Accord­ing to his agency 140journos, pho­tog­ra­ph­er Çağ­daş Erdoğan has been arrest­ed in Istanbul.
He was offi­cial­ly arrest­ed on Sep­tem­ber 13 on the now-tra­di­tion­al accu­sa­tion of belong­ing to a ter­ror­ist organization.

Accused of pho­tograp­ing the MIT build­ing (Turk­ish Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Cen­ter), pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished pho­tos were also giv­en as « motives for his arrest ».

READ ALSO: "Turkey • Çağdaş Erdoğan, Turkey’s 172nd Jailed Journalist…"

In an arti­cle pub­lished by Nos­tos, Sela­hat­tin Sevi talks about him in words as pow­er­ful as are his pho­tographs, and calls for his liberation.

(Trans­la­tion from, “Le voy­age noc­turne de Çağ­daş Erdoğan” the French of the arti­cle by Sela­hat­tin Sevi pub­lished in Nos­tos in Turk­ish. )

Çağdaş Erdoğan’s Night Journey

Alone, those who know where they are going take to the road. If the days are uncer­tain, tak­ing the road at night is eas­i­er and safer. When he pulled off the com­forter under which he had tak­en refuge, no longer bear­ing the slight­est ray of sun­light, trau­ma­tized by the ugly war to which he was sub­ject­ed as a child, Çağ­daş Erdoğan woke up in the dark­ness of Istan­bul. Per­haps this is why he wasn’t dis­ori­ent­ed by what he saw…

At the begin­ning of the new mil­lenial, the cli­mate in the coun­try had changed a bit. The fact that the tra­di­tion­al pow­er­hold­er had giv­en up the spot to its eter­nal oppo­nent had allowed for a rel­a­tive détente. But the sit­u­a­tion had only changed as to whom exer­cised pow­er. The rethor­ic of exclu­sions and dis­crim­i­na­tion against its sub­jects was still well entrenched.

The peri­od when his inte­ri­or world and con­tem­po­rary life met occurred when the young pho­tog­ra­ph­er Çağ­daş Erdoğan encoun­tered « the oth­er ». His social entourage in the big city was nat­u­ral­ly that of Kurds and Ale­vis attempt­ing to hang on after their forced exile. In his new home, oth­er iden­ti­ties were his neigh­bors : the Rroms, groups with dif­fer­ent sex­u­al ten­den­cies, frac­tions opt­ing for vio­lence as their mode of operation…In the dark­ness of Istan­bul, there were also those who died from the bul­lets shot in the drug traf­fic, those who allowed their bod­ies to be torn to death in dog fights. In the final analy­sis, those who lost their life by gun­shot in the mid­dle of the street, and those who gave city dwellers momen­tary plea­sures were inhab­i­tants of the same neighborhood.

On the roadmap he called “Night Blind”, Çağ­daş Erdoğan kept straight on course on his night jour­ney. It was, at some lev­el, the rea­son for his instal­la­tion in the Gazi neigh­bor­hood in 2014. Because, in this neigh­bor­hood, he didn’t feel estranged from the adven­tures that feed his story.

Per­haps the con­tem­po­rary ghet­tos born from the burned-out vil­lages and ham­lets of the nineties live on for that very rea­son, as déjà-vu of anoth­er anni­hi­la­tion. Even if the “Seren­i­ty” oper­a­tions are car­ried out by politi­cians as “urban mod­ern­iza­tion”, in fact, what goes on is purifi­ca­tion of those spaces. As in Sulukule, where an entire era of the Rroms with their own lifestyle was sac­ri­ficed to a monot­o­nous reha­bil­i­ta­tion… soon, the same thing will hap­pen in these ghet­tos. Insuf­fi­cient num­bers of schools and class­es may be put at the dis­pos­al of the younger gen­er­a­tion. The chil­dren and the young peo­ple attempt to prove they exist in oth­er ways. To suc­ceed maybe, in dis­mem­ber­ing a rival dog. Some­times, in the weight­less­ness pro­vid­ed by a syn­thet­ic drug…When the tra­di­tion­al inhab­i­tants of the city go to sleep, life begins for them. Peo­ple from very diverse social groups and pro­fes­sions then take part in extra­or­di­nary par­ties in extreme con­di­tions, liv­ing a life they can­not car­ry out at an ordi­nary level.

Çağ­daş Erdoğan who spent his child­hood in forced exile in Bur­sa, a con­ser­v­a­tive town shel­ter­ing numer­ous exiles, was a wit­ness to all that and doc­u­ment­ed what he saw. He noticed that the dis­crim­i­na­tion and the respons­es to it were locked togeth­er in the nights. Trans sex­u­al work­ers, the sculp­ture of the Bull [tra­di­tion­al emblem of the Kadıköy neighborhood]with its paws nailed into the con­crete so that passers by may take sou­venir pho­tos, the taxi dri­ver stuck in a demon­stra­tion and dream­ing of long ride whose vehi­cle is req­ui­si­tioned for a bar­ri­cade, the activist in the red mask, let­ting him­self be cra­dled by tear gas…

Like every­thing else, Çağ­daş Erdoğan’s life took him far away from Muş, his native town. The agency work he prac­ticed dur­ing his first enthu­si­asm as a pho­to-jour­nal­ist didn’t last long. Even if see­ing his work in the pages of The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, BBC moved him, it fell behind like a fleet­ing aspiration.

Last win­ter, new hori­zons opened up thanks to the work­shop on book lay­outs orga­nized by the FUAM (Cen­ter for research and applied pho­tog­ra­phy) at the Mimar Sinan Uni­ver­si­ty of Istan­bul. The per­sons in charge of Aki­na Books, an inter­na­tion­al pub­lish­ing house, much appre­ci­at­ed his work. They then offered to pub­lish his sto­ry, in a book series, in a way he hadn’t even imag­ined. Çağ­daş Erdoğan did not turn down this pleas­ant surprise.

His pho­togra­phies “the col­or of night”, unimag­in­able and inde­scrib­able pho­togra­phies of those who had trust­ed him and opened the doors to their cra­zi­est plea­sures, would find a place in book­stores and libraries as wit­ness­es to a peri­od. The most extra­or­di­nary “deprav­i­ties”, the con­tra­dic­tions and con­trasts with­in the country’s most con­ver­v­a­tive peri­od would find a chance to express them­selves in the lan­guage of photography.

…Noth­ing was like it had been before. In fact, noth­ing has ever been as it was before. Cen­turies have rolled on after the great cat­a­stro­phy. Accord­ing to rumors, there was a time when peo­ple lived who could tes­ti­fy to the sun’s exis­tence. The two heads of Cer­berus had not been sac­ri­fied at Ere­bus yet. Sodom and Gomor­rah had not been dev­as­tat­ed and the Laws of Ham­mura­bi were still in place… »

Çağ­daş Erdoğan proved it was pos­si­ble to tell sto­ries with­out hav­ing attend­ed pho­tog­ra­phy class­es trans­formed into dat­ing sites, with­out ben­e­fit of the lega­cy from unique pho­tos the fame of which is on every tongue, and while ignor­ing the big-prize competitions.

His book was pub­lished by Aki­na Books under the title of “Con­trol”. It found it’s place in all seri­ous fes­ti­vals and book­shops out­side Turkey.

The British Jour­nal of Pho­tog­ra­phy (BJP), a respectable mag­a­zine on pho­to­graph­ic cul­ture added Çağ­daş Erdoğan to the “List of promis­ing young pho­tog­ra­phers to watch”. At the same time, he was includ­ed with oth­er tal­ent­ed pho­tog­ra­phers of the new gen­er­a­tion in a train­ing pro­gram called SO shel­tered by 140Journos, and he tracked down new sto­ries, from Istan­bul to Artvin, from Diyarbakır to Cizre.

Until his arrest last week, after twelve days in cus­tody when he was signed up as the 172nd jour­nal­ist detained in Turk­ish prisons.

We await Çağ­daş Erdoğan’s speedy lib­er­a­tion so that he may pur­sue his jour­ney with wis­dom, instinct, shar­ing and sol­i­dar­i­ty in an atmos­phere where truths and errors prop­a­gate at the speed of light. So that he can con­tin­ue to ques­tion the coun­try, the city, the night and the day, and seek answers.

By the way, Babel, where were you?
Who were those masked clowns…?”

To discover Çağdaş Erdoğan’s magnificent work

Traductions par Kedistan. Vous pouvez utiliser, partager les articles et les traductions de Kedistan en précisant la source et en ajoutant un lien afin de respecter le travail des auteur(e)s et traductrices/teurs. Merci.
Kedistan’ın tüm yayınlarını, yazar ve çevirmenlerin emeğine saygı göstererek, kaynak ve link vererek paylaşabilirisiniz. Teşekkürler.
Kerema xwe dema hun nivîsên Kedistanê parve dikin, ji bo rêzgirtina maf û keda nivîskar û wergêr, lînk û navê malperê wek çavkanî diyar bikin. Spas.
Translation by Kedistan. You may use and share Kedistan’s articles and translations, specifying the source and adding a link in order to respect the writer(s) and translator(s) work. Thank you.
KEDISTAN on EmailKEDISTAN on FacebookKEDISTAN on TwitterKEDISTAN on Youtube
Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.