Skip to Content

Featured Story

Based in Istanbul, Turkey

LOUDER THAN BOMBS

  • alt-text-here
    Between the locations of Mürsidpinar-Yumurtalik. After the war between ISIS and YPG broke out, the republic of Turkey deployed tank battalions to the Syrian border in case the war spread.The dust of the tanks passing by the road to Kobane. Date: 02/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    Lice Newroz area that you can be reached only after a police checkpoint and a one-hour car trip. The Kobane victory is celebrated with fireworks in front of a poster memorializing the ones lost to the war. Date: 20/03/2014. Lice, Diyarbakir - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    During the events that transpired in Kobane, an estimated number of 200,000 civilians entered Turkey through the checkpoints on the border. The Turkish government was not prepared for such a large wave of refugees. Although HDP (People's Democratic party) and non-governmental organizations built tent cities for the refugees, their efforts weren't enough. Many people started living on the streets, occupied abandoned buildings and construction sites. A woman is seen crying over her dead husband, who was electrocuted by incomplete electrical wiring in the construction site. Date: 07/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    Right after the capture of Kobane by YPG that ended the war, the annual Newroz celebrations begun. The celebrations are of great cultural and political significance for the Kurdish people who dedicated themselves to the victory in Kobane. During these celebrations, people traditionally build large fires and jump over them. Seen here, a child jumps over the fire with a YPG flag tied over his face. Date: 17/03/2015. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    The Syrian city of Kobane lies in ruins as a result of the coalition forces' air strikes and the war in the city. Every street has been abandoned. Date: 22/04/2015. Kobane - Syria.
  • alt-text-here
    A woman is seen trying to get a signal in order to make a phone call. Date: 05/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    The Border gate at Yumurtalik. Civilians are flooding into Turkey with as many belongings as they can carry. Date: 02/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    After 8PM, the border gates are closed because of security reasons. A woman is seen waiting between her belongings for the last truck that will transport refugees to the city center. Date: 01/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    Civilians from Kobane enter Turkey through a checkpoint on the border under military observation. Date: 01/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    Millions of people gather in the square for Newroz celebrations dedicated to the victory in Kobane, Diyarbakir. Date: 21/03/2015. Diyarbakir - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    The city of Nusaybin, wherein the 1980s and 1990s intense clashes between the Turkish Army and PKK occurred. Members of YDG-H (a pro-PKK armed group of young people) are seen attacking the police with fireworks through the barricades that were built from tires and burnt during the Newroz celebrations. Date: 19/03/2015. Nusaybin, Mardin - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    People try to return to normal lives amid the shambles. Date: 23/04/2015. Kobane - Syria.
  • alt-text-here
    Kobane refugees live in the warehouses since there is no tent city here. Date: 02/10/2014, Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    Children play games in between the ruins and the remains of war. Date: 19/04/2015. Kobane - Syria.
  • alt-text-here
    After the ongoing conflicts in the city, a shop is seen that was targeted with bullets. Date: 24/04/2015. Kobane - Syria.
  • alt-text-here
    In Azadi Square, a busy agora of Kobane before the war, a bus that has become inoperable after the firefights in the city is seen. Date: 18/04/2015. Kobane - Syria.
  • alt-text-here
    Many people from Turkey went to Syria, Kobane to fight. In the very hard days of the conflict, dozens of funerals occurred in Turkey. A funeral is seen in the YPG graveyard in Suruc. Date: 08/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    Newroz celebrations in the skirt of Cizre mountain. Date: 18/03/2015. Sirnak, Cizre - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    Guerrilla martyrdom located in Lice mountains. A museum dedicated to the ones lost during the 30 years of war between the Turkish Army and PKK. These mountains are still controlled by the guerrillas and only during specific periods of the year can civilians can set foot in the area. Date: 20/03/2015. Lice, Diyarbakir - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    The refugees who had run away from the war to sheltered inTurkey are are seen staying at their camps. Date: 19/01/2015. Hasanbeyli, Adana - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    A scene from a refugee camp from Suruc. Date: 03/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    One of three schools in Kobane, this school is located in the western part of the city. Used as headquarters during the war, it's being made into an educational institution again. Date: 19/04/2015. Kobane - Syria.
  • alt-text-here
    Civilians escaped and sheltered in Turkey during the ISIS siege in Kobane. A woman passes the border with her son in her arms. Date: 02/10/2014. Suruc, Sanliurfa - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    A woman enters into a tent with her child. Date: 18/01/2015. Hasanbeyli, Adana - Turkey.
  • alt-text-here
    One of the government offices that was used as a military quarter during the war. Date: 18/04/2015. Kobane - Syria.
  • alt-text-here
    After Newroz celebrations dedicated to Kobane victory, two girls are seen running towards the sun in their traditional outfits. Date: 18/03/2015. Cizre, Sirnak - Turkey.
Louder Than Bombs

In September of 2014, ISIS attacked Ayn-el Arab on three fronts. Before the civil war in Syria, the city was under regime’s power and was a part of Rojava and ruled by the Kurds of PYD – Syria.

With strategical importance due to the territorial integrity of the Rojava cantons, Kobane carried political meaning for Kurds in Iraq, Iran and Turkey. Before attacking Kobane, ISIS had blockaded the city in three fronts by occupying Tel-Abyad in east, Jarablus in west and Sarrin in the southern region. People living in these territories were refugees who had escaped from ISIS. Including these civilians who arrived in Kobane, it’s thought that the population in the city was just below 200,000.

The attack to Kobani was unexpected. Against the three-way sudden attack of ISIS and it’s heavy weapons and labor force, the YPG was the only armed force. They were few in number and only had light weapons, and the only backup could come from the Turkish border gate. During these days, the Turkish government dogmatised that YPG couldn’t be helped and closed the border gate. Later on, Turkey added YPG to the terror list. However, they opened a new gate in Yumurtalık location and let the civilians pass to Turkey. Approximately 7-10 thousand of civilians a day entered Turkey from that gate, aside from the number of people that had fled the war earlier. Civilians passed the border from minefields by demolishing the barricades. It took 1 month for ISIS to arrive in the city, and during that time nearly 200,000 civilians had already fled to Turkey. The city was emptied. When October came, ISIS had enclosed the city on 3 sides within 5km.

The civilian war lasted for months and resulted in the YPG’s victory, with the aid of collision’s air forces. But the city has become a ghost town where it is impossible to live. Kobane blockade of ISIS influenced region’s demographic structure deeply — more than 200,000 people no longer have a home.

privacy terms conditions - copyright © 2017 - VII photo agency, llc. all rights reserved the VII logo is a registered trademark, registered in the u.s. patent and trademark offices design by De.MO.org