New documentary on Ara Güler debuts in Istanbul
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
AA Photos“Ara Güler - An Istanbul Legend,” a documentary on world renowned Turkish journalist and photographer Ara Güler directed by Osman Okkan, debuted on March 13 during a press screening at the French Cultural Center in Istanbul.
Speaking to press members, Güler said he had made the hardest decision by choosing journalism.
“People object when I say, ‘photography is not an art.’ They also object when I say, ‘I am not a photography artist.’ Anyone can push the button of a camera. Everybody take photos with phones. Taking photos with phone means to destroy photography,” he said.
Writer Doğan Hızlan, who was among the guests of the event, said documentaries were important in terms of explaining a person’s life and successes to another generation.
Stating that Güler had taken the best photos of Istanbul, Hızlan said, “He has photographed all of Istanbul, but how? He has photographed the poor neighborhoods, the side streets of Istanbul, the places that are not shown. We were together when he photographed the fishermen in Samatya, Kumkapı and workers in Eminönü. One of my friends said, ‘You can see a cat photo everywhere but if you want to see the photos of children working in Tünel, you can find them in Ara Güler only.’ Each class of a city should be photographed. Anyway, he [Güler] says, ‘One who doesn’t love people cannot do anything [and] can’t take photos.’”
Journalist Coşkun Aral said, “Ara Güler is the master of all of us.” He added he was also making a documentary on Güler. “It will be ready in a year. Many things that no one knows will come to the surface.”
‘Turkey’s only global artist’
Photographer Süleyman Gündüz said the documentary tried to show Güler’s core and talked about the difficulty of documenting the master within a short time.
“Ara Güler may be Turkey’s only global artist. Generally, all of our global artists have become famous with their Western-style instruments. But Güler has his own unique style. He has witnessed the 20th century as an author and photographer,” Gündüz said, adding that being friends with Güler had contributed to his own progression.
Journalist Nebil Özgentürk said each frame taken by Güler was important, adding, “While watching the documentary, I thought each of his frames was a novel. Güler himself is already a documentary.”