What have you learned from covering natural disasters, such as the aftermath of the Izmir earthquake and the drought in Istanbul?
It is up to us to minimise the damage natural disasters cause to human life. If the necessary measures are taken, we don't have to pay as high a price. I believe photography is a tool that can create social awareness and support change. The photos I took after the Izmir earthquake in 2020 and the most recent drought in Istanbul made people more aware of these events and helped me understand my environment better.
How do you choose the best perspective when you're shooting crowded scenes such as protests?
Istanbul is one of the best cities to gain experience in this: there are constant protests, big and small. First of all, I need to find out about the protest, whether it's authorised by the state and who has organised it, as that can determine where I'll be located. Another important thing to consider is the behaviour of the protestors. If it's a crowded scene, I sit on a high hill against the direction of movement. If I can't find a hill to climb, I walk around among the people. The places where the movement and sound are most intense give stronger images, but it's easier to shoot on the periphery.
How do photojournalistic ethics affect how you shoot and edit your images?
I try to get to know and understand the people I photograph. I don't feel comfortable when I think I'm bothering them or worrying them; ideally I want to be accepted first. I edit my images in a way that does not alter the subject.