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Turkish Refugee Camps

Hello all,
I have a few questions that I couldn’t find answers to on the site. I plan to visit the refugee camps in southern Turkey to take pictures and collect stories. I speak Arabic but not Turkish.

How do you get in to the camps? (I read something about getting permission from the Interior Ministry??)
Do I need accreditation? (From where can I get that?)
Are there any restrictions inside the camps?
Is there anybody I should speak to?
What’s the security situation there?
Is everything really expensive in Antakya now because of all these people moving into the area?

Also, sorry for what is perhaps a bold question, any suggestions of good people to offer pictures/stories to? I’m new to this so I don’t have contacts.

Thank you.

by Paul Campbell at 2012-06-20 15:10:29 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hi Paul,

It is very, very difficult to get into the camps in the south. It sounds as though you are probably a freelancer and this is going to make the next to impossible, completely impossible.

Security varies as the camps are administered by both the army and the police and some are very close to the physical border between Syria and Turkey. Most of southern Turkey is very safe and as long as you are on the right side of the wire, you are in good shape.

Antakya can be an expensive place to stay or it can be cheap. It depends on your needs. There are cheap hotels in the old market area a little to the east of the core. Street food is cheap and riding the busses around versus renting a car can reduce your cost greatly.

Really, in order to get anything done there you need to connect with some folks. Be very, very careful who you speak to as there are people who will take advantage of you. Antakya can seem like a peaceful and safe place but there are underlining tensions and there are security forces from both sides in the city. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t talk to anyone that somebody else can’t vouch for.

I would think long and hard about crossing as things are very dangerous inside Syria. It is not a very good place to ‘cut your teeth’ as they say and the situation in the north, just across the Turkish border, has been deteriorating rapidly in the past weeks.

If you wish to connect with the people you will need to get anything done, send me an email and I will provide a few numbers and names.

by john d | 20 Jun 2012 22:06 | hetay, Turkey | | Report spam→
Thanks John, I’ll send you an email.

by Paul Campbell | 21 Jun 2012 21:06 | South, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hi Paul

As far as I know there’s a requirement not to show the refugees faces and the refugee camps are also in what’s called ‘Gendarmerie Zone’ with restricted access.

You also need permission from the Turkish government to work as a journalist in Turkey.

Check with Memet Aksakal (http://www.memetaksakal.com/), he has a lot of useful inormation on his webssite and is also available as a fixer in Hatay province (where the refugee camps are).

Security should not be an issue as long as you stay in Turkey; they are pretty good at that.

Since Syria and related topics are more and more front page news you should not have any issues finding a buyer, but from my own experience it’s next to impossible to find one before you have something to show.

My advice: get there and start shooting first and as soon as you have something worth showing, start contacting picture desks/editors. I’m sure you are going to sell something.

Any plans to cross the border (meaning to go into Syria)? If so, send me an email if you like: johann@jb-photography.org

good luck!

johann

by Johann Brandstatter | 22 Jun 2012 12:06 | Sofia, Bulgaria | | Report spam→
i cannot stress enough. if you don’t have an agreement in place with an outlet first, please think very hard about crossing. peoples lives are at stake and if the regime sniffs out a ‘journalist’ in one of the villages across from southern Turkey, they will attack it.

having had to help evac two freelancer photogs myself, i urge you to consider your decisions with the lives of others at stake. Syria is NOT the place for fishing expeditions.

by john d | 22 Jun 2012 13:06 | hetay, Turkey | | Report spam→
Sorry to hijack Paul’s post but I am arriving next week and would appreciate an update on the current situation at the Turkish side of the border. Is security still OK?

Thank you

by Jay Miles | 14 Aug 2012 19:08 | East Sussex, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Participants

Paul Campbell, Photographer Paul Campbell
Photographer
South , United Kingdom
john d, retired hooligan john d
retired hooligan
(whats a tagline?)
Istanbul , Turkey
Johann Brandstatter, Photojournalist Johann Brandstatter
Photojournalist
Sofia , Bulgaria
Jay Miles, Jay Miles
Hastings , United Kingdom


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