The “Eye of Istanbul” closes forever: Last farewell to Ara Güler

Ani Minasyan
Public Radio of Armenia

Thousands gathered in central Istanbul today to bid last farewell to iconic photographer Ara Güler.

Mourners started pouring in to Galatasaray Square, where a memorial service was held, from the early hours of the morning.

His coffin was later taken to an Armenian church in Beyoglu district and he was buried at the Armenian Cemetery in Sisli after the ceremony in the church.

“He lived in this country and captured everything happening here on the camera. Istanbul changed with him,” Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian lawmaker of the Turkish Parliament, told Public Radio of Armenia.

“Ara Guler is an author of universal legacy,” said Ara Gochunyan, editor-in-chief of the Istanbul based Armenian Jamanak daily.

Expressing grief over death of the photographer, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said at the funeral that Güler was a great artist, who inspired many photographers. “We will always remember our notable artist with respect,” he added.

Legendary Turkish Armenian photographer Ara Güler passed away at the age of 90 late on October 17.

Güler would say his photos were doing a favor to his home city. “If, not the photos, no one would know Isnabul, as no one had taken photos of the city.”

Dubbed the “Eye of Istanbul,” Güler rose to fame with his black and white portraits of the city.

He photographed a number of politicians and artists including 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.

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