Photographer introduces Turkey’s wildlife
Mustafa Aslan, a university student who has been interested in wildlife since his childhood thanks to documentary films, is trying to raise awareness to wildlife by photographing 250 bird species and various land animals in four years.
Aslan, 24, who preferred to watch documentary films instead of cartoons, unlike his peers during his primary school years, started taking his first photographs with the film camera his father brought from abroad. At that time, Aslan, who decorated the school board with his pet photographs, achieved his dream of becoming a professional wildlife photographer during his university years.
Attending the Sivas Cumhuriyet University in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, Aslan took his first professional photographs in 2017. He has been photographing and recording wildlife in and around Sivas since then. He is showing the animals that are decreasing in number, getting thousands of likes on his social media accounts.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Aslan said that with the influence of documentary films that he has been watching since his childhood, he started taking wildlife photos.
“While my peers were interested in cartoons, I was watching documentary films. Later, during my university years, I got interested in wildlife photography and started it as a business. I have been photographing wild animals in their natural environment for about four years.”
He said that he was able to photograph 250 bird species in many parts of Turkey, as well as the mammals such as squirrels, mountain goats and foxes.
Noting that many wild species are in danger of extinction due to drought and poaching, Aslan said, “Each of these animals is a national treasure that should not become extinct. Therefore, we have to protect all of them. Think of it like a chain. That’s why I’m introducing Turkey’s wildlife to people.”
Aslan emphasized that most of his life was spent in nature and that his vehicle got stuck in the swamp many times during the filming and sometimes he was chased by shepherd dogs.
Stating that he usually set out before sunrise to capture beautiful frames, Aslan said, “I prepare all my food while leaving the house. Sometimes I travel 500 kilometers a day by car. Sometimes I stay in a very small area for a long time. I devote about 120 days a year to this job.”
He added that wildlife photography is one of the best jobs to be alone with nature without harming living things.