Street photographer Yusuf Aksoy documents Turkish daily life and the experience of Syrian refugees in Turkey. After noting the cultural tension and underlying resentment from his neighbours and friends as Syrians flooded into his country, Aksoy began using the global reach of Instagram to tell their story. He aims to reveal that, fundamentally, people all share the same fears, joys, and desires, despite political divisions. He states: “I had to show that they are human beings just like all of us. They had to leave their country...because it isn’t safe anymore. Most of their relatives are dead. I just wanted to make people more empathetic.”
Turkey has welcomed nearly three million Syrian refugees without visas but is under no obligation to provide shelter for them. As a result, shanty towns have cropped up all over Konya, where Aksoy lives. In pursuit of the “decisive moment,” and inspired by their exposed humanity, Aksoy attempts to develop intimate connections with his subjects. In Konya focuses on the universality of the photographic image and how social media can be an instrumental tool for communicating people’s shared humanity.