Istanbul during Covid 19

The streets of my city are almost always full of people. As a street photographer who grew up in Istanbul, learned to photograph in this city and has been a photographer here for twenty years, I have never seen these streets so quiet. I have captured many seasons and many events, but never such emptiness for days on end. Of course a city so old is never really empty, photography has taught me to see traces of life everywhere.

Life in Istanbul had become increasingly precarious in recent years. Like so many others, I knew that I could not afford it much longer. I have known this now for years but Istanbul is a passion, a habit that's hard to break. As the Corona virus began to spread and much of the city's population remained indoors, like others I faced economic realities that were already dire. And so for one last time I picked up my camera and took to the streets where I have learned almost all of what I know about photography and life. This series of photographs is my farewell to Istanbul. I will wander its streets and capture its eery - sometimes ominous, often beautiful - stillness while it lasts. I will bear witness to the life that continues on the streets and take note of the fierce beauty of this spring. And then when restrictions are eased and others are allowed to come out again, I will finally leave and do my best to start a new life. 

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