Turkish-Armenian businessman to open museum in memory of legendary photographer Ara Güler

Turkish-Armenian entrepreneur, Tayk Mirijanian, on Dec. 21 met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s spouse Anna Hakobyan in the Armenian capital city of Yerevan to discuss opening a museum in memory of famous photographer Ara Güler, ArmenPress said

Mirijanian said that creating a museum including a cafe and a restaurant in commemoration of Armenian-Turkish photographer Ara Güler was his dream. 

The history and present-day activities of the Armenian community in Istanbul are not well known in Armenia, but this museum may become a connecting circle between the Armenian communities in Turkey and Armenia, according to Mirijanian.

“We are (Istanbul-Armenians), we aren’t Turks, but unfortunately little is known about us in our homeland. We have renowned greats – Komitas, Paylans, Ara Güler and many others. They and present-day Armenians of Istanbul must be known in the homeland,” the news site quoted Mirijanian as saying. 

The community has numerous problems, one being the fact that very few of the 100,000 population speak or read in the Armenian language, according to Turkish-Armenian businessman.

Anna Hakobyan said the Armenian authorities were ready to assist in fulfilling the project.

“Our duty is to support this project. I will stand by you with the help of My Step Foundation” Hakobyan said. 

Hakobyan chairs the board of trustees of the My Step Charity Foundation, which aims to find solutions for problems that cannot be fully addressed by the government.

Ara Güler, real name is Aram Güleryan, was an award-winning Armenian photo-journalist from Turkey who for decades captured the changing streets of Istanbul and came to lament the dizzying pace of the city’s redevelopment. He died on Oct. 17 at the age of 90 in Istanbul. In an interview in 2013, he said that he had no difficulty living in Turkey because not everyone knew that he was an Armenian.