1922 Color Photos of Ankara

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.

I. Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Currently serves as the Turkish War of Independence Museum) – 24 December 1922
Deputies on the balcony of the I. Grand National Assembly of Turkey – 30 December 1922
Hacı Bayram Mosque – 30 December 1922
Ankara Citadel fortifications – 27 December 1922
Bent Deresi (Bent River) and Ankara Citadel – 30 December 1922
A camel caravan taking a break in the outskirts of Ankara – 27 December 1922
Houses at Ankara Citadel – 25 December 1922
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s photo, taken amidst the Turkish War of Independence – 29 December 1922
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Hüseyin Rauf Orbay – 29 December 1922
Armenian community of Ankara participating in the Christmas service – 25 December 1922
Armenian priests and congregation in front of the chapel pictured above – 25 December 1922
An Armenian priest – 25 December 1922
A group of Armenian orphan children – 25 December 1922
Ruins of the Temple of Augustus, still standing today – 24 December 1922
Main entrance of the Temple of Augustus – 24 December 1922
Two ancient burial tombs found in the Temple of Agustus. Latin texts on the left one, Ancient Greek texts on the right one – 24 December 1922
Hacı Bayram Mosque and the Afghanistan Embassy building (the building with the flag) – 24 December 1922
Council of Ministers meeting – 26 December 1922
Council of Ministers meeting room – 26 December 1922
Hamdullah Suphi Tanrıöver, the first person to read the Turkish National Anthem in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, sitting in his room on the last day of the year – 31 December 1922
A horse carriage in front of the entrance of the I. Grand National Assembly of Turkey – 30 December 1922
An old cemetery in the outskirts of Ankara Castle – 30 December 1922
Restaurant / dining room reserved for ministers and deputies – 27 December 1922
Soviet Union Ankara Embassy building – 29 December 1922
Ambassador of the Soviet Union to Ankara, Comrade Aralov, in his office – 30 December 1922
Staff of the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Ankara – 30 December 1922
A Bolshevik soldier at the Soviet Union’s Embassy in Ankara – 30 December 1922
Julianus Column – 30 December 1922
A fountain in the courtyard of Hacı Bayram Mosque – 24 December 1922
Gate of Hacı Bayram Mosque – 24 December 1922
A horse carriage – 24 December 1922
Ali Fethi Okyar, Hüseyin Rauf Orbay and Şeyhülislam (head of religious affairs) – 26 December 1922
An old cemetery on the outskirts of Ankara Castle – 30 December 1922

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