Ergun Çağatay (1937–2018) began working on Central Asia in 1993 as a photographer after surviving a near-fatal bomb attack in Paris ten years earlier. Over the following decade, he travelled more than 100,000 miles and took more than 40,000 photographs, from Lithuania in the west to Yakutia in eastern Siberia. These became the basis of ‘The Turkic Speaking Peoples: 2,000 Years of Art and Culture from Inner Asia to the Balkans’ (Prestel, 2006), a book that combined his images with scholarly essays on the history, culture, cuisine and landscape of the broader Turkic world. His photographs, most of them unpublished, form a unique archive for anyone wishing to understand the complexities of Central Asia and the vast surrounding region since the Cold War. Çağatay died in 2018, just as he was embarking on a project to capture the Crimean Tatars, the peoples of the Balkans and the Uighurs of western China.
'The Land of the Anka Bird' is a reflective visual essay exploring the cultural landscape and geography of the vast Turkic-speaking world, from the mercantile cities of Uzbekistan to little-explored pockets of the Baltics and the frozen wastes of Yakutia in eastern Siberia. READ MORE