Photojournalism | Daily life of Afghan refugees in Turkey

by Newsroom 2019-03-19 13:20:22

The new wave of migrants from Afghanistan to Turkey, due to social and political instability - who created poverty and lack of chances for Afghan youth - is photo-documented for IndieFrame by Turkish photojournalist Anil Yurdakul.

'The Afghan Apartment' project is a witness to Afghan youth placed in three rooms of a three-storey building in Küçükpazar for a period of three month of home life.

Squatting historical buildings that are not occupied in the Turkish capital, without running and heating, the youngsters are trying to make the best out of their lives in the newly discovered territory. 

This is a story about a neglected generation and their struggles.

Afghan refugees playing in one of the occupied historical building apartments in Instanbul, Turkey | Photo: Anil Yurdakul / IndieFrame, 2017


Afghan immigrants have settled in Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul since 2017, many of them have attended social life by obtaining a residence permit. Afghans who have to come from illegal roads to Turkey instead of Iran are taken from Esenler Bus Terminal and placed directly in old desolated buildings around the urban transformation areas in Istanbul.


Living conditions in Instanbul | Photo: Anil Yurdakul / IndieFrame, 2017

''The main hopes the people who fled their countries due to economic crisis and wars, are to reach to Turkey but by paying a cost to smuggler groups who are mostly Turkish. Vehicles, which even their trunks are crowded of people, for 1000 dollars per person, come to Iran through Afghanistan. These Afghan trucks are being stopped at the border and all valuable things of people are often seized by Iranian soldiers, and thus allowed to pass to Turkey. This illegal immigrants journey usually ends in Istanbul Esenler Intercity Bus Terminal.'' - Anil Yurdakul

Recycling paper work is the main working activity of the migrants. They collect the recycled materials that are in garbages to the two wheels trolley cars called “çek-çek”. At the same time, those who operate the warehouses where the materials they have piled up with, are also owners of the rooms they lived in partially destroyed buildings.

Daily life in the 'Afghan Apartment' - Istanbul, Turkey, 03.2017 | Photo: Anil Yurdakul/ IndieFrame

Afghans, who are aware that Europe is completely closed to them, say they prefer their days to live by not forgetting their past and trying not to worry about the future. - Anil Yurdakul

Teen Afghan holds knife to his neck in squatted apartment in Istanbul | Photo: Anil Yurdakul, Uploaded 13.03.2019 on IndieFrame