Othmar’s Dream: the photographs of Othmar Pferschy 1898–1981
After the grim years of the early 1920s, Turkey experienced a brief period of euphoria. A new Republic was born, and new faces appeared in this land of hope, among them the brilliant but now forgotten photographer Othmar Pferschy (1898–1984), who turned up on the Orient Express in 1926 and stayed for forty years. In 2005 his daughter Astrid von Schell donated his archives to Istanbul Modern, who are staged his first-ever retrospective. Cornucopia has selected some of his most poetic images.
Completing this tribute to a remarkable photographer, Norman Stone examines why it was that so many Central Europeans were drawn to Turkey.
Born near Graz in Austria, Pferschy lived in Istanbul from 1926 to 1969, with only a brief interlude during the Second World War. When he returned to the city from Berlin aftr the war with his Istanbul-born wife and children, he opened his own studio.
The photographs in this article are from Under the Light of the Republic, held at Istanbul Modern, May 2006
We were greatly saddened to learn of the death of one of the great archaeologists of the 20th century, James Mellaart, whose discovery of Çatalhüyük in the 1950s fundamentally altered our understanding of the past. In 2005, on his eightieth birthday, he talked to Christian Tyler. We publish the article here in full, and at the same time offer Jimmie’s family our utmost sympathy.
According to Celâüddin Hızır, asparagus should be eated lightly boiled and dressed with olive oil (as a salad), or cooked with eggs (as a light dish), or prepared with meat (as a main dish) – which is exactly how, six hundred years later, we still enjoy it today.
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You embarked in Paris or Vienna and alighted at Sirkeci station, an Oriental fantasy in the shadow of the Topkapı Palace. This was the train that brought Istanbul into the heart of modern Europe: the fabled Orient Express.
Cappdocia, ‘Land of the Beautiful Horse’, was once famous for the fine steeds that bore its valiant knights. Few horses are left, but they can still transport you into another world. The photographer Jürgen Frank captures the eerie magic of the Anatolian plateau, Susan Wirth is exhilarated by five days in the saddle and David Barchard guides us through the epic landscape.
Kevin Gould waxes lyrical over Château Musar, a legendary wine from the old Ottoman Levant, and salutes the brave new Turkish winemakers who stay true to their roots.