As is the case around the world, most refugees from Syria have been hosted in towns and cities in the global South rather than in isolated refugee camps. The following photos were taken in the Summer of 2016 in the urban context of Istanbul, which has recently become home to between 200,000-400,000 refugees displaced from Syria. The opportunities for protection in Istanbul are numerous, yet the urban sprawl, expensive cost of living, and often tense political atmosphere has left many refugees and asylum seekers trapped and homeless, a reality that resonates with the almost 2 million refugees living in towns and cities across Turkey.

Text and images (c) Aydan Greatrick, University College London

A view of the Taksim area, famous for a number of major political events in Turkey’s history, and also home to many Syrian refugees. (c) Aydan Greatrick
The sun sets on Istanbul’s urban sprawl. (c) Aydan Greatrick
A view of the Karaköy and Beyoğlu regions of Istanbul, as seen from the historic heart of the city. (c) Aydan Greatrick
Istanbul’s largest mosque, The Blue Mosque, as seen from the historic Hagia Sophia. (c) Aydan Greatrick
Restoration work is being carried out on the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’s most famous mosque. Built originally as a Christian cathedral by the Emperor Constantine in 537, it serves as a reminder of the city’s long history of religious diversity. (c) Aydan Greatrick


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