I am a German-born Turkish photographer (b.1987 in Hannover, German). Photography allows to sniff into other worlds and to become a part of them. I am interested in people and how they live. I like to discover the thinks around me. My...
Turkiye, Ruba, Fatma, Eye and Suhely had to flee Syria after the death of their husband and father. One of the daughters has already married in Mardin. Fatma is 15 years old and Eye is 13 years old. The youngest daughter Suheyl is 12 years old.
Every day they hoped the situation would be better in Syria. But it gets worse and worse. They have awful experiences. Never again they want to feel that again. “The young ones were beat and beheaded. The bodies were thrown into water. This life is no life. No one can survive this , says the family”. Their are dreaming of a better Syria and Huriyya (Freedom) for eyerone.
The whole family have mental wounds of the war. Mostly the 13-years-old Eye. Eye´s story is a powerful example of the wide reach of the horrors of war. The war has changed Eye´s personality, and altered her life. Nightmares have been plaguing her ever since she saw with her own eyes how people were beheaded in Aleppo on the street in broad daylight.
They do not have anyone they could go to. It is like we suffocate in this house, says Turkiye. They wake up in the morning and have breakfast together. Then they sit and wait until it gets dark and they can sleep again. You rarely leave home and even they do the girls stay close to the house just to feel safe.
The United Nations estimate that more than 220.000 people have been killed. Many million people have fled from Syria since the beginning of the war Thousands of people have fled to Turkey which the Syrian people are able to cross the border for security. "At night. Everybody flees at night. During the day no one can escape. Otherwise you will be shot dead”, says Turkiye. The family left their house and all their belongings during the night. It was a cold and a rainy night when they fled to the border and took the bus from there. Eye drew the night on one of my pictures from the story.
Strange men entered the houses in their neighborhood over and over again. Every day they hoped the situation would be better in Syria. But it gets worse and worse. Many Girls were kidnapped or raped. The family sat every night without light. They were too scared to switch on the light.
As a mother is Turkiye worried about their situation and about her daughters. One of her daughters married in Mardin and Fatma will be the next of her daughter. Even the marriages will guarantee a better life for her daughters Turkiye is still sad that this is her only option. That is why she got facial palsy. For some families marry off their daughters is tradition and for other as protection for their daughters. Most of Syrians women forced to getting married because they are desperate. The financial situation of families who fled the war is very bad, they have neither a house nor a job.
After the marriage of her older sister Ruba last year, Fatma will be marrying a young Turkish man as well. According to the new figures from the United Nations is there is an alarming rise in the number of Syrian refugee girls being forced into early marriages. Meanwhile, the number of Turkish men having religious ‘religious marriages’ (also called imam marriages) with Syrian women have increased dramatically even ‘imam marriages’ are against the law in Turkey, as well as marrying girls under the age of 18.
Beyond dreams and hopes More than a year ago I started working on a project about one individual Syrian family who lived in fear and misery and now try to start a new life in Turkey after they have escaped the war at night. At the time I started photographing, the Syrian civil conflict marked his third anniversary. Many million people have fled from Syria since the beginning to war. The United Nations estimate that more than 220.000 people have been killed. Thousands of people have fled to Turkey, which borders Syria, in search for security, especially women and children. The experiences and conditions they were facing were among the painfullest I have ever seen. For most people, Syria is an exotic and foreign country. In recent decades, most citizens of democratic countries have not experienced war or any other related situations and do not know what fear of death is like. Many of the Syrian people are afraid to speak about that what happened to them. Some of them still have family members in Syria who could be at risk as a result of their conversation with journalists such as myself, and the publication of their story. Turkiye Huseyin and her daughters allowed me to photograph and to film them. Turkiye, Ruba, Fatma, Eye and Suhely had to flee Syria after the death of their husband and father. He was a policeman, they feared they would be kidnapped and killed as well. In this project I have tried to capture the personal consequences of a war that is only portrayed through the impersonal and sensationalized news reporting. I want to investigate the story and the feelings of one individual family. I am especially focused on women and children. I am fascinated by their brave and strength to make their children feel safe and protected. My motivation is to raise awareness for the impacts of this war and the miseries it has created for the Syrian people. My aim is to keep returning, continuing to visit the family and build trust. There are many storys about war but it doesn´t mean to stop to document it. Unfortunately, the relevance of a piece like this will never fade, as the topic of war and flight will sadly always be an issue. Eye´s story is a powerful example of the wide reach of the horrors of war. The war has changed her personality, and altered her life. Nightmares have been plaguing her ever since she saw with her own eyes how people were beheaded in Aleppo on the street in broad daylight. She doesn‘t want to speak with anyone. Eye sits alone most of the time. After her oldest daughter already married in Mardin Fatma will be marriang a Turkish man as well. She just turned 15 and always wanted to became a doctor before the war destroyed their dreams and hopes. I felt a strong need to document and record the misery of war and the way in which it destroys many lives of families, and especially those of children and women. I want to show a personal story of this war, in contrast to the often sensationalized mass media coverage.