6 March 2009
"Istanbul: Truth, fear and hope" Film screening at the Centre for Eastern Studies (CES) in Warsaw

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Approaching Istanbul. © 2008 pre tv. All rights reserved.

"Istanbul: Truth, fear and hope"
(52 minutes, in English)


"A compelling documentary series about the Balkans and Turkey”
Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement

"These are documentaries all of us citizens of the European Union should have the opportunity to see"
Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister

Return to Europe Series
Winner of the 2008 Erasmus EuroMedia Award


on Friday, 6 March 2009, at 17:00


Istanbul, Europe's biggest city and the former capital of the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires, is today once again the best place to grasp the contrasts, contradictions and promises of modern Turkey at the beginning of the 21st century.

Our 52 minute film Istanbul: Truth, fear and hope explores the tensions which lie just underneath the surface of this glittering city; how to deal with a complicated multi-ethnic past? How to overcome the bitter power struggle between new and old elites, in the city and across Turkey? What place for religion and Islam in a Turkey that is seeking to join the European Union?

The film is part of the TV project "Return to Europe", a series of 10 one-hour TV documentaries featuring countries and cities in the Balkans. The aim of the series is to acquaint viewers with this fascinating region and its peoples, their recent past and their struggle for a better future in Europe.

The series is supported by ERSTE Stiftung. It was co-produced by 3sat, the German satellite channel, ORF – Austria's public TV and the Pre-TV production company, together with ESI – the European Stability Initiative think-tank, upon whose research and analysis these films are based.

After the film there will be an opportunity to discuss the film with Gerald Knaus, Chairman of ESI, and a resident of Istanbul, and Adam Balcer, Specialist on South East Europe, Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW). The meeting will be chaired by Maksymilian Cegielski of TVP Kultura. His book on Istanbul (The eye of the world. From Constantinople to Istanbul) will be published in April.

Please confirm your participation by e-mail to Antonina Michalowska.


Friday, 6 March 2009




The Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW)
ul. Koszykowa 6A
00-564 Warszawa


About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com