art of resistance, travel, Turkey

Ara Güler’s magnificent black & white Istanbul.

Widely known as the ‘Eye of Istanbul’, Ara Güler may be best known outside his native Turkey for the iconic images featured in Orhan Pamuk’s memoir, Istanbul: Memories and the City, which beautifully illustrate the notion of hüzün (a sort of nostalgic longing, similar to portuguese saudade).

He still takes photographs and always carries a camera with him. “I don’t know how many cameras I have, but it’s above 50. I don’t use an expensive $8,000 camera, but a $600 camera. The result is very beautiful, I like it,” he says. He’s a master of photography, and has nearly two million photographs in his archive, and most of them have still never been shared (he doesn’t want a public museum).

Here are some of those two million photographs, let them captivate you with nostalgia, melancholia, hüzün, saudade

4Ara Guler, Istanbul

5Ara Guler, kumkapι fishermen returning to port in the first light of down, 1950

12202kz9rejbo5uze8Ara Guler, the end of the day: waiting for the dolmus on galata bridge, istanbul, 1958

ara_guler_beyoglu_1960Ara Guler, trams at galatasaray square on a snowy day, beyoglu, istanbul, 1960 

(this is a photo from Istanbul: Memories and the City that always stayed with me. I remembered it so clearly, although I read the book years ago)

ara_guler_divrigi_demir_1970Ara Guler, iron workers waiting in a tea-house for their shift to start, divrigi, sivas, 1970

Boatmen at the repair wharf. İstanbul 1956Ara Guler, Boatmen at the repair wharf. İstanbul 1956

istanbul 1954Ara Guler, Istanbul, 1954.

istanbul 1982Ara Guler, Istanbul 1982.

kapak19Ara Guler, children in tophane thrilled by the sight of a camera, istanbul, 1986

karakoy, 1959Ara Guler, Karakoy, 1959.

lepoetetravaille_ara_guler_19Ara Guler, a husband and wife returning home, zeyrek, istanbul, 1960

sirkeci 1968Ara Guler, Sirkeci, 1968.

street in tarlabasi, istanbulAra Guler, street in Tarlabasi, Istanbul.

the iron minersAra Guler, the ironminers

tumblr_mefgbnrFgc1qi112wo1_1280Ara Guler, boatmen, Istanbul.

For more of his amazing work, go to the official website.

P.S. When in Istanbul – Ara can still be found every day at Ara Kafe, just below his old house, near Independence Street (Istiklal Caddesi).


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