By Haykaram Nahapetyan
Special to the Armenian Mirror-Spectator
ISTANBUL – Istanbul-based Turkish-Armenian Ara Güler was not only the most famous photographer ever to emerge from Turkey. He was the one who actually founded professional photography in modern Turkey. Turks called him the “Eye of Istanbul” for his famous images of the city, although he would refer to himself and news photographers more broadly. “We are the eyes of the world. We see on behalf of other people. We collect the visual history of today’s earth,” was how the New York Times quoted him.
So, when on October 17 the Eye of Istanbul shut both his eyes for eternity in one of the hospitals of Istanbul, Turkish media in its entirety reported this as flash news. The sad announcement remained as a frontpage article in many newspapers for many hours. Up until now Güler’s death and the subsequent funeral ceremonies continue to remain top news in Turkey. Some excerpts from those reports come to confirm that it is not merely the Armenian perspective that Güler was “number one” in Turkey – this is actually what Turkish media says.
“Ara Güler… was the biggest photo reporter ever grown up in Turkey” – Hurriyet.
“The most prominent name of Turkish photography in international arena” – Milliyet.