Photographs of Ataturk in the early Republican Press: how his image was used to visualize events?

Cetin I.

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES, vol.55, no.5, pp.701-732, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00263206.2019.1586674
  • Title of Journal : MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
  • Page Numbers: pp.701-732


Since its invention, photography has been seen as representing reality as it was, as a result of which an evidential quality has been attributed to it. This quality comes more to the fore in certain contexts, one of them being press photography. Photographs in a newspaper are meant to testify to the event described in the news. This article looks at the photographs of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, which were circulated in the early Republican Press. Many photographs of Ataturk which were published in the periodicals at that time did not testify to the actualization of an event and henceforth did not provide any evidence for the events. They nevertheless have an evidential quality, which they acquire not from what they show, but from what they signify.