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Seeking the soul of Istanbul on the Bosphorus

Friday 10 April 2015 - Eye witness

A ferry leaves the Kadikoy landing as a captain walks on the roof on May 3, 2014, in Istanbul. (AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC)

"It’s commonplace among Istanbul residents to complain about the pace of change in the city," writes AFP journalist Stuart Williams. "Too much unchecked construction, too much traffic, too many new infrastructure projects, people say. Yet everyone still knows a place that for them is the soul of the city. For me, the easiest way to feel the soul of Istanbul is on the water. On one of the commuter ferries that ply their way on the Bosphorus."

(Photo: AFP / Bulent Kilic)

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Coming home to Kobane

Friday 27 March 2015 - Eye witness

A Kurdish Syrian woman walks with her child past the ruins of the town of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, on March 25, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/YASIN AKGUL)

"I travelled to Kobane a day before Newroz, the Kurdish New Year, and stayed for a week to photograph people returning to their homes, two months after the Kurds recaptured the town from Islamic State fighters," writes the photographer Yasin Akgul. "The last time I was here, just after the Islamists were chased out, the place was strewn with burning cars and corpses. Eight percent of the town is destroyed, But two months on, there are signs of normal life beginning to resume."

(Photo: AFP / Yasin Akgul)

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Bulent Kilic, from Taksim to Kobane

Thursday 12 February 2015 - Short Stuff

A young girl wounded during clashes between riot-police and prostestors after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during anti-government protests, in Istanbul on March 12, 2014 (AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC)

The Turkish AFP photographer Bulent Kilic clinched two awards at the prestigious World Press Photo photojournalism awards, whose top prize went to Denmark’s Mads Nissen for an image of a gay couple in Russia. Bulent Kilic took first prize in the “Spot news” category for his image of a young woman injured during clashes between police and demonstrators on Istanbul’s Taksim Square in March 2014.

(Photo: AFP/Bulent Kilic)

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Inside Kobane

Wednesday 28 January 2015 - Eye witness

A Kurdish fighter walks with his child in the center of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab, on January 28, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC)

"We've been waiting for two days to get into Kobane, ever since Kurdish fighters wrested back the town from IS jihadists. Finally, this morning, the Turkish authorities say they will allow us access for a few hours," writes AFP photographer Bulent Kilic. "When this all started, I was watching Kobane from the outside. The bombing, the fighting, it was like hell. After all this, to enter the city, for the fight to be over, that is powerful for me too."

(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

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Back among the living

Wednesday 31 December 2014 - Behind the image

A miner is reunited with his father after an explosion on May 13, 2014 in Soma, western Turkey (AFP PHOTO /BULENT KILIC)

“These two faces tell the story of Turkey’s deadliest ever industrial disaster,” writes Bulent Kilic, who captured this embrace between a father and his son, rescued from a horrific death after a mine blast left hundreds trapped underground.

(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

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A black flag torn down

Saturday 25 October 2014 - Behind the image


Militants of Islamic State group are seen just before and after an explosion from an air strike on Tilsehir hill near the Turkish-Syrian border on October 23, 2014 (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)


A black flag torn down


Bombs launched by Western aircraft strike an Islamic State group position on the Tilsehir hill, west of the Syrian town of Kobane, on October 23, 2014. AFP video reporter Mostafa Abulezz tells the story behind these impressive images.


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Watching the Kobane battle from 'media hill'

Thursday 16 October 2014 - Eye witness


Smoke rises after a strike on the Syrian town of Kobane as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border on October 12, 2014 (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)

In the days before the conflict it was known to local gossips as the "love hill", a place where courting couples would come to chat and even flirt, away from prying eyes. But when Kobane became the focus of global attention this small bump of land by the Turkish border crossing of Mursitpinar became a magnet for the world's media. AFP reporter Fulya Ozerkan spent days there, watching the bitter fighting between the Islamic State group (IS) militants and Kurdish fighters for the Syrian town located just on the other side of the border.

(AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)


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Black flag over Kobane

Tuesday 7 October 2014 - Behind the image


Alleged Islamic State group militants stand next to an IS flag atop a hill in the Syrian town of Kobane, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)
AFP Photo / Aris Messinis

Black flag over Kobane


Fighters keep watch under the black flag of the Islamic State group on a hill to the east of the Syrian town of Kobane. AFP photographer Aris Messinis shot the picture early in the afternoon on Monday, October 6 from the Turkish village of Mursitpinar, just across the border. Its unusual composition and the fact that the militants' silhouettes seem out of proportion to other elements led some AFP clients to call the agency to check it was real.

It was. Here is the explanation.


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Foreign reporters not welcome

Wednesday 21 May 2014 - Eye witness

TURKEY-MINING-ACCIDENT

AFP journalist Ambre Tosunoglu is a French woman of Turkish descent. Despite her ties to the country -- and the fact that Turkish was her first language -- she said things have gotten more difficult for reporters working for foreign outlets in Turkey.

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Tensions rise on the streets of Turkey

Wednesday 12 March 2014 - Behind the image

A protester holds a placard displaying a portrait of Berkin Elvan. (AFP Photo/Adem Altan)

"It feels like things could explode at any time -- with one crisis following another, it's very tense," writes AFP’s Istanbul bureau chief Philippe Alfroy.

Renewed unrest on the streets of Turkey following this week’s death of a teenage demonstrator is likely to add to pressure on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government has been rocked by an escalating corruption.

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Syrian refugees go hungry in Istanbul park

Tuesday 5 November 2013 - Behind the image

(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

Syrian refugees go hungry in Istanbul park


More than 600,000 Syrians have sought refuge in neighbouring Turkey since conflict broke out in their country in March 2011. About a third of them are crowded into about 20 camps near the border, with the remainder spread across Turkey. In recent months, more and more of them have been seen in Istanbul. AFP photographer Bulent Kilic saw the increasing desperation of some of these people in an Istanbul park.

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Politics in Turkey a movable feast for reporters

Friday 11 January 2013 - Debriefing

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the military's highest annual meeting with top military officials at the army headquarters in Ankara on August 1, 2010.

Whatever history’s judgment on the virtues and effectiveness of Turkey’s current leadership, for a reporter covering the day-by-day evolution of this gateway nation – the tectonic plate between Europe and the Middle East – they are certainly newsworthy. AFP senior correspondent Michel Sailhan, winding down a four-year tour of duty as our bureau chief in Ankara, reflects on Turkey’s recent past and possible futures. (AFP Photo/Adem Altan)

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Of Guns and chicks: Sneaking into Syria

Tuesday 17 April 2012 - Eye witness

Michel Moutot, at the Turko-Syrian border.

AFP terrorism expert Michel Moutot, recipient of France’s Prix Albert Londres in 1999 for his reporting from Kosovo, recently slipped into Syria from Turkey, along with photographer Frederic Lafargue, to get a firsthand view of the conflict there.  One of the trickiest parts of the assignment was getting in and out of the strife-torn nation. (AFP Photo/Frederic Lafargue)

 

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