Monday, May 26, 2014

Turkish delight

It was obvious that he was someone famous. There was a cluster of people around him, a couple of photographers and he was signing books. We shamelessly turned in our seats to get a good look. When they helped him out of the café (he was 85 we found out later) he took a long look at us and didn’t seem to mind us staring back. 

Trying to find out who he was turned out to be tricky (us not having much Turkish at our command) but then we noticed a portrait of him on the wall next to large blown up photos of Istanbul in the 1950s. He was Ara Güler an early Magnum photographer also known as ‘the eye of Istanbul.’ He’s basically Turkey’s Ans Westra with multiple exhibitions, honours and books . If we'd been Turkish we wouldn’t have been at all surprised to find him in the Café Ara. We were in the place by chance. He owned it.

Images: top, Ara Güler (uncredited found image) and bottom the Ara Café in Istanbul