Güle Güle

Caimi & Piccinni


Güle Güle (goodbye in Turkish) is a personal project shot in Istanbul in 2018. When the AKP party came to power in 2004, the city started experiencing a spiritual, political and material mutation. European lifestyle is increasingly unwelcome, population is divided, independent voices disappear from the media landscape, while pro-government promotion is insistent. A strong gentrification, the marginalization of the poorer classes, the increasing discrimination of homosexuality, the massive migratory influx of Syrian refugees and the stigmatization of the Kurdish community are the other crucial elements to consider. Multiple and conflicting situations collide creating a strong interference with a natural evolution and bring the sense of an unpredictable future. To document the profound changes taking place within the Turkish society, we got in close contact with above mentioned realities which are the actors of this change, often unaware pawns or distressed victims of a bigger, political scheme. Photographs are the result of our relationships with people and places, in the attempt to penetrate the complexity of the city’s contrasting microcosms and contradictory daily life.

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  • In Istanbul, air pollution has reached the highest level of the recent years, particularly in the districts of Yenibosna, Kadıköy and Esenyurt. The rate of air pollution has increased due to the effects of transportation, the use of coal and urban transformation.

  • A young man jumps off the final part of the Galata Bridge, at the entrance of the Golden Horn, Istanbul. Similar tests of courage are regularly performed by local youngsters.

  • A Syrian refugees girl in Tarlabasi. She lost both her parents during the war and was taken to Istanbul by some family friends, who now take care of her.

  • Bosphorus boat wedding parties are very popular choice among young couples, in particular for long time established middle class immigrants people from the Eastern countries, like Armenians, Iraqi and Afghans.

  • Istanbul has a population of averagely 180.000 stray dogs. Some of them are regularly collected for vaccination renewals and neutering procedures. But the population is rapidly growing triggering government ordinances of forced relocations outside the city, an action strongly opposed by animal rights activists.

  • Tarlabası is one of the oldest and poorest neighborhood of Istanbul. The ongoing AKP party urban renewal project and gentrification process, in addition to imposing thousands of forced evictions, it deepened the housing problems and the poverty of the local low classes, by terminating the survival strategies they had developed over the years through informal economic and social networks.

  • The passengers room of a Bosphorus ferry. These medium-sized boats carry daily thousands people from the European side to the Asian side of the strait or vice versa and are part of the city public transportation system.

  • A muslim woman visits Miniaturk, Istanbul, one of the world's largest miniature parks with its 15,000 square meters model area. The park contains 122 models in 1:25 scale.

  • A portrait of Atatürk at the entrance of a local club in Istanbul. Busts, sculptures, photographs, painting with his icon are widespread in the country. He was the founder and first President of the Turkish republic, and was the responsible for a profound modernization and in particular secularization of the country. He promoted the separation of the powers of state and religion. The adoration of Atatürk as the heroic nation-builder is now out-shadowed by a growing islamization.

  • Constantine is a young drag queen who performs in several underground clubs in Istanbul. Homosexuality is widely a taboo subject in Turkey.
    On 20 August 2018, during the 2018 lira crisis, the widely circulated Turkish pro-Erdogan paper Sabah reported that the US was planning to "drop gay bombs" on enemies countries that "will change the sexual preferences of that country’s population".

  • Men praying in a Sufi Sunni mosque in the Beylerbeyi neighborhood of Üsküdar (Asian side of Istanbul).
    This mosque is also a "tekke", an islamic religious school.

  • Cows are gathered in a local car wash garage waiting to be slaughtered. During the Kurban, the "feast of sacrifice", livestock is privately bought and killed. Sometimes even a bull or a camel of minimum 2 years old is sacrificed. Usually the head of the family would perform the sacrifice in the garden or street.

  • A young Syrian girl came in Istanbul as a refugee. She found a local association in Balat, Istanbul, taking care of young children and displaced families from Syria. They survive of donations and organize weekend gatherings and small parties where food and clothes are distributed.

  • A Turkish family spends the night in a tent set in the Northern part of the Golden Horn, near the Black Sea. During the mid-August holidays of Kurban, the religious feast of sacrifice, families gather in the green spots along the sea and prepare for a prolonged stay.

  • A kurdish dissident and activist, now a cook, show us his tattoo. He work in a typical kurdish restaurant in kadikoy, in the asian side of Istanbul. Kadikoy is the new hypster neighborhood. I was running a dissident fanzine wich caused him many trables and inprisonment.

  • A man sleeping on a bench at the waiting room of the Marmaray railway station, Istanbul. Among other connections, the station is famous for the Tunnel, a 13.5 km (8.4 mi) long undersea railway tunnel beneath the Bosporus strait.

  • Hagia Sophia has been badly damaged by earthquakes, fires and vandalism during the centuries and it's under constant renovation. It has had 3 major changes; originally it was built as a church in 537 later it was converted to the mosque in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople and finally it was opened as a Museum in 1935.

  • A young Syrian refugee living in Fener a quarter midway up the Golden Horn within the district of Fatih in Istanbul. She belongs to the "new wave" of Syrian refugees who recently flee the country and only speaks arabic. She therefore feels insecure and lives secluded in her small one-room basement flat.

  • A ID card of a man outside a house in Tarlabasi, one of the oldest and poorest neighborhood of Istanbul, with an order of eviction. The ongoing AKP party urban renewal project and gentrification process, in addition to imposing thousands of forced evictions, it deepened the housing problems and the poverty of the local low classes, by terminating the survival strategies they had developed over the years through informal economic and social networks.

  • The Bosphorus is the world's narrowest strait used for international navigation. The strait experiences significant amounts of international commercial shipping traffic by freighters and tankers.