Ara Güler

Ara Güler

Ara Güler was born in 1928 in Istanbul. Internationally renowned, he is considered the most important representative of creative photography in Turkey. During his childhood, he was strongly influenced by cinema. He worked at film studios while he was at high-school. He graduated from the Getronagan High-School in 1951. He began to receive drama and acting training under Muhsin Ertuğrul. He wanted to become a director, or a playwright. During this period his short stories and interviews were published in literature magazines and Armenian newspapers. He attended the Faculty of Economics at Istanbul University, however, deciding to become a photojournalist, he quit university. He began his career in journalism in 1950, at the Yeni İstanbul [‘New Istanbul’] newspaper. He worked as the Near East photojournalist for Time Life, Paris Match and Stern. He joined Magnum Photos. His photo-interview on Noah’s Ark was distributed by Magnum Photos to more than a hundred publications. During the same period, he also made his Mount Nemrut photo-interview, and Mount Nemrut came to the attention of the international reader through his photographs. In another important interview, he focused on the ancient city of Aphrodisias, and helped the city to be rediscovered and known throughout the world. Until 1961 he worked as photography department chief at Hayat [‘Life’] magazine. In 1961, the British Journal of Photography Year Book published in the UK listed him as one of the best seven photographers in the world. The same year, he was accepted into the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP). In 1962, he earned the Master of Leica title in Germany. The same year, Camera magazine, the most important publication in the world of photography at the time, dedicated a special issue to him. He took the photographs for Lord Kinross’s book Hagia Sophia, A History of Constantinople, published in 1971. In 1974, he was invited to the United States of America, and after taking photographs of many famous Americans, presented his exhibition titled Creative Americans in many cities of the world. The same year, he shot a documentary film titled The End of the Hero about the scrapping of the Yavuz battlecruiser. His photographs of the works of Mimar Sinan, a project he worked on for many years, were published in 1992. He has opened hundreds of exhibitions across the world and published tens of books. He has taken photographs of many world-famous figures, including Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, Arnold Toynbee, Picasso, William Saroyan and Salvador Dali, and also of the leading artists of Turkey, and conducted interviews with them. In 2018, soon after his 90th birthday, he passed away in Istanbul.