BALOBESHAYI

African Women Voices

Are There Black People in Turkey?

Are there Black people or Africans in Turkey? I wouldn’t be able to speak for the whole country but certainly the ones I spoke to told me they moved across Turkey before landing in Istanbul.
Professor Sedat Aybar of the Nadir Has University told me a bit about Africans living in Turkey as he has been talking to them and conducting interviews as head of the center for African Studies. He said:

The majority of Africans are well-educated and arrive in Turkey to set up businesses. Some open individual trades, like cargo companies working between Africa and Turkey; others end up doing petty commodity trade, like selling watches on the streets.

Africans I met in Istanbul were businessmen and entrepreneurs, students and artists, but also people who struggled and are living a tough life. I met them because my insane curiosity and hunger for knowledge on the African Diaspora in the world, brought me to conceive a documentary in thirteen cities of the world and aiming to show African migrants under a different light: not only desperate, hungry and struggling individuals; but also successful, self-made professional and resilient characters, modern super heroes living a daily life.

Istanbul was the fourth stop of this journey among African migrants, called (IN)VISIBLE CITIES. While in Istanbul, I had the chance to share one of the stories I heard and loved, that of Muhammed Hobe, an amazing south African calligraphic who’s studying the Islamic art in Istanbul. I wrote about him for the Turkish Review.

To read the article and see the pictures, click here.

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