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Syrian Refugee Camps Turkey

Any idea how difficult it is to access these camps? Are there informal camps around? How safe is it to photographically document near the border?

Any information gratefully received.

by geoff billett at 2013-03-19 01:10:50 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

AFAIK to enter and take photos (even from outside) of the refugee camps in Turkey is strictly forbidden. There has been serious controversy about it because even Members of the Parliament, and high officials have been denied entrance, but Angelina Jolie was allowed to tour them.
Some photographers have been able to sneak inside, but I know that some have been deported and banned from Turkey for years. It’s paradoxically easier to visit camps inside of Syria, but situation about safety seems awful. Maybe in Jordan it is possible, but I have no info about that. Hope to have been helpful, maybe the situation is changing.

by Piero Castellano | 19 Mar 2013 21:03 | Ankara, Turkey | | Report spam→
Thanks Pierro. I have some info re camps in Jordan from Brad Catleugh ( see http://www.durhamregion.com/news/article/1591224—durham-photographer-documents-syrian-refugee-camp ) who visited Zaatari in Jordon. He wrote to me ’ In Jordan i had to go to the press office with a letter of representation from a media outlet. after that the press office put my request through the ministry for both my translator and myself. After that i was given 3 days i could visit out of 7. from 8am-5pm. After 7 days i would have to renew that pass. Im not sure if the process is the same in Turkey.’

Seems more flexible than Turkey then but seems possible. Depends on motivation I guess.
Geoff

by geoff billett | 20 Mar 2013 00:03 | Kumbh Mela, India | | Report spam→
Yes I also heard about that procedure in Jordan. But here in Turkey, where bureaucracy rules, colleagues who tried it talked about weeks of waiting in vain. After while, some of them tried to just go to Antakya and ask politely to local officials. About one year ago, some were allowed to enter for some minutes, but without cameras and not being allowed to talk to anyone but their guides. After last spring, entrance to the camps have been denied altogether, and this has lead some in the Parliament to speculate that other activities (i.e. training of fighters) was carried on in the camps. Unless the status did change recently (but idk), Syrian refugees in Turkey had not the official status of refugees, that would allow International ngo’s to visit them, but of “guests”. However, I know for sure that at least one photographer was able to sneak into a camp (I think near Gaziantep), but after that, he was deported and banned from Turkey for three years. All in all, I think it is not worth.

by Piero Castellano | 20 Mar 2013 11:03 | Ankara, Turkey | | Report spam→
It is possible to get permission to get into Turkish camps, not easy to get though. You go through the press office in the ministry of foreign affairs. You would need the usual press accretion stuff, a letter from your editor etc, and it takes a while. They give a “guide” with you, which does feel very annoying at first, but our guide did not speak english or arabic, so he was not a problem at all. At the end of the day he bought us dinner on government budget, which was a nice touch I have to say.

by yusuf sayman | 20 Mar 2013 11:03 | antakya, Turkey | | Report spam→
I can help getting pics of the camps

by Seham | 20 Mar 2013 13:03 | Antakya, Turkey | | Report spam→
Thanks everybody. Looks like if I want to do it Jordan is the better bet. I’ve a window in May/June so need to start process if I want to proceed. Never done anything like this before so all new to me. Seham, whats your situation. Of the camps, in the camps?? Whats the deal?

by geoff billett | 20 Mar 2013 14:03 | Kumbh Mela, India | | Report spam→

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Participants

geoff billett, Documentary Photographer geoff billett
Documentary Photographer
Kolkata , India
Piero Castellano, Photographer Piero Castellano
Photographer
(sitting at pc in Ankara)
Ankara , Turkey
yusuf sayman, photographer yusuf sayman
photographer
Antakya , Turkey
Seham, Seham
[location unknown]


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