* Turkey photography

Turkey Photography

Figure 1.--Here we see a cabinet card portrait of a private school for European (I think French) children near Constantinople about 1930. The photographer was Jean Weinberg, a Romanian Jew. The Turkish Government in 1932 banned foreigners from engaging in commercial photographer. He and several other foreign photographers transferred their businesses to Egypt.

Photography was one of the many technological advances of the 19th century. It was all the work of researchers in European countries and America. The Muslim world at the time was a scientific black hole. All advanced technology had to be imported. And while the Ottoman Empire was the most important Muslim country, it also had to import technology. And this had been the case for several centuries. Photohraphy was no exception. Photography was brought to the Ottomaman Empire by foreigners, businessmen who wanted to capitalize on a large market without any competition. The first photographic studios in Constantinople was opened by Europeans (mid-19th century). The firse first professional photographic studio in Constsninople was openbed by Italian brothers Carlo and Giovanni Naya (1845). The first Turk to open a studio was Vasilaki Kargopoulo (1850). But much of the activity was the work of Europeans. We see Greek Christians and Italians opening studios. There were also photographers of Armenian descent (a Ottoman minority) such as Pascal Sebah, Polycarpe Joaillier and the court photographers Abdullah Frères, who opened their studio (1858). Sultan Abdülaziz (r. 1861-76) bestowed the title Ressam-ı Hazret-i Şehriyar-i. Most of the early activity was centered in Constaninople (Istambul). Studios gradually appeared in other cities, but Constantiople was by far the most important. The Pera and Kadıköy districts in Constantunople were particularly important. Gradually the number of studios incrased substantially especially (1870s). They were mostly located in Constantimpole, but we begin to see them in other cities. The earliest photographs were Daguereotypes. We are not sure to what exten Ambros and Tin-types were taken. As in other countries, photohraphy became dominated by Albumen photography--CDVs and cabunet card. We continue to dee cabinet cards into the 1930s. The Turkish Parliament finally dealt with the issue of so many foreign photographers. The Parliament passed Act 2007 Concerning Arts and Occupations Reserved for Turkish Citizens in Turkey (1932). One of those occupations was photography. Some of the foreign photographers moved to Egypt. This cabinet card was taken by Jean Weinberg, a Romanian Jew, who ooperated Photo Français. He moved his studio to Alexandria (1932).


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Created: 11:56 PM 2/1/20202
Last updated: 11:56 PM 2/1/2020