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I took these photos during my visit to a Turkish military base in 2010. All photos were taken inside the visiting room of the base, except for the last one which was taken just outside.
Kartonpiyer is the word given to the plaster-like material used mostly to ornament and conceal edges of ceilings. It is a popular material made from a mixture of paper pulp and plaster, used often in modern Turkish home decoration. It was also used in this visiting room.
The posters on the walls say “Your children are safe with us”, “Mehmetçik is the apple of this nation’s eye”, “To feel your presence gives us strength”, “Every Turk is born a soldier”, “Atatürk – father of Turks”. The sign at the entrance to the room says (or demands, depending on your interpretation) “Your child is our child too”.
2010 also corresponds to a time in Turkey when military’s say in politics was quickly waning due to the ruling party’s feud with them, and the army was for the first time in years being described as “a paper tiger”.