The exhibition entitled “Armenians in Turkey” was opened on Thursday in Arno Babajanyan Concert Hall in Yerevan, featuring the photographs of Istanbul born Armenian Nuran Akkaya. Nuran comes from Sebastia and is for the first tin Armenia. As confessed he understands the Armenian, yet unable to speak. “Dle Yaman” is his favorite song. If he had an opportunity would change his name to Hrant. “My given name at birth,” the photographer explained to the reporters.
“We - the Turkish Armenians - continue living a hidden life and remain unnoticed. I wished to raise the curtain in the 21st century. I tried to depict and showcase the Turkish Armenians through my photos, since there is a distance between these two peoples - the Armenians of Turkey and Armenia. I tried to build a bridge between them,” the artist said.
Nuran is not a professional photographer. He has worked for 6-7 year for the current project. “While taking some of the photos, people opened their hearts. A woman told me about kind of a map that illustrated the recollections of her family. The map depicts their house, the church, the village school. Only after hours of conversation, the woman decided to bring and show me the map,” the photographer said.
The exhibition showcases 50 photographs, another 100 are in a book. The Istanbul Armenians are in the focus of the exhibition, portraits of the people, representing different layers of the society, are the main characters. The photos have been taken at different times in Istanbul, Saint Cross Church at Akhtamar Peninsula in Van, Kars, Kesaria and elsewhere.
The exhibition is the first for the photographer and he thinks of presenting it in Turkey as well.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition was attended by Armenian Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan, who called the initiative one of the most important projects of the ministry.
“We are consistently working with the Istanbul Armenian community, invite dance and song groups, organize exhibitions, book presentations, mark the anniversaries of the newspapers. I am equally glad and sad for having such a wonderful cultural community in Istanbul since many national, cultural works are originated from there,” the minister noted.
She next reflected on the presented works saying Nuran has depicted “an interesting key which is the key to the future we are obliged to unlock it and step forward”.