2244) Ara Güler Celebrates 60th Year Behind The Lens With Exhibition

Ara Güler, one of Turkey's most distinguished photographers, is celebrating his 60th year in his profession with an exhibition at . . the Zafer Marketplace Fine Arts Gallery in Ankara.

The Greater Ankara Municipality opened the exhibition on Friday, and it runs till Dec. 30. "Hard work" comprises photos of just that, pictures of "workers" striving to earn their living.

Speaking at the opening, Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek noted that Güler is the most prominent name in the field of photography in Turkey. Stressing that he too is a shutterbug, Gökçek said, "It is impossible not to appreciate Güler's work."

In an exclusive interview with Sunday's Zaman, Güler stated that he will welcome visitors to his exhibition and will gladly speak with art lovers. Noting that the exhibition comprises 150 photographs of workers, Güler said each image reflects a different life story. Upon a question as to which photograph is the most meaningful for him, Güler answered: "It is really not easy to make a difference between all the photos being exhibited. Each of them reflects a different meaning and life story. The organizers of the exhibition chose to call it 'Hard Work.' I would like to extend my thanks to them."

Güler, a foremost figure in international creative photography, has been nicknamed "the eye of Istanbul." A Turkish photojournalist of Armenian descent, he was born in 1928 and is known as the most prominent representative of creative photography in Turkey.

Güler took his first step in journalism in 1950 when he joined the staff of the newspaper Yeni Istanbul as a photojournalist while undertaking his studies in economics at the Istanbul University. He pursued his career in journalism as a correspondent in the American magazine Time-Life in 1958 and soon took on work for other international media like Paris-Match and The Sunday Times. In 1961 he was accepted as the first and only Turkish member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), and the Swiss magazine Camera honored him with a special issue.

He has opened hundreds of exhibitions all across the world and traveled to all four corners of the globe, visiting places from Iran, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to Kenya, New Guinea and Borneo. He has held photographic interviews with such famous personalities as Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, Arnold Toynbee, Picasso, Salvador Dali, Indira Gandhi, Maria Callas and Alfred Hitchcock.

Many of his photographs are in museums and libraries around the world, such as the National Library of France in Paris, the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.
16.12.2007, Ali Aslan Kiliç Ankara Zaman