recently had to flee her home country, also appears in these photos. By putting her face in shadow but in sharp definition among the “homo sacer”, these photos aim to suggest that all of the individuals who make up the images all have faces and names as well.