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Comments on 1974/75 Image of Turkey Photographies by Turkish Scholars

The city where I was born and grew up

We can see very well how beautiful our colorful Istanbul was even in black and white squares in those years. September 6-7, 1955 is a milestone for Istanbul because the city’s mosaic of minorities left for immigration, turning the intellectual structure into village life, and the megacity turned into another structure. That trouble continues. It has been the suicide of politicians and mayors of this country to allow zoning around the works of Mimar Sinan master for profit. The sold-out politicians who prevented Atatürk from reaching the level of advanced countries have engulfed this holy city. The city where I was born and grew up remained in your squares. Let the murderers take it and steal it..

Tamer Sarı, 26 January 2022 – Istanbul / Zincirlikuyu

Snapshots, landscapes, sections from Turkey from the 1970s to the 2000s…

Worlds of deep meaning and experiences that are loaded-stuck in a moment… Photographs that mean the absorption of time in space…After the World War II, the Soviet Union, the destruction caused by the war in Europe and America, and the serious decrease in the population and a biological-sociological-psychological reflex against it; and dense youth populations emerging all over the world in the USA and Europe; this is the generation of 1968…

In this section of history, humanity’s search for meaning and developments that take people’s minds are together.

On the other hand, in a way, the Second World War is the historical documentation of the bankruptcy of the main posts of the modern enlightenment. On the other hand, a metaphysical orientation will be towards Far Eastern Metaphysics. New Age currents of thought/lifestyles: Yoga, meditation, alternative medicine-holistic health, psychic experiences, intense interest in mystical teachings from various traditions, reincarnation, Extraterrestrial Intelligent beings-UFO, an eclectic doctrine and experiences, rather than an alternative sub- can be defined as culture. And from this side, it seems like a movement, a subculture, which has a tendency to universalization and universalization and pursues this goal, and serves the only world religion with this side.

It is in this socio-cultural climate that Flower Children emerges…

On the other hand, the President of France, General Charles de Gaulle, takes a stand against the USA, Britain and NATO. Afterwards, peaceful youth movements will turn into violent youth movements that started in France.

The reflection of flower children who are interested in Far Eastern metaphysics on Turkey will not be much; and, however, youth movements based on violence and youth movements that admire Che Guevara, influenced by the Chinese and Cuban revolutions, will rapidly evolve into terrorist terror, and youth movements-organizations based on violence will emerge.

In the axis of the right-left conflict, the whole society will feel intensely violence. Flowing from villages to cities, these people are confronted with the latest fashion trends of the modern world before they can even understand, live and assimilate the city more superficially, and experience the shock and shock of this.

Istanbul and Turkey are an open-air museum with a history of 12000 years and a history dating back to mythological ages. People living together with this history, Romans, Lydians, Luwians, Trojans, Celts and other peoples who live and keep their heritage more or less consciously, mostly unconsciously, in photographs, in photographic frames that mean the absorption of time in space, in both time and space axis. tells everything.

Celal Tahir, 26 January 2022 – Istanbul / EyüpSultan

On Levent Ağaoğlu’s photographs of 1975…

The photographs taken by Mr. Levent Ağaoğlu in the mid-1970s, which are the first stages of Istanbul’s transformation decades, not only witness the civic history of the city and the country, but also reveal very important and remarkable details. The tradition of street tradesmen and hawkers of a country where capitalism came and developed very late and still has not fully settled, reflects this situation in these black and white frames. The first example is the old man sitting on the ground in front of Eminönü Valide Sultan Mosque and selling bird food.

From here, we glide into another square on the same field, where we witness that even the street vendors of the time were waiting for customers with white aprons and perfectly shaved hair and beards. This is indisputable, as a direct indication of the higher morals of the era compared to today. Especially the male figures who managed to enter these precious frames, in Turkey, which has long become the fattest-obese society in Europe, not in its time, but in a significant part of the society, It proves to us that the overwhelming majority of young and middle-aged generations are extremely fit – balanced, healthy and robust in physical structure and appearance.

Mr. The inscription “One leader Demirel” on the concrete block above the Haşim İşcan Underpass, in which Ağaoğlu was posing in front of the then-fashionable Spanish-leg trousers and matte-glasses, evokes a right version of the ‘one way revolution’ slogan of the same years, as well as the team. such as leader and political party, etc. It draws attention as only one of the very typical projections of the folk tradition. In accordance with the tradition of shaving on the street, one of the Ottoman “traditions” that does not survive, the beard is shaved, the cobblestone of the street floor where the man sits in a chair; It is reflected in the lens as one of the characteristics of the years when the city’s natural and historical cobblestones and the insistence of erasing asphalt everywhere and the struggle to plunder prevailed in favor of the latter and did not penetrate every cell of the city yet.

Looking at the costumes of those chatting by the mosque fountain in another snapshot, which can be assumed to have been taken in the Fatih district, more than half a century after the proclamation of the republic, some things haven’t changed yet, even in the modern city of “Old Turkey”, as they do today. We are watching… Another cobbled street in Fatih… Children looking into the lens of the camera, who are probably in their sixties today, are cheerful, free and lively. In a word, they are enjoying the years when they were the real rulers of the streets…

But in another picture, this time other children; We see them as ordinary heroes of the unchanging and undesirable bad luck of this country, this geography, while working at the shoe shine benches… These are the years of the city, which did not flee or migrate to the “modern”, new concrete settlements of the city yet… This is the time when most of the blackened wooden mansions, where they can live happily, happily and proudly, are struggling to survive, in contrast to the “spirit of the time”…

Here is the look of an old Istanbul child looking out from one of those ancient houses with joyful eyes, like a scream that defies the years when the city started to be taken over by concrete-construction-looting and rent. The house, which is an exquisite example of civil architecture, with several floors of towers, suddenly appears in the streets of the historical city walls, which are covered with old masonry walls, which you can not even guess to which period, which period they belong to, and what purpose they were used for; It is just one of the monumental buildings that a society and country that has betrayed its construction and aesthetic traditions as well as its collective urban honor and dignity will remember when looking back as an example…

What lies before us are different images of a country and society that have become significantly secularized and despite everything and are truly developing: In the photo frame, where the “Valens Belt”, popularly known as Bozdoğan, is in the center, a single, modern-dressed man in calm motion on a cool winter day. We see all the Istanbulites in the wide frame completed by the American cars and Hungarian buses with curved roofs in the distance… “Nostalgia” is not just the name of a famous movie or an unchanging individual and collective mood among people and the masses, but it is the fate and misfortune of these lands.

Because, analogy to Marshall Bergman’s sentence “everything solid evaporates”, we can well say the following as a summary of these photographs: “Nothing stable stays in place”…

Okay Deprem / 26 January 2022 – Istanbul / Kadıköy

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