11 February, 2013

Photographs of Onart reveal a picturesque Turkey

(Published in Pakistan Observer)


Sana Jamal
Courtesy: Google Images


ISLAMABAD - Viewing Turkey through the lens of Erkut Onart was pleasantly refreshing for many as the photographs reflected a Turkey, culturally rich and diverse. Erkut Onart's photography exhibition titled “Turkey: the land where climates, people and cultures meet” that opened here at Satrang Gallery was attended by art enthusiast and diplomats.



Mr. Onart himself, H.E Babur Hizlan, Ambassador of Turkey, and Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker of National Assembly were the chief guests at the occasion. The exhibition is first of the events as part of the cultural activities between Pakistan and Turkey. “2013-2014 would be celebrated as the Cultural Years of Turkey in Pakistan and Pakistan in Turkey to strengthen the ties of the two countries” said the Turkish Ambassador, Babur Hizlan. Faisal Kundi hoped that Pakistani artists would also go to Turkey under the cultural exchange program.



The vibrant photographs, portraying places, people, architecture and landscapes of Turkey, depicted a rich culture full of diversity. “Mr. Onart has truly captured the beauty and spirit of the people and places of Turkey,” said Asma Khan, director of the Gallery. Every photograph allows a glance into nature, ambiance, people and places of different cultures. “Each photo reflects a different region of Turkey and is a great opportunity for Pakistanis to learn about the country” remarked Madame Hizlan.


The exhibition reflects the diversity and richness of the Turkish culture. “It is refreshing and different from what we generally see in Turkish dramas on our (Pakistani) channels” said Ahsan Akhtar, a visitor, who was impressed enough to plan a visit to Turkey.

The Turkish photographer, Erkut Onart, is a former diplomat and first visited Pakistan in 1967. “Pakistan feels more like home” he said with an affable smile. It is for the first time however that Onart has captured the beauty of Pakistan on his camera, which he hopes to share some time soon. Onart’s passion for photography began in 1950s when he got his first camera as a gift. Travelling and photography are two things that Onart is passionate about. As an ardent traveller, he loves to capture wonderful people and places on his journey with all.


Places of Istanbul are the highlight of the exhibition but the photographer has brought out other striking places as well such as the city of Bursa and Konya, city of Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes. Photographs of the Blue Mosque, the prestigious landmark of Istanbul; photo Dolmabahce Palace, in all its glory, stood tall among other photos on display. The photo of the Wooden Horse of Troy, in ancient city in Turkey, reminds one about the legend of Troy. While the images of vegetable and fish sellers offer a glimpse into everyday life of ordinary people.