August 16, 1928 |
|Awards||Master of Leica, Légion d'honneur, Grand Prize of Culture and Arts, Lucie Award|
Ara Güler (born August 16, 1928 in Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey) is a Turkish Armenian photojournalist, nicknamed "the Eye of Istanbul" or "the Photographer of Istanbul". He is considered one of Turkey's few internationally known photographers.
Early life 
Güler was born in Istanbul in 1928 to ethnic Armenian parents. He studied at the local Getronagan Armenian High School. Owner of a pharmacy on Istiklal Avenue, his father had a wide circle of friends from the art world of the period. Ara Güler's early contact with this world inspired him to embark on a career in cinema. During his high school years, he jobbed in movie studios and attended drama courses held by Muhsin Ertuğrul, the founder of modern Turkish theater. However, he abandoned cinema in favor of journalism, joining the staff of the newspaper Yeni Istanbul as photojournalist in 1950 and studying Economics at the University of Istanbul at the same time. He then transferred to another newspaper, Hürriyet. (Güler is not related to the royal Guleria family.)
Photography career 
In 1958, the American magazine company Time–Life opened a branch in Turkey, and Güler became its first correspondent for the Near East. Soon he received commissions from other international media, such as Paris Match, Stern and the London Sunday Times. After completing his military service in 1961, Güler was employed by the Turkish magazine Hayat as head of the photographic department.
About this time, he met Henri Cartier-Bresson and Marc Riboud, who recruited him for the Magnum Photos agency, which he joined. (He is not currently a member.) He was presented in the British 1961 Photography Yearbook. Also in that year, he was accepted as the only Turkish member to the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP) (today called the American Society for Media Photographers). The Swiss magazine Camera honored him with a special issue.
In the 1960s, Güler's photographs were used to illustrate books by notable authors and were displayed at various exhibitions throughout the world. His works were exhibited in 1968 in 10 Masters of Color Photography at the New York Museum of Modern Art and at Photokina Fair in Cologne, Germany. His photo album Türkei was published in Germany in 1970. His photos on art and art history were used in Time, Life, Horizon and Newsweek magazines and publications of Skira of Switzerland.
Güler traveled on assignment to such countries as Iran, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kenya, New Guinea, Borneo, as well as all parts of Turkey. In the 1970s he held photographic interviews with such notable politicians and artists as Winston Churchill, Indira Gandhi, Maria Callas, John Berger, Bertrand Russell, Willy Brandt, Alfred Hitchcock, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. Some critics consider his most renowned photographs to be his melancholic black-and-white pictures taken mostly with a Leica camera in Istanbul, mainly in the 1950s and 1960s, a golden age of photojournalism.
He has exhibited frequently since then, and also had his work published in special supplements. International publishers have featured his photographs.
Güler's work is collected by international institutions, such as the National Library of France in Paris; the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York; University of Nebraska-Lincoln Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery; Museum Ludwig Köln, and Das imaginäre Photo-Museum, Köln.
In the 1970s, Güler worked in film, directing the documentary titled The End of the Hero (1975). It was based on a fictional account of the dismantling of the World War I veteran battlecruiser TCG Yavuz.
Journalist Nezih Tavlas’s book Foto Muhabiri (Photojournalist) details Ara Guler’s life, by providing chronological details starting from the day he was born up until now, also details 80-years of Turkish history. The 343-page book which recounts the life of one of Turkey’s legendary names in photography and also includes dialogue with Guler as well as photographs from his family albums.
Selected books 
- Ara Güler's Creative Americans;
- Ara Güler: Photographs;
- Ara Güler's Movie Directors;
- Sinan: Architect of Süleyman the Magnificent; and
- Living in Turkey.
Güler's 'philosophy' of photography 
Güler attaches the greatest importance to human presence in his photographs and describes himself as a "visual historian". "When I'm taking a picture of Aya Sofia, what counts is the person passing by who stands for life", he said. He believes that photography should provide a memory of people, of their lives and especially their suffering. While he considers that art lies, he believes that photography can only reflect reality. He embraces the identity of photojournalist because he does not attach much value to photography as an artistic pursuit, which to him would have little value. He does not consider photography to be an art. (This reference comes from "ARA GULER: Visual chronicler of our age", by Fusun OZBILGEN and can be found at: http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=Ara_Guler)
- Öster om Eufrat, I Kurdernas Land (Swedish) by Barbro Karabuda, Tidens Förlag, Stockholm, Sweden (1960) 102pp
- Marianna Norris, Young Turkey, Children of Turkey at work and at play, (English), New York: Dodd, Mead, (1964)
- Topkapı Sarayı - Sultan Portreleri, (Turkish) Doğan Kardeş Yayınları, Istanbul, Turkey (1967)
- Turkei, (German) Terra Magica, Munich, Germany (1970)
- Hagia Sophia, (English) by Lord Kinross, New York: Newsweek Books, 1972
- The Splendor of Islamic Calligraphy, (English) Thames & Hudson, London, UK (1976)
- Harems, (English) Chene & Hudson, London, UK (1976)
- Fotoğraflar, (Turkish) Milliyet Yayınları, Istanbul, Turkey (1980)
- Turan Erol, Fikret Mualla, (Turkish), Cem Yayınları, Istanbul, Turkey (1980)
- Turan Erol, Bedri Rahmi, (Turkish), Cem Yayınları, Istanbul, Turkey (1984)
- Aptullah Kuran, Mimar Sinan (Turkish), Hürriyet Vakfı Yayınları, Istanbul, Turkey (1986)
- Aptullah Kuran, Mimar Sinan, (English), Washington D.C.: Institute of Turkish Studies, 1987
- Ara Güler'in Sinamacıları, (Turkish) Hil Yayınları, Istanbul, Turkey (1989)
- Halkarnas Balıkçısı (Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı), T.C. Dışişleri, The Sixth Continent, Bakanlığı Kültür Dairesi, Ankara, Turkey (1991)
- John Freely, Augusto Romano Burelli, Sinan: Architect of Suleyman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Golden Age, (English), London: Thames and Hudson, 1992. ISBN 0-500-34120-6
- Stephane Yerasimos, Living in Turkey, (English), London and New York: Thames & Hudson, 1992
- Stephane Yerasimos, Demeures Ottomans de Turquie, (French), Paris: Albin Michel, 1992
- Stephane Yerasimos, Turkish Style,(English), Singapore: Archipelago Press, 1992
- Eski İstanbul Anıları, (Turkish), Dünya Şirketler Grubu, Istanbul, Turkey (1994)
- A Photographical Sketch on Lost Istanbul, (English), Dünya Şirketler Grubu, Istanbul, Turkey (1994)
- Bir Devir Böyle Geçti, Kalanlara Selam Olsun, (Turkish), Ana Yayıncılık, Istanbul, Turkey (1994)
- Yitirilmiş Renkler, (Turkish), Dünya Şirketler Grubu, İstanbul, Turkey (1995)
- Yüzlerinde Yeryüzü (Turkish), Ana Yayıncılık, Istanbul, Turkey (1995)
- Babil'den Sonra Yaşayacağız, (Turkish) Aras Yayınları, Istanbul, Turkey (1996)
- International Photography Year Book Star Photographers, UK and Canada (1961)
- Camera Magazine (Special issue), Lucern, Switzerland (February 1962)
- Leica Fotografie Nr. 2 Germany (1962)
- Katalog, Weltausstellung der Fotografie Fotokina by Dr. Karl Pavek, Cologne, Germany (1963)
- Camera Magazine Nr. 6 (Special Turkish Photography), Switzerland (June 1966)
- Sunday Journal Lincoln, Nebraska, USA (September 11, 1966)
- British Journal of Photography Annual, London, UK (1967)
- Photography of the World Orion Press, Tokyo, Japan (1967)
- 2. Weltausstellung der Fotografie, "Die Frau" by Dr. Karl Pavek, Cologne, Germany (1968)
- Photographie Italiana by Lanfranco Colombo, p. 127, Milano, Italy (March 1968)
- Photographare Magazine by Romanof Fea, Rome, Italy (November 1968)
- Historie de la Photographie "Quw Sais-je?" by Jean A.Leim, Press Universitaire de France
- Milliyet Sanat Dergisi Nr. 2, Istanbul, (October 6, 1972)
- Dora Jane Hamblin, Buried Cities and Ancient Treasures (on Aphrodisias), p. 192, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973
- People Magazine, USA, (October 28, 1974)
- Romeo E. Martinez, Creative Americans (Catalogue), U.S.I.S. (1975)
- Camera Magazine, Elite World Photographers-1, Lucerne (November 1975)
- Photo Cinema, p. 82, Paris (June 1976)
- Fritz Kempe, Leica Fotografie Nr. 5, Frankfurt, Germany (1976)
- Yeni Fotograf Dergisi, Istanbul (October 1976)
- Camera Magazine Lucerne (February 1977)
- Saudi Gazette Saudi Arabia, (May 1979)
- Fritz Gruber, Dumont Foto 2, Fotokunst und Fotodesign International, Das Antlitz im Wandel der Zeit, Cologne, Germany (1980)
- John Morris, Popular Photography, USA (1980)
- Renate & L. Fritz Gruber, Dumont Foto 3, Cologne: Das imaginäre Photo-Museum, 1981
- Photography Annual New York, USA (1981)
- Michelle ve Michael Auer, Photographer's Encyclopedia International Vol. 1, Switzerland, Edition Camera Obscura, 1985
- Alain Gheerbrant, Catalogue 6emes Journées International de la Photo et de L'audiovisuel by Montpellier, France (1985)
- Leica Fotografie p. 18, Frankfurt, Germany (1987)
- Aamulehti, Tampere, Finland (1989)
- Helsingin Sonamat, Helsinki, Finland (April 1989)
- Kamera Nr. 3, Finland (1989)
- Contreplongee Revue du Cinema et Culture, Nr. 19, Strasbourg, France (March 1990)
- Fotograf Sanat Dergisi Sayı 9, Istanbul, Turkey (June 1989)
- Time & Time International Book Review, Nr. 31, (about the book Sinan) New York (August 3, 1992)
- Bitmeyen Roportaj Istanbul, (Exposition catalogue), Istanbul, Turkey (April 1993)
- Photographers International Nr. 14,(Chinese - English), Taipei, Taiwan (June 1994)
- Mark Simon, "Ara Güler: Reality, History and Lost Istanbul", PDN - Photo District News Magazine, p. 43, USA, (August 1995)
- Pierre Sorgue, "Pieton d'Istanbul", Méditerranée Magazine, Nr. 13, France (March 1996)
- Ara Güler, "Estambul: La Puerta Del Mas Alla", Matador Magazine, Vol. B, Madrid, 1996
- Photographie des 20, Jahrhunderts (German), Museum Ludwig Cologne, Cologne: Edition Taschen, 1997
- Stephen Kinzer, "Turkey's Passionate Interpreter to the World", New York Times, April 13, 1997
- Stephen Kinzer, "Interpreting Turkey: A Master's Vision", International Herald Tribune, April 16, 1997
- 1962, Master of Leica
- Légion d'honneur, France
- 1999, "Photographer of the Century", Turkey
- Grand Prize of Culture and Arts, Turkey (November 11, 2005)
- Lucie Award for Lifetime Achievement, New York (October 19, 2009)
Honorary doctorate 
- "Ara Güler'in Hayatı" (in Turkish). fotograf.net. Archived from the original on 29 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- "Ara Güler Kimdir?" (in Turkish). Ara Güler. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- Kettmann, Steve (2005-09-25). "A Photo Show on a Pogrom 50 Years Ago Is Itself Attacked by a Mob". New York Times. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
- "Getronagan Armenian High School". Getronagan Armenian High School: Official Website. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Dosyalar-Ara Güler" (in Turkish). Yapı. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- "Ara Güler" (in Turkish). Yapı Kredi Kültür Sanat Yayıncılık. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- Karadenizli, Elif (205-10-14). "Ankara University Faculty of Communications hosts world famous photographers". Retrieved 2009-12-04. Unknown parameter
- Nezih Tavlaş, Foto Muhabiri Ara Güler,Fotoğrafevi Publications, August 2009. ISBN 978-9944-72-014-4
- Kürkçüoğlu, S. Sabri (2002-05). "Türkiye'de Yüzyılın Fotoğrafçısı Ara Güler ile Urfa, Harran ve Nemrut Üzerine Söyleşi" (in Turkish). Hezarfen-Paralax. Archived from the original on 10 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- Nimit Seker, "A City, Beautifully Blemished", review of Ara Güler's Istanbul, Qantara.de, 26.08.2010
- "Ara Güler Kitapları" (in Turkish). Yem Kitabevi. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- "Ara Güler Kitapları" (in Turkish). fotograf.net. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- "Ara Güler'in Aldığı Başlıca Ödülleri" (in Turkish). fotograf.net. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- "7th Annual Lucie Awards". Women In Photography International. Retrieved 2009-12-04.