HIPA The Challenge 2016 - 2017

   PORTFOLIO  "Gypsies" Recognizing an unknown culture

My project, called “Gypsies”, began with this question in 1999 and has become my passion. 

With an invitation to a friends wedding, I was allowed the oportunity to witness the inside workings of the secretive Gypsy lifestyle, I soon realized I had a cultural curiosity for the Gypsy life.  

The aim of this project is to introduce an obscure culture known as the Gypsies to a wider audience.   I have gained the trust and friendship of the Gypsies which I believe will help to unveil this secretive society. I have devoted much time to studying the Gypsy culture and would like to capture not only images, but also verbal dialog as well as traditional Gypsy music to enhance the experience of the viewer.

I think this culture can teach us a lot. Gypsies seem to hold on to their freedom,  they know how to be content with simple things and the beauty that nature provides.  Their close-knit family and community structure provides them with a sense of security.  It would be a good thing for the rest of us to become acquainted with such a culture.

Henna Ceremony, Istanbul 2011

Elderly women of the community put henna into the hands of the young groom and bride. While young couple watch them under the red cover, community members celebrate them.

Festival Musician, Bozdoğan 2008

Gypsy musicians harass the guests with flutes in a local festival. The aim is to get the tips and go for a moment before. Taken in Bozdogan on 2008

Training Under The Bridge, Izmir 2008

A barn under the bridge with an ad poster over it. The poster not only protects the wall, but it also changes the ambiance. Providing transportation with a horse

carriage, the Romani poses in front of the poster on his way back from work.

A young girl waiting for Hıdrellez, İzmir, 2008

Ederlezi  is celebrated as the day on which Prophets Hizir (Al-Khidr) and Ilyas (Elijah) met on earth. It is the most important cultural event of the Romanis. Commencing with the burning of a fire on the evening of May 5th, the celebrations continue with different events until the next evening. The girl from the neighborhood is all dressed up for the celebrations and is waiting for her friends.

Gypsies on the edge of Tigris, Hasankeyf, Batman, 2010

Gypsies is along the banks of the River Dicle (Tigris). After traveling all day, they are preparing for dinner for the camp they set up along the river.

Mehmet and his son. İstanbul, 2011

Father with his son in front of recycling materials. So hard to find permanent jobs for Gypsies. Parents should continue to gather in order to live. Taken in Istanbul on 2011.

Bachelor party with friends. İstanbul, 2011

Henna night of a gypsy's wedding in the ghetto. Different but exuberant life. Bride is dancing under the henna tray; friends accompany her by singing.

Women chatting at the door. İstanbul, 2011

Gypsy ladies are conversation in front of the door in traditional clothes in the morning in a gypsy district

Wedding photographers. İstanbul, 2011

Bride's mother and sister are taking memorabilia photos of the bride.  My aim was to take portrait images of the bride inside the house. But this was more meaningful image.

First dance with the bride. Bulgaria 2016

Father in law and mother in law, they are doing the first dance with the bride. This also showing ritual the bride to the guests. They are dancinf together while passing in front of guests



Labor Day, İstanbul May 1, 2010

May 1st Labor Day celebrations, legalized after a long-winded struggle. Prohibited during the military regime, the celebrations were continued for some time despite the bans and unpleasant consequences. Once the government lifted the ban in 2010, mass celebrations came to take place once again at Taksim Square, which constitutes a symbol for May 1st celebrations. During the rallies in 1977, 37 people were gunned down or trampled to death. The perpetrators were never identified or caught.

In the Photo, union representatives are walking toward to Taksim Square with the public  to celebrate together May 1st after 33 years.



BW Felt Master, Balıkesir, 2013

A master manufacturing the traditional felt fabric at his workshop. After sheep’s wool is combed in the machine, it is neatly placed on the cloth on the floor and is transformed into a coarse fabric by being manually squashed. In addition to the cloak known as “kepenek” shepherds wear in the mountains to protect their bodies against the cold, some traditional folkloric garments are also made of this felt. As machines increasingly replace traditional production, the masters that make felt will not be carried into the future.


Karaburun, 2014 , Circumcised child

A wall decorated with the handicrafts a mother made over the years. Some may have been passed down from her mother or even other ancestors. The culture and work of a certain period decorates the wall for a special day. In front of it is portrait photograph that will remain a lovely souvenir for years to come.


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