Görkem Şen plays the Yaybahar with the Marmara Sea in the background. He hopes his instrument will soon be as common as a violin or cello. Credit: Courtesy of Görkem Şen

It’s not Space Odyssey, it’s the Yaybahar

This piece originally aired on PRI’s The World. In Turkey, a new instrument has been invented that makes crazy galactic and laser-gun sounds. It’s called the Yaybahar, and it’s completely acoustic. “This is real time, acoustic, string synthesizer,” Gorkem Sen, the instrument’s creator, explains. Gorkem invented the Yaybahar about six years ago in a hunt for…

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Erdogan’s move means dark days for Kurds in Turkey

Turkey’s President Erdogan has shaken up the domestic political sphere with his decision to end the peace process with the Kurds. As Dalia Mortada reports from Istanbul the repercussions could be powerful. [This piece originally appeared on DW.] Following a week of violence between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), including airstrikes over the…

10 Striking Portraits Show Beach Life In Istanbul

Turkey is a land of beaches: The Anatolian Peninsula’s south touches the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea rests to the west, and the Black Sea borders Turkey’s north. Each region has its own stunning landscape, often accented by jagged cliffsides that meet roaring waves. But the sandy shores of the Black Sea north of Istanbul…

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‘We have been sacrificed by society’

For Berivan Elif Kilic there is no such thing as a typical day. The 34-year-old mayor of Kocakoy, a village of 17,000 inhabitants in southeastern Turkey, has just calculated that in the first 11 months after she took on the role, she spent only 11 full days in the village. “When I’m in town, I…