IMAGES OF TURKEY Photographies 1975

IMAGES OF TURKEY Photographies

118 black and white photographs from 1974-75 with Turkish and English photo captions in 1974-1975.

Let’s look at these places from the perspective of 2022 and try to understand a global transformation story by comparing old photographs with today’s facts and developments.

Istanbul, Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus, Seljuk, Didim.

The photographs I shot half a century ago in Istanbul Fatih, the historical peninsula and ancient cities such as Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus and Didim in the Aegean shed light on our day. The permanence of ancient cities, which have not changed for thousands of years, clad in silence and solitude. The ancient cities we visited on the Aegean coast were in their heyday when Istanbul was not yet on the scene. Sharp and striking change experienced in the city of Istanbul in the last 50 years, occur together with the testimony of our eyes and extend to the present day of the beginnings of the 21st century.

As part of street photography,  the projected book will shed light on everyday life in Istanbul with respect to culture, history, identity, society, people and humanity. Real and future. Naturalness and real wealth. Our treasures that we can transfer from today to tomorrow.

Despite the splendor of Istanbul’s historical buildings, the poverty and deprivation seen in the 1975 photographs raise the questions of whether human well-being or magnificent stone structures are permanent. The dilapidated historical wooden structures seen in the photographs were demolished in a short time, leaving their places to reinforced concrete structures. Apartment fashion, which started in the mid-1950s, has rapidly changed the face of the city in 20 years.

The art of photography was not a major innovation for the 70s. It is possible to find many “temporary” photographs of political, sports and artistic events, which were published in the newspapers and magazines of the period and considered important at that time. However, real artists who do not stay on the agenda and bring a different approach to the discussion of what is important about human life can survive only with lasting works.

It is possible to read the sensitivity arising from the spirituality of these photographs of Istanbul. Perhaps we can find images of everyday life recorded in the background of the film in old Turkish films, which are actually beyond the control of the director, similar to the extraordinary opportunities that these photographs, which convey the rich social life of Istanbul of the period in the most direct way, provide researchers.

The mastery that makes the photographer forget behind the viewfinder seals the moment when the photo was taken, giving the viewer a unique emotional transfer and experience of the period.

Though Turkey (Anatolia, Asia Minor) has produced cultures and civilizations for 12,000 years since the Neolithic, English publications about Turkey are very limited. Foreigners cannot find books and publications about Turkey. There isn’t even a database.

In 1974, I bought a Russian Zorki camera for black and white photographs, and later I was involved in a tourist guide course. I first set off from Fatih and then moved on to Western historical sites in the Aegean region. I took pictures of ordinary people, old people, young people, children and historical buildings and wooden buildings in that part of the city, starting from the roads and streets of the old city of Fatih.

After photographing Fatih and the city center of Istanbul, I crossed the Dardanelles to Western Turkey and visited ancient cities such as Troy, Pergamon, Izmir, Priene, Ephesus, Didyma, and took pictures of these archaeological heritages and temples.

These images, through a single lens, present us with the streets of Istanbul, the walls, clothing analysis and historical textures of the period, which we witness by reaching out to the 1970s of Istanbul, and present us one by one the beautiful days and the states of our unique life culture in daily life.

Images of Aegean Antiquities of Turkey

Aegean Region: Troy, Ephesus, Bergama, Izmir, Didim

The ancient road to Ephesus Harbor. The splendor and time-resisting permanence of marble. Who knows, the hills we see in front of us used to be the sea. The tops of the columns were adorned with statues. We seem to have entered a time warp with this photo. On the contrary, the mossy marbles did not stop time and did not reach today. We are watching the road of one of the greatest ancient ports in history Who knows what goods and people were transported from this port, wines, amphorae, olives and olive oils. Audiences coming and going to the Ephesus Theatre on the opposite of this scene. Ephesus Road April 1975

Ashtrays and salt shakers on the plain restaurant table, and the Didim Apollon Temple, a world masterpiece, in front of it. Didim is 22 km away from Miletus, Capital of Philosophy of the World. The juxtaposition of philosophy and faith. Marble pillars rising to the sky by being cut into circles, twin marble pillars with grooves. Elder tourist took care of himself by crossing his legs with the camera team. Didim Temple Apollon Cult Izmir Trip April 1975

Images of Historical Downtown of Istanbul

Istanbul: Fatih, Sultanahmet, Eminonu, Sarayburnu, Sahil Yolu, Topkapi Walls, Dolmabahce

Valens Roman Aqueduct from 1650 years away, completed in 373 AD, in the heart of the historical peninsula. Walking citizens, Dodge minibus and city bus decorate the square. It’s a cold winter’s day and its branches are lonely, leafless gloomy trees. Bozdogan Arch 21 December 1974

Entrance stairs of the old New Mosque. The elder is feeding the cornfields and the pigeons. Blessings to your heart, strength to your eyes and stick. A typical Istanbul ritual. The young boy adorned the square with running steps. New Mosque August 1975

Auto spare parts shop, watch repair shop and artisan restaurant on the road to Fatih Mosque. Black haired and black mustached  peddlers dressed in clean white clothes. Cold toasts at the glass car stalls. Istanbul street delicacies. As the weather is so cold, fists are clenched. Street From Fatih Park From Fire Brigade to Taş Mektep (Stone Schoo, December 21, 1974

An uphill alley in Fatih. The cheerful moods of children who have started to mature as youngsters. Istanbul’s always young and rich human values, genetic diversity. Neighborhoods, foreigners, cities, continents. It is not easy to be the capital of the world. With its children and young people, it is always a lively city. The proud leadership of the capital, the conquerors. 

Levent Ağaoğlu, Author, Poet, Turkish Citizen






Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular