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Ara Güller / A Photographical Sketch On Lost Istanbul
In the early years of the 1950s Turkey underwent profound political and transformation along with much of the Mediterranean. Ara Güler is the leading figure in a generation of Turkish photographers whose pictures raised awareness of their extraordinary country abroad.
He bore witness to these changes, photographing Istanbul, Anatolia, the country’s villages and magnificent archeological sites, assembing a rich and diverse body of work.
Ara Güler’s Istanbul, melancholy and fog-shrouded, is illuminated not by the ostentatious remnants of the Ottoman Empire, but by streetlights lit at nightfall, the reflections from rainy pavements, the headlights of cars climbing the hill toward Beyoglu, and the lights from ferries along the Bosphorus. This Istanbul is full of stories, of references to literature, painting and cinema, fields in which he has many friends. Güler says, “Our world was created by artists: I looked for them everywhere and took their photographs”.
Ara Güler (born 1928) was a native “Stamboulite”, who had been documenting his home city’s cultural and domestic life since the 1940s. Initially a reporter for TimeLife, Paris Match and Stern, as well as Turkish dailies and magazines, he was a member of Magnum Photos.