In defense of photojournalist Ara Güler

In defense of photojournalist Ara Güler

When did our internationally-known photographer, Ara Güler, ever issue political declarations or ideological manifestos? 

After he took photographs of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family, Güler has been accused of being a “turncoat,” of “quickly changing sides.”

Güler is a man who answers those who call him “a photography artist” with such words as, “Come on, I am not an artist. I am a photojournalist.” 

When the president says, “Come and take my pictures,” can any photographer answer, “No, sir, not really, I am totally against you?” Is that possible? 

Do we lack the comprehension of this dead simple truth? 

Güler loves to take portrait photographs. When the opportunity arises to photograph a politician, he would never turn it down.

He has a large book of photos of former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit; it took him two years to persuade him. 

So what, he should not photograph the politician who has shaped the last 14 years of the country? 

This is the most natural response; what else can it be? 

Güler is not a man who would say, “I have taken all the photos of my life, enough to fill a life,” and put his camera aside. When the opportunity arises to take pictures of the president of the country, he, of course, goes and shoots them. This determination can only be appreciated and respected.

Why do we insistently think Güler is trying to ingratiate himself with Erdoğan? 

When Erdoğan said, “Ara Güler should take my photographs,” isn’t he honoring Güler?
Why don’t we look at the incident this way? Why can’t we? 

Okay, we get it. You hate Erdoğan. Nice, but why do you sacrifice our mighty Güler for this hate of yours? 

Isn’t this a shame? Isn’t this a pity? 
He also shot Kılıçdaroğlu 

During a conversation, opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, “I would like so much for Ara Güler to photograph me.” I passed his wish to Güler, who immediately said, “Yes, I surely would, with pleasure.”

Then I arranged a meeting somewhere near Istanbul’s Florya. Güler took photographs of Kılıçdaroğlu without any show, always keeping his distance and focusing on his work. Kılıçdaroğlu, on the other hand, was exceptionally respectful to Güler. 

I am saying that Güler is a photojournalist. He took pictures of Kemal yesterday; today he takes pictures of Tayyip. If they want, he would take Devlet’s and Selahattin’s pictures. 

If he does not, then he is not Ara Güler. 

Wow, Ms. Emine Ülker 

Emine Ülker Tarhan split from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to form a new party. When her party received a thousandth or something of the votes in the elections, she closed her party.

While closing the party she said, “Money is needed for politics. Giant budgets are needed. Even though the freedom of people is not considered significant, the freedom of money is. Money should be flying in the air.”

Wow, Ms. Emine Ülker. You really had to go through such an experience to see this simple and ordinary reality? Anybody would have whispered this reality of the country in your ear.

Do you see who was entrusted with such a significant post as “CHP deputy group chair?”