Photography, which has a history dating back to the 1850s, experienced a rapid development during the early decades of the Republic Period. New techniques developed in the West were imported and the press started using photographs extensively. Turkish photographers of the period started to take pictures of the daily life of people, towns and cities and historical buildings in Turkey. Landscape photography also developed. The first photography competition was organized in 1932. Meanwhile courses in photography were included in the curriculum of schools and photographers' associations were established in the 1930s.
Photographer Ara Güler, Cemal Isiksel, Nurettin Erkilic, Selahattin Giz, Limasollu Naci, Sinasi Barutcu, Ihsan Erkilic and Baha Gelenbevi are the first important photographers of the Early Republic Period. The first seeds of artistic photography were sown by the generation of artists who were raised in the 1950s.
One of the most important photographers of this generation is Ara Guler, who looks at local subjects from the point of view of a contemporary artist and with remarkable skill. Recognized as a distinguished artist not only in Turkey but throughout the world, Ara Guler, who is regarded by some critics as being among the best ten photographers in the world, has also taken pictures for various world-famous photography magazines. Ozan Sagdic, a press photographer who has also taken promotional photographs, produced original works illustrating various parts of Turkey. Gultekin Cizgen, who made extensive use of localmotifs, attracted attention with his graphic works and his photographs dealing with social subjects. Sahin Kaygun, who exhibited a rather unique approach to photography with his incessant search for originality, used fantastic, symbolic and graphic styles; exhibited his polaroid works and became the pioneer of this technique in Turkey. Atilla Torunoglu in black and white photographs, Mustafa Kapkin in studio-tricks, Halim Kulaksiz in color pictures, Reha Guney in architectural photography, Fikret Otyam in journalism and Sami Guner in tourism photography, are among the other noteworthy photo-graphers in contemporary Turkey. Ersin Alok, Semsi Guner, Sabit Kalfagil, Isa Celik, Sakir Eczacibasi, Cengiz Karliova, Ibrahim Demirel, Halim Kulaksiz, Mehmet Bayhan, Cerkes Karadag, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ramazan Ozturk and Coskun Aral have also attracted attention and acclaim with their works.
by Ara Güler
The oldest and best-established photography organization in Turkey is IFSAK (Istanbul Photographers and Cinema Amateurs’ Association). Similar associations such as AFSAD-Ankara, AFAD-Adana, Foto Forum-Trabzon, and KASK-Kocaeli also have influential activities.
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