Between October 1922 and February 1923, Camille Sauvageot and photographer Frédéric Gadmer visited Turkey. They photographed many places from Istanbul to Hatay, from Izmir to Ankara. The photographs taken by this duo with AutoChrome Lumiere cameras constitute Turkey’s oldest color photographs.
Autochrome was a photography technique, invented by the French Lumiere brothers, which allowed the captured photographs to be obtained as color printouts.
The two photographers were a part of a world-wide project called Archives of the Planet (Archives de la Planète). It was initiated by Albert Kahn, French banker and philanthropist, and it aimed to create “a kind of photographic inventory of the surface of the earth, as it was occupied and organized by men at the beginning of the 20th century.” So, the project was kind of like an early version of Google Maps.
After visiting Istanbul, Camille Sauvageot and Frédéric Gadmer set out towards Ankara to see Turkey’s War of Independence that Mustafa Kemal Pasha started in Anatolia. Along the way, they also photographed the terrible damage done to the cities and towns in Western Anatolia due to the Turkish-Greek War.
Without wasting more time, let’s commence our nostalgic trip to 1920s Ankara.
*These photos are from the archive of “Autochrome de Frédéric Gadmer © Musée Albert-Khan – Département des Hauts-de-Seine”. Its commercial values and material rights belong to this institution.