Talking Points Memo – Istanbul: Before the Tear Gas

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On April 18th, I interviewed a Syrian refugee in Istanbul. One year short of getting an advanced degree when arrest attempts forced him to flee Aleppo, the refugee spoke English with a measured intensity. Turkey had opened its borders, he said. Though he is atheist, Turks treated him like a brother, based on what they assumed was a shared Muslim identity. “We believe that if the [Turkish] opposition wins an election they’ll throw us into the sea.” the refugee told me. “The AKP is authoritarian. They should lose. But it’s in my personal interest that they win.” Understandably, the refugee asked me not to reveal his name. In February, Turkey deported an Azerbaijani journalist in revenge for his criticizing the government.

Talking Points Memo – Istanbul: Before the Tear Gas by Molly Crabapple

Earlier this month, Molly Crabapple flew to Istanbul to interview a variety of activists, journalists, dissidents and footbal fans to report on the post-Gezi culture of street protest before today’s planned May Day protests. The article is a long form report, including several illustrations from her travels.

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    About Molly:
    Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer in New York. She is the author of two books, Drawing Blood and Brothers of the Gun, (with Marwan Hisham). Her reportage has been published in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a Yale Poynter Fellowship, a Front Page Award, and shortlisted for a Frontline Print Journalism Award. She is often asked to discuss her work chronicling the conflicts of the 21st Century, and has appeared on All In with Chris Hayes, Amanpour, NPR, BBC News, and more. Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the United States Library of Congress and the New York Historical Society.

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