Who is Güler and who is laughing?

Mid winter, I step off the plane in Istanbul. The many summers that I have spent here, made me forget about the snow. Being not prepared for the cold, I decided to go to Adana hoping to get some sun. (I was on tour). With a grant from the "Het Groot Brugman Fonds" I began my trip. Janna was also in Turkey and we had crossed paths in Adana. Like me, she also studied at the Minerva Art Academy and we got the same scholarship. With both of us greatly interested in Turkey and photography, I was sure we would have a great time. Traveling was also a great way of getting to know each other.


Adana is located in southern Turkey, somewhat near Syria. The winter there is not much milder than in Istanbul. The evenings, we mainly spent with the family sitting around the fireplace. By day we would explore the city and sometimes we would go to school with the children. My uncle offered to bring us to Bahce Köyü, a village near the sea, where other family members live. It was an hour by bus abefore we reached the village. We took a look at several houses and walked around. We took the tractor to visit the men and women in the country and had a cup of tea with them. We were invited to spend the night with Güler and her family, a unique experience.

Güler is a sweet, hardworking woman who after work would also manage her household. As a thank you for her hospitality, we wanted to make her a beautiful portrait, however upon shooting she would put on a very stern face. And the fact that Güler literally means smile, you can imagine how amusing the situation was. Since then, we would remember Güler as the woman who would not smile, and her name became the name of our project.

Onur Kilincci