Turkey Through The Eyes Of The Instagram Phenomenon

Gamze Kantarcıoğlu August 2014

TWENTY WORLD-RENOWNED INSTAGRAM PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO HAVE SCOURED TURKEY INCH BY INCH AND SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCES IN THE #COMESEETURKEY PROJECT ARE SHOWCASING OUR COUNTRY’S CULTURAL HERITAGE FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES.

If you’ve got a smart phone and you like to follow what’s going on in the world in the social media, then you must have heard of the “Instagram Phenomenon”. #ComeSeeTurkey is a cultural project in which the 20 best-known “Instagrammers” showcase the history, culture, nature and people of our country using the universal language of photography. Sponsored by the Association of Chambers and Stock Exchanges of Turkey under the auspices of the Office of the President of Turkey, the project was carried out between April 15 and May 26. #ComeSeeTurkey, which was spearheaded by photographer Mehmet Seven, Turkey’s own “Instagram Phenomenon” with close to 750,000 followers, was followed and shared by millions of people on their social media accounts. Plans are for the photographs of Turkey that emerged at the end of the project, which was conducted entirely on the social media, to tour Turkey and the world in traveling exhibitions and then be turned into a book. You can follow the photographs on Instagram under the hashtag #ComeSeeTurkey and become part of the project by sharing your own photos using the same hashtag.

KATILIMCILAR
@wisslaren, @sezyilmaz, @thomas_k, @cucinadigitale, @dariszcahyadi, @aditzt, @samhorine, @felecool, @grether, @puanindya, @aatle, @curious2119, @hirozzzz, @danrubin, @moonlightice, @paulyvella, @petrichor218, @pketron, @punkodelish, @mustafaseven

MUSTAFA SEVEN
“Photography is a universal language, and Instagram is a tremendous social media and communication channel. When the two come together, an incredibly powerful platform is created. What’s more, communication between brands and consumers in our digital age has to be instantaneous and in the form a dialogue. Because the photographers who came to Turkey shared the photos they wanted with complete freedom with whatever comments they wanted below them, this went beyond being a mere promotional campaign and was as real and sincere as a Turkey trip by a group of friends. People really liked the idea for that reason and have been very impressed by all the photographs they’ve seen.”

DAN RUBIN
I’ve been telling people about #ComeSeeTurkey at every opportunity since returning from Turkey — the journey was like traveling through multiple countries, and through time, all at once. I still can’t believe how many things we saw in such a brief visit, and so many of the places we visited were nothing like what I’d imagined Turkey to be. I’ve done projects for tourism and travel-related organisations before, but never with such a big group. Being accompanied by multiple talented photographers the entire way made every stop that much more enjoyable, and we all became fast friends, even across language barriers.

PEI KETRON
The  #ComeSeeTurkey experience brought together a group of photographers from around the world to experience some of the best that Turkey has to offer. Our days were full and exhausting, but it was all worth it. We came away with stunning images, once-in-a-lifetime stories to tell, and personal and professional friendships that will last for years.