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Turkey bids farewell to renowned photographer Ara Guler

Legendary Turkish photographer on Wednesday in Istanbul at age of 90

Can Erözden   | 20.10.2018
Turkey bids farewell to renowned photographer Ara Guler

By Etem Geylan and Hikmet Faruk Baser


Turkey on Saturday bade farewell to the country’s renowned photographer Ara Guler, who died to heart failure on Wednesday at the age of 90.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin attended a ceremony in Istanbul to pay tributes to Guler.

Nonagenarian Guler had suffered a heart attack and was taken to the intensive care unit of Florence Hospital where he breathed his last.

Expressing grief over death of the photographer, Oktay said Guler was a great artist, who inspired many photographers.

"We will always remember our notable artist with respect," he added.

The vice president said Guler will be remembered with his photo interviews and documentaries.

Separately, voicing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s message, Kalin said Guler has left a magnificent heritage to the next generations and was a great master in photography.

"Big artists continue to live with their works of art after their death as well. And I see Ara Guler, who is one of the most important photo masters in Turkey, making history with his camera as a big artist," Kalin said

His photo interviews with many well-known figures such as British politician Winston Churchill, British philosopher Bertrand Russell, ex-Indian PM Indira Gandhi, Spanish painters Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, and U.K.-born film director Alfred Hitchcock will always be in people's minds.

Erdogan also offered his condolences to Guler's family.

'Eye of Istanbul'

Dubbed "Eye of Istanbul", Guler rose to fame with his black-and-white portraits of the city. He was suffering from kidney failure and had to be taken for treatment thrice a week.

"That dialysis makes me stupefied," he said in an interview with Anadolu Agency in 2015.

“I cannot do anything three days a week. It takes four hours each time, and it is unbearable.”

However, old age and illness did not stop him from pursuing his work. In 2015, he took pictures of the ongoing construction of Istanbul’s third bridge on the Bosphorus.

Guler belonged to a family of Turkish intellectuals.

His mother came from an Armenian family which owned several houses around Beyoglu, a neighborhood in Istanbul.

On Saturday, a memorial ceremony for him was held at Galatasaray Square in Istanbul's European side.

Later, Guler's coffin was taken to an Armenian church in Beyoglu district and he was buried at the Armenian Cemetery in Sisli district after the ceremony in the church.

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