November 16, 2011

‘Time in Turkey’ Unveiled to Public in Seven Beyoğlu Locations

Twenty-five world-class photojournalists, 25 alternative visions and one subject -- Turkey.


A project that promises to go down in history as the most comprehensive and unique snapshot of life in modern Turkey to date, Tuesday night saw the official opening of Zaman daily’s vast international photo exhibition “Türkiye’de Zaman” (Time in Turkey) at the Marmara Hotel in Taksim.

A series of stills by 25 internationally acclaimed photojournalists, the project organized by the Zaman daily’s photography desk, led by Photo Editor Selahattin Sevi, offers a unique window into various walks of life in Turkey, from the raw emotion of football mania to the stunning beauty of Anatolian landscapes and the grim daily grind of miners in Zonguldak.

Guest of honor Tuesday night was a man widely renowned as the most respected American news photo editor, John Morris. Ninety-six years old, the photography veteran said: “I have come here to look and listen and to try and learn something from it all. I see these photographs for the truth that lies within them and also as works of art.”

Morris went on to add that amongst the greatest photographers he has ever worked with was Turkish photojournalist Gökşin Sipahioğlu, who passed away in October at the age of 85. He called Sipahioğlu “a close friend,” saying: “Unfortunately I was unable to attend Göksin’s funeral but I received a letter from his dear wife who told me that at the cemetery instead of throwing roses they threw photo prints. In many ways this captures the essence of who Göksin was, he lived for photography. Tonight I want to pay tribute to the best Turkish photo journalist I ever met.”

Veteran Turkish photographer Ara Güler and participating photo journalists Gael Turine of Belgium, France’s Eric Bouvet and Canada-based editorial photographer Chris Morris were also amongst the guests on the opening night.

Addressing the audience, Morris, who took a portfolio of images of Turkish president Abdullah Gül for the project, said: “It is very rare to see such a bold and journalistically ambitious project. You don’t even see publications such as Time or National Geographic stepping up to make such an important body of work. What we have here is a very rare study of a country and a culture and I take my hat off to the Zaman newspaper and Selahattin Sevi for pursuing such a vision.”

A project boasting the works of some of the biggest names in modern day photography, from Steve McCurry to Carolyn Drake and Jane Evelyn Atwood to Reza, the collection has been incorporated seamlessly into the clamor of İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district with works stationed across seven different locations from Tünel Square to the Greek Consulate General’s Sismanoglio Megaro on İstiklal Street and the historic Galata quarter. Contributing photographers as well as other esteemed figures in the photography world, including Marie Sumalla, the photography editor of the Le Monde publication, participated in a series of discussions and conferences at the Beşiktaş campus of Bahçeşehir University on Wednesday.

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