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The Characters of Yusuf Franko

An Ottoman Bureaucrat’s Caricatures

January 26, 2017 – June 1, 2017

ANAMED Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, İstiklal Caddesi No. 181, Merkez Han, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

This extraordinary exhibition features the caricature album of Yusuf Franko Kusa Bey, the late 19th-century Ottoman bureaucrat, Minister of Foreign Affairs, governor general, and man of society. It is the first time that these playful caricatures, which Yusuf Franko made between 1884 and 1896, will be on view.

His satirical portraits lambast the major players in late Ottoman society: wealthy capitalists, members of high society, Ottoman soldiers, Levantines, artists and diplomats. They also expose the colourful social networks, especially those of the Beyoğlu/Pera quarter, which Yusuf Franko himself belonged to, and the global locales of Istanbul. The exhibition emphasises how the Galata–Beyoğlu axis became a financial and diplomatic centre as well as a hotbed of culture and arts.

In addition to the caricatures of Yusuf Franko, relevant photographs, documents and publications from various collections – especially the Ömer M. Koç Collection – will be featured in the exhibition.

Read more about the exhibition in the Connoisseur pages of Cornuncopia 55. Together with Feyhaman Duran: Between Two Worlds at the Sabancı Museum, it’s one of the best shows currently on display in Istanbul.

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