© Copyright photo by Levent Ağaoğlu
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 districts 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 the empires Roman empire after Constantin set up in 395 and Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1453 was all controlled from Fatih district of Istanbul.
It may have been much better to have a faunus covered on the sky of İstanbul to protect all the historical buildings of Fatih area where I was born is just near to the Fatih Mosque. In Turkish language there’s a saying and thought that while Fatih is a symbol for the earlier historical traditions, Harbiye earlier represents modernity.
In 1974 I bought a Russian Zorki camera for black-and-white photographs and started first from Fatih and then proceeded to Western historical antique locations in the Aegean region, because of my involvement with the touristic guide course. I started from the roads and streets of Fatih, the old town, 45 years ago and got the photos of ordinary people, elderly, youngsters, children and the historical buildings and the wooden buildings in that part of the city.
We may call Fatih as a city in the real sense. The oldest company in Turkey is Çemberlitaş Hamami in 1584. Fatih prouds with biggest church in the world. Saint Sophia is in Fatih. I lived all my childhood in Fatih. Living in Fatih area, your mentality is shaped with Fatih with the conqueror, over there your mentality is always with the people looking for the justice for the people and always to lead with the people, you cannot be alone and with the understanding you have developed in Fatih area is breathed in the air. His spirit makes a difference with the 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 one of the very first univesities in the world as well. also in Fatih the University as well.
These are straight black and white photographies and meaningful to show us the past of the historical Peninsula.
Maybe the individuals on the photographs, the elderly ones, may not be living now, so we can analyze the 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. The photographs also reflect the property in the streets of İstanbul at the time though the buildings are very old and rich in history, the people are not that much. Here is the most conservative part of the İstanbul.
Following taking photographs of Fatih and downtown İstanbul, I moved to Western Turkey passing through Dardanel Straight snd visiting antique cities like Troy, Pergamon, Smyrna, Priene, Ephesus, Didyma, which are older than Istanbul city, so taking the photos of these archaeological theaters and worship buildings.
Turkey is unique in the world with its richness of antiquity and cultures. Truva is the area where a great war happened between Greek invaders and Anatolians written in legend. Western Turkey is geography of first philosophers in the world before 500 BC where the famous philosophers have lived in this area, so we can say Turkey geography is the homeland of philosophers starting with the Miletos philosophers.
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 well all effective in these advancements.
Istanbul was symboled by royal signature of Fatih as with the mission of “Always”.
Street Vendors and chidren, teenagers are the common instances of Fatih streets.