Ara Güler’s Istanbul is a vivid photographic record of daily life in the cultural capital of Turkey from the 1940s to the 1980s. Captured through the unerring lens of the award-winning Ara Güler, the ‘Eye of Istanbul’, the city’s melancholy aesthetic oscillates between tradition and modernity. As the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Istanbul has lived through several empires and has a character that is as many-layered as its history – something that Güler’s photographs convey with great sensitivity. These remarkable black-and-white images are accompanied by an evocative foreword by Orhan Pamuk, the first Turkish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Both writer and photographer were born in Istanbul, and each in his youth held the ambition of becoming a painter. Here, each in his own way paints a brushless picture of his home town and captures, through the image and the word, its very soul.