Film produced for late Turkish air photographer

Film produced for late Turkish air photographer

ISTANBUL - Dogan News Agency
Film produced for late Turkish air photographer

As well as being a journalist and air photographer, Murat Öztürk was an acrobatic pilot. He is being remembered in a documentary film and exhibition. DHA photo

A documentary film has been made to commemorate one of Turkey’s best acrobatic pilots, air photographer and journalist Murat Öztürk. The documentary, “Bathonea,” focuses on excavations in the ancient city of Bathonea, which have been continuing since 2007 in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece. The film, which took four months to complete, features aerial photography from Öztürk, who died on May 19, 2013, when his plane crashed into the ground and caught fire while performing a diving maneuver during an air show in the southern province of Adana.

The excavations, which have been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most important current digs, have unearthed male and female sculptures from the Hittite era. The documentary was promoted during a screening that was followed by an exhibition featuring air photos taken by Öztürk.

Photography and flying

Born in 1953, Öztürk worked as a news camera operator at the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). His professional life changed in 1985 when he was sent to Samandıra Airfield in Istanbul to collect news footage on ultra-light aviation. Afterwards, he took to flying ultra-light aircraft, and acquired both pilot and instructor licenses.

Combining his photography experience with flying, Öztürk became Turkey’s first air photographer, winning awards for his aerial imagery.