Saturday, October 8, 2022

Norman Behrendt, Greetings from Turkey, Hartmann Books, Stuttgart, 2017, ed. 800

This is a quietly political book from this Berlin-based photographer and this accordion consists of 17 detachable postcards each featuring a photograph of a recently built Turkish mosque located in the suburbs of Ankara and Istanbul, with additional information on the back about where they are located and when they were completed. This book is a small sampler of works from Behrendt's future book "Brave New Turkey." This project was started in 2014 with this accordion edition published in two colors: green with the EU visa facilitation, and the red with only the biometric symbol indicating it's a biometric passport. 

On his website Behrendt includes an article by Suzy Hansen from the New York Times Magazine (June 18th, 2017) titled "Reading Erdoğan's Ambitions in Turkey's New Mosques," illustrated also by Behrendt's photographs. Hansen expertly explores the deeper implications of Erdoğan's mosque building boom stating: "Returning Turkey to the glories and origins of its Ottoman past and ending Atatürk’s secular constitution has been one of the primary goals of Recep Erdoğan throughout his long rule of Turkey since 2003, first as prime minister and now as president with growing executive powers. Thanks to the country’s economic boom, between 2010 to 2017, which was driven by cheap capital following the global financial crisis, the AKP, Erdogan`s party, has improved healthcare, urban infrastructure and prosperity, but on the other hand has made control of religious affairs a priority." Reading Erdogan’s Ambitions in Turkey’s New Mosques - The New York Times

For more information about this fascinating project see Behrendt's website at: Norman Behrendt

17 double-sided pages, individual pages 4.25" x 5.25" and when fully open 7' 1/4". 


On the book's back cover there is a rather pointed quote from Turkey's Constitutional Preamble that flies in the face of what Erdoğan is doing on the ground.

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