First Photos

It was mid-1986. I resigned from my post of two years as engraving instructor from the Ŭstanbul State Academy for Fine Arts. This great school founded in 1881 had raised bright, progressive and passionate students for generations. Yet in time it had begun to rot from within, defeated by the ambitions and spineless attitudes of conservative professors only interested in preserving the status quo. The fact that a group of professors from the academy were the first ones to pay a visit of devotion to the generals who launched the militarist 1980 coup d’état was never forgotten. Save for a handful intellectuals, no one had the courage to show any resistance to the fascist generals ruling the country. It was as if Turkey was covered by a heavy, wet, dark blanket! I not only resigned from the academy, but also stopped painting and engraving. With a semi-desperate, semi-exultant curiosity, I got a camera for the first time and set out on a tour around the world. First I went to the Khomeini Iran, amidst a bloody war with Iraq. With this equipment I used for the first time, and was not really trained in, I first took war photographs, and then I traveled non-stop for three years looking for beliefs, festivals, distant cultures and distant geographies. I was sleeping in a tent and spending a dollar a day. Then, I was happy to realize I could write a couple of pages to accompany my photographs and publish them in newspapers and magazines and thus make my living. I made the decision to dedicate my life to photography as opposed to the passion of painting and engraving, which I had abruptly quit with a trauma and still ached for, over the course of long years, after giving it thousands of hours of thought. Now, I don’t have the slightest doubt that photography is the most suitable form of expression for me. Of course over the years the possibilities and language of photography has transformed significantly both for me personally, as well as objectively. However when I sometimes look at my first photographs is this set, I get the feeling that my essential aesthetic concern and quest has not really gone through a dramatic change.


These photos shot by 35 mm. cameras on diapositive films and scanned. Certificated and signed print sizes are variable upon request. Available maximum size: 50x70cm. Contact the photographer for price.