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May 20, 2014

Floods affect over 1 million in Balkans, destruction ‘terrifying’

MAGLAJ Bosnia/KRUPANJ Serbia (Reuters) – Bosnia said on Monday that more than a quarter of its 4 million people had been affected by the worst floods to hit the Balkans in living memory, comparing the “terrifying” destruction to that of the country’s 1992-95 war.

The extent of the devastation became apparent in Serbia too, as waters receded in some of the worst-hit areas to reveal homes toppled or submerged in mud, trees felled and villages strewn with the rotting corpses of livestock.

May 19, 2014

Bosnia says one million affected by floods, destruction ‘terrifying’

MAGLAJ, Bosnia/KRUPANJ, Serbia (Reuters) – More than a quarter of Bosnia’s four million people have been affected by the worst floods to hit the Balkans in more than a century, the government said on Monday, warning of “terrifying” destruction comparable to the country’s 1992-95 war.

The floods extended across Serbia and Bosnia, where receding waters in some of the worst-hit areas are now revealing the extent of the devastation. Homes have been toppled or submerged in mud, trees felled and villages strewn with the rotting corpses of livestock.

May 18, 2014

More than 20 dead, thousands evacuated in Bosnia, Serbia floods

OBRENOVAC, Serbia (Reuters) – More than 20 people have been killed in the worst floods in more than a century in Serbia and Bosnia, authorities said on Saturday, with thousands evacuated from towns still under threat from rising rivers.

The death toll in Bosnia alone reached 19, including nine found on Saturday when waters receded from the northeastern town of Doboj.

May 17, 2014

Bodies pulled from submerged homes, thousands evacuated in Balkans flooding

OBRENOVAC, Serbia, May 17 (Reuters) – Seven bodies were
pulled from flooded homes in Bosnia and the army rushed to free
hundreds of people stranded in a school in Serbia on Saturday
during the worst floods to hit the Balkans in over a century.

Soldiers steered huge amphibious vehicles through streets
under 2-3 metres of water in the town of Obrenovac, 30 km (18
miles) southwest of the Serbian capital Belgrade, trying to
rescue an estimated 700 people crammed into the top floors of
the Jefimija primary school.

May 17, 2014

Bodies pulled from flooded homes in Bosnia, Serbia

OBRENOVAC, Serbia (Reuters) – Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from flooded homes in Bosnia on Saturday and soldiers rushed to free hundreds of people stranded in a school in Serbia during the worst floods to hit the Balkans in over a century.

A Reuters photographer in the town of Obrenovac, 30 km (18 miles) southwest of the Serbian capital Belgrade and the worst hit by days of heavy rainfall, estimated the water level at 2-3 meters.

Dec 20, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Ukraine Euromaidan

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Kiev, Ukraine

By Marko Djurica

Slava Ukraini, Heroyam Slava!

At the beginning I didn’t understand what they were chanting.

The speaker at the podium repeated, “Slava Ukraini” and a mass of people responded in one voice: “Heroyam Slava!”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Glory to Ukraine!  Glory to its heroes!” was the answer I got from a girl wrapped in a blue and yellow flag.

Sep 1, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

From Aleppo to no man’s land

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Miratovac, Serbia

By Marko Djuirca

I had been thinking how cold it was for this time of year to need both my hoodie and my jacket. A cold, strong wind blew over the hills of no-man’s land separating Serbia from Macedonia. I stood quietly in total darkness for an hour or so until the border patrol officer, looking through his thermal camera, said: “Here they are, I think there must be 40 of them!”

Every year, the Serbian border police catches more than 10,000 migrants from Africa, the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, who are trying to reach Serbia illegally. They come from Turkey, through Greece to Macedonia and Serbia before they reach Hungary and with it, the borderless Schengen travel zone.

Jul 16, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Beware of Englishmen in Civvies

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Novi Sad, Serbia

By Marko Djurica

At the Exit Festival in Serbia’s second city Novi Sad, you won’t find any signs pointing the way to the closest place to egress, but only signs for “emergency escape.” It is intentional so that concertgoers don’t get confused that the party continues outside the fence, but I came to see it as a hidden message.

The festival is held on the grounds of Petrovaradin, a medieval fortress on the banks of the Danube River, and has been drawing crowds from the region and from Europe for over 14 years. The original festival grew out of a post-war student protest movement against the regime of former Serb strongman Slobodan Milosevic. The name was meant to be a clear call for the Milosevic regime to step down and for society to leave the consequences of a terrible dark decade behind. The festival climaxed in the mid 2000s when it was recognized as one of Europe’s top ten festivals. Since then, it has all been downhill.

Jun 27, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

How would you like your doner, with or without a gas mask?

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Istanbul, Turkey

By Marko Djurica

Everyone who has ever been to Istanbul knows their famed Turkish fast food restaurants, especially in Taksim Square. Doners, kebabs and other delicacies are on offer 24/7. The competition is vast and every vendor fights to lure customers. You can’t really go wrong: most of the places have friendly staff and tasty morsels of food. But in one restaurant I experienced a kind of service I could never have dreamed of.

Namely, on June 22 I was in Taksim Square covering the protests that had begun 20 days earlier when the government of Prime Minister Erdogan announced it would build a new shopping mall on Gezi Park, the last large green space in the city. A large number of protesters faced down a line of riot police armed with water cannons. No one needed to tell me what was going to happen; I have been in similar situations many times. The demonstrators shouted anti-government slogans, the police asked them to disperse because rallies are forbidden. Naturally, after a few hours, tensions rose and the police began to use water cannons and tear gas to evict the masses – now a common sight at Taksim.

Feb 12, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Living in a tomb

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Nis, Serbia

By Marko Djurica

Although graves are for the dead and not for the living, a man in Serbia’s southern city of Nis has chosen a tomb to live in.

Bratislav Stojanovic, 43, a Nis-born construction worker never had a regular job. He first lived in abandoned houses, but about 15 years ago he settled in the old city cemetery. Stojanovic says homeless life is difficult and that everything he owns and needs he finds in garbage containers and on the streets. He does not have much, but highly values whatever little he has.