Amid Growing Repression, Turkey’s Women Graffiti Artists Shine

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ISTANBUL —

Istanbul is seeing an explosion of creative graffiti, with women artists largely behind the blast of color that is sweeping Turkey’s main city in the face of what critics say have been mounting restrictions on expression.

“More and more, the new generation are very into painting on the streets, but for me it is still very much at the beginning,” said Gamze Yalcin, who has been putting her art on the city’s public places.

“As we are having more and more limits for our street life from what we used to have,” she said, “people want to see colors, they want to see art. Whatever you do on the street is a gift for everyone.”

Yalcin speaks to VOA as she applies the finishing touches to her latest work, on the wall of a derelict building in Istanbul’s trendy Tophane district.

The latest work spanning 10 meters is a myriad of images and symbols in pastel colors with an abstract depiction of a woman at the center, encompassing a range of themes found throughout Yalcin’s work.

“We have very limited parks, so green areas is always a subject I like to include with symbols of plants and greens,” she said explaining her work, a myriad of surreal colors.

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