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Contents /Turkey's memory Ara Gürel
One of a handful of master photographers in the whole world, Ara Güler's photographs are like an illustrated encyclopedia of Turkey...
Ara Güler is not a photojournalist who has spent his life chasing after daily events or following popular currents; instead his work is more like that of an archaeologist conducting digs to illuminate the future. Abidin Dino put it best when he said, "Ara wanted to preserve the image of his country's people from oblivion. He had a surprising sense of responsibility, as if he would be personally held to account if they were forgotten. What a tremendous effort, what self-sacrifice!" This creative man, whose work was once poohpoohed in his own country, already in those days had put his signature on a number of momentous shots that have gone down in world history. We can say of Ara Güler that he not only captured the things he saw in photographs, he actually created them anew by blending them in an idiom of his own invention. In his portraits in particular he seems to have recast his subjects in a new form by turning a wide-angle lens on people in an approach that had until then been considered taboo.
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