Here's a short story behind my Istanbul photos... I first decided to visit Turkey when I woke up to yet another rainy day in Switzerland in May 2016. I picked up my phone and started looking for an affordable flight that could take me to a sunny destination. Istanbul was on top of the list and a day later I was on my way to the airport. That was just a few weeks before the failed coup attempt which ironically allowed Erdogan to start pushing the country into a conservative state of Islam. In Istanbul though, I was amazed to see how the liberal youth could co-exist with unchanging yet pragmatic Muslims.

While melting into the society of the young Turks I quickly started realizing they followed the western principles of freedom, just without advertising it too much as that could hurt their traditional families. Later on, after spending long hours on the streets of Istanbul and seeing both worlds of the city, I understood the cultural differences are fundamental and will probably never disappear. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Istanbul to remain an open, cosmopolitan city, despite the intensifying winds from Anatolia.