Diary Of a Village Doctor, Izmir 2009 - 2010
Cedefop (EU) / Thessaloniki Photomuseum Award 2013 Thessaloniki - Greece
I had the chance to witness a patient home visit of the doctor of the small town situated in the west of Turkey ten years ago, a small Aegean town called Karaburun. I saw the eagerness and the passion in the eyes of the doctor. It became then my strong wish to photograph him during his patient visits in Karaburun villages and I got his and villagers' approval to take photographs during his visits. I traveled with him several times in different seasons, to the semi-populated villages where most of the inhabitants were elderly people and to temporary camps with seasonal workers within 50 kilometers. I wanted to document the hard work of an idealist doctor in a region so near to the modern city of Izmir but at the same time so remote from big city's facilities. Many of the patients didn't have the opportunity to reach the health center and mostly they needed constant control because of their old age. My work was focused mainly on the modest and community-oriented doctor but on the background there was the big panorama of poor but cheerful people in the visited homes and sites. In a way, the doctor and his assistant were not only healers but part of daily life and social expectation. They were telling the doctor about their personal concerns, such as her husband abandoning her or their daughter not showing respect to them. Sometimes I felt in the time tunnel with these simple living people, half-ruined stone houses, and the land signs of once turco-greek cohabitants occurred dating to the early 20th-century era. I would like to reach a general audience to show humanistic approaches and simplicity still exist in health care versus high technology. And there are still unknown heroes in modern times like this healer, everywhere on the globe.