I was born in Fatih district of Istanbul that is the core of İstanbul and Fatih is the historical peninsula surrounded by castles totally from the Golden Horn and Marmara Sea around. All the famous towns are scattered in Fatih.
The feelings you have in the Fatih area is very unique and special and if you’re in the area you feel that it is the center of the world, not only with the center of the world. Because, Roman empire that Emperor Constantin set up in 395 and Turkish Ottoman Empire in resetted by Sultan Fatih in 1453 were all controlled from Fatih district of Istanbul.
It may have been much better to have a faunus covered upon the sky of İstanbul to protect all the historical buildings of Fatih area where I was born which is just near to the Fatih Mosque. In Turkish language there’s a saying and thought that while Fatih area is a symbol for the history, Harbiye represents modernity.
In 1974 I bought a Russian camera for black-and-white photographs. Firstly I started from Fatih and then proceeded to Western Turkey antique locations because of my involvement with the touristic guide course. I started from the roads and streets of the old towns of Fatih 45 years ago and got the photos of ordinary people, elderly, youngsters, children, the historical buildings and the wooden buildings in that part of the city.
We may call Fatih as the city in the real sense. The oldest company in Turkey is Çemberlitaş Hamami started in 1584 in Fatih, the biggest church in the world Saint Sophia is in Fatih, Suleymaniye Mosque is in Fatih.
Roman and Ottoman Turkish armies started their military advancement journies all from Fatih District. Mesa Avenue of Roman Empire and Topkapi Palace of Ottoman Empire were well effective in these advancements.
Istanbul was symboled by royal signature of Fatih as with the mission of “Always”.
I lived my life up to 30 years old in Fatih. Fatih is a kind of mentality of the conqueror caring for the people, looking for the justice of the people and always leading with the people. You cannot be alone during your life with the understanding you have developed in Fatih area. The spirit makes a great difference with the living leadership in that area.
Constantinople started the New Rome in that area and the Conqueror Fatih also started the new era in 15th century in that area. So here is the center of the world with Fatih’s universality as well. These black and white photographs taken at 1974 and 1975 show us the traditional past of the historical Peninsula before 1980 military coup.
Street Vendors and children, teenagers are the common instances of Fatih streets. Maybe the elderly on the photographs are not living now. So we can analyze living conditions of the time just after the war happened in Cyprus and Turkey started to be entering into street movements with guns which lead to the country to military coup in 12 September 1980. Photographs also reflect the buildings and the streets of İstanbul at that time. Though the buildings are very old and rich in history, the people were not that richness at the most conservative part of the İstanbul.
Following photographs of Fatih and İstanbul I moved to Aegean Western Turkey, Dardanelles, Troy, Bergama, Smyrna İzmir, Seljuk, Ephesus and down to Didyma taking photos of antique sites, theatres, temples and museums. .
Turkey is unique in the world with it richness of antique and cultures. Troy is the area where the big war happened between Greece and Anatolians written in legend and around Smyrna İzmir famous philosophers have lived before 500 BC, so we can say that Turkey geography is the homeland of the philosophical thinking starting with the Miletos philosophers.