Call me Ci. I was born in Beyoğlu, Istanbul on July 6th, 1986. I studied Italian Language and Literature at Istanbul University. Following that, I worked for advertising agencies as a copywriter and creative director for many years. I was 28 when I discovered visual storytelling. I did music photography and photojournalism for a while, then I decided to devote my time solely to my own stories.

My work is focused on Istanbul and its personal psychogeography. Adopting documentary as a secondary function, I tell stories using the scenes of my city. My distinct colour palette is a derivation of the look of Italian giallos from the ‘70s, and I take cues from the cinematography of classic horror films in my visual language. All of my photographs take place in the daytime.

More about my work

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  2. Exhibitions
  3. Texts
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Favourites

Fujifilm X70 (2016)
Suspiria (1977)
Cat’s Cradle (1963)
The Smiths (1984)
Timeline of the far future
No offence if you forget
November 5, 2023
This story takes place in an Istanbul apartment.

In late 2017, my external hard drive, which housed all my photographs, was stolen. This led to a period of unrelenting depression.

Throughout 2018, I left my job, found a new one, and was subsequently let go. I frequently visited a psychologist and a psychiatrist, and was prescribed numerous antidepressants. My ex-wife left me later that year, and I returned to my parents' home.

In 2019, after a major crisis, I decided to change my mental health support team and sought a new psychiatrist. Within the first fifteen minutes of our session, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. I left the house only ten times that year.

In 2020, during the pandemic, I went outside every time a lockdown was declared. Using my expired press card, I was able to explore the empty city without restrictions. However, by the end of the year, I suffered from Lithium poisoning, a medication I was using, which necessitated a change in my prescriptions.

It was only in 2021 that I was able to slowly return to life. By May of that year, the depression had ended. I fell into that severe depression when I was 31 and was able to overcome it by the age of 35.
Why am I sharing these deeply personal details? I believe it's essential for you to understand how this story unfolded. Over those years, I continued to take pictures. Every time I left the house, my camera was with me. Upon returning home, I would often stay indoors for months, examining those photos, editing them, reflecting, and writing about them.

Unutursan Darılmam (No Offence If You Forget) became a “message” to my city: I was alone, grappling with a challenging mental health situation and had made peace with the possibility of being forgotten.

Over the years, my work continued to focus on Istanbul. I captured the city's changing landscape during my “absence”. Everything happened in a room in my family's house.

The series explores themes of loneliness, the isolating nature of city life, my intimate connection with it, and, ultimately, a critique of Istanbul's current state. It's as if these photographs were stored in a time capsule for five years, only to be unearthed at the perfect moment.

Have you ever been forgotten to come back to remind the city that you’re still alive? I have. This is the story.