All posts tagged: Suleymaniye

November is a beginning for Esa Ylijaasko

“Photographers have a responsibility to tell these stories,” says Esa Ylijaasko of his project, November is a beginning, which shows a community of Syrian refugees living in Istanbul. Forced out by the civil war some 2.9 million Syrians have fled to Turkey, of whom about 800,000 have settled in the capital city, many in the formerly abandoned Süleymaniye neighbourhood. Knowing little Turkish and lacking the right documentation, they are left in a kind of limbo – unable to work legally, they rely on their meagre savings, cash-in-hand jobs and charity. “If they’re are caught by the police, they are sent to refugee camps,” explains Ylijaasko. “But as illegal workers, they earn below the minimum wage – around $250 to $300 USD monthly, which is just enough to cover their living expenses. Kind-hearted locals bring food and clothes, helping them to survive. But life stands still.” Originally from Finland, Ylijaasko started shooting the series back in 2013, after moving to Istanbul and hearing about the community. “I decided I’d try at least,” he says. “More people can help …

2017-03-02T15:32:59+00:00

BJP Staff