• Lezgîn Kitêbçiyan talks Kurdish issues in Turkey
    Istanbul,  Turkey

    What’s it like being Kurdish in Turkey?

    The Place: Istanbul, Turkey (2/2) “I was starting to learn more about Turkish society; its quirks, its nuances, and its fractures… the warmth exuded by locals to foreigners masked some of the divisions that separated them from each other… Erdoğan supporters, Kemalists, Gülenists, Kurds; different factions clashed with one another over everything from politics to religion to ethnicity. Rather than fight the biases, I resolved to embrace the diversity of opinion, and take everything that I was told during my time in Turkey with a pinch of salt.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Lezgîn…

  • Mert Himmet Gümüş Featured
    Istanbul,  Turkey

    Islam, Erdoğan, Turks and Kurds

    The Place: Istanbul, Turkey “It took me 9 hours to cycle just 40km halfway into Istanbul, but by the end of it, it was as though I’d spent a lifetime there. It was alive; a living, breathing entity in its own right, and was saturated with an energy unlike anything I’ve ever felt. It coursed through narrow alleyways and over cobblestones, and swirled in the air. It felt electric, like at any moment it could explode from all the intensity, and my brain reeled from the assault on the senses… It was pure, perfect anarchy.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily…

  • Ivo Gospodinov Featured
    Bulgaria,  Burgas

    Was Communism better for Bulgaria?

    The Place: Burgas, Bulgaria “Spring was breathing life back into the Bulgarian countryside, and the browns and yellows of last years’ shrivelled but stubborn flora were slowly forced aside… I whizzed between trees reaching towards me from the roadside, and felt the invisible scowl of ‘Baba Marta’ tracking my movements…. the mythical, grumpy old woman is the living embodiment of the month of march, her mood swings reflecting the meteorological whiplash emblematic of this time of year.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Ivo Gospodinov, 27, Bartender “I prefer my hometown, but after graduation from…

  • Giorgos Eftychiou Featured
    Assorted Articles,  Interview

    Growing up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses

    You see them proclaiming the end of days from their stalls in busy streets, or hurrying down garden paths, the glare almost blinding from their pristine, plain white shirts as they bruise their knuckles on door after door after door. You turn them away, or perhaps just pretend you haven’t noticed them, and they move on, bible clutched tightly between their hand and torso.  They’re often the subject of ridicule, and sometimes even persecution, but how much do you really know about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Giorgos struck me as someone caught in the space between two wildly different realities. We’d met on a 60km trek in the Svaneti region of Northern…

  • Alexander Mirgorodski
    Chișinău,  Moldova

    Pros & Cons of the Soviet Union

    "When we became independent, we have a joke that we became independent not just from the Soviet Union, but also from oil, natural gas... we became... super poor at the same time. A lot of factories... had been working for the needs of the Soviet Union, so there was no point running them any more. A lot of very talented people... became unemployed in a moment."