Istanbul’s energy

© harry gruyaert

Turkey was not a country I knew well, but it was always one that managed to awaken my curiosity. I came to Turkey a few years ago for some projects with Magnum Photos, but this time around, it was different. Many of the things I saw in Istanbul raised my curiosity immediately. I was incredibly excited, perhaps because it was a new city for me.

One does not necessarily always find such excitement where one lives. For example, when I am sitting in a café in Paris with my friends, I don’t feel that sense of openness or difference. I suppose it’s because I know Paris so well already. I literally experienced an incredible sense of physical excitement in Istanbul. Anyway, that experience is very important for me. Different shapes, colors, unique movements and motions: These all give one inspiration and a completely different sort of excitement. A photographer must always think freely and broadly; that is the only way he or she can capture unique images.

What was interesting for me was not just Istanbul’s historical and artistic fabric but that the metropolis worked as a city. I saw interesting sights everywhere I looked. Some spots reminded me a bit of Cairo. My work seemed to me to become even more important while I was there. This week passed in a quite entertaining and energetic tempo. A few years ago, when visiting Istanbul, I stayed for two weeks, but the truth is, my short visit this time around made me even happier.