Riza Özel – ANKARA
The wife of the US Ambassador to Turkey, Jeffry Flake, decorated the walls of their residence in the capital Ankara with some 21 photos taken by a Turkish photographer, Cuma Çevik.
“A photo of horses running and another of a sunset reminded us of the state of Arizona, where we were born and raised,” Cheryl Flake said at a reception hosted by the couple to exhibit the photographs to local and foreign diplomatic representatives.
The photos show views of Karagöl Lake and Delikkaya Waterfall in the northeastern province of Şavşat and Murgul districts of Artvin, Avusor Highlands in Rize Black Sea Province, Butterfly Valley in the southwestern province of Fethiye district of Muğla, the Tazı Canyon in the southern province of Antalya, the wild horses ‘Yılkı’ in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri, the lavender gardens in the southern province of Isparta and the historical region of Cappadocia.
“We can display artwork inside embassies through the ‘Art in Embassies’ program run by the US State Department,” she said.
When asked how they discovered Çevik’s photographs, the ambassador’s wife said, “Bringing art to the residence takes time. So in the meantime, we went looking for a Turkish artist who is an expert in landscape photography.
“Then we discovered the name Cuma Çevik. His works seduced us.
Çevik, who participated in the organization with his wife Merve, said he was “surprised”.
Telling stories of each photo hanging on the walls of the residence, Çevik said: “I sent them my 50 works [the Flakes], they chose 21. I was surprised. It’s a nice feeling.”
The Turkish artist, who has lived in London since 2019, said his passion for photography began during his university years in the Black Sea province of Bolu.
“I have always been interested in photography. During my studies at İzzet Baysal University, I participated in workshops. After graduation, I chose photography as a profession,” he said.
“Bolu, with its beautiful nature, was lucky for me,” he added.
Thanking Çevik for donating her photos to the residency, Cheryl Flake said, “We wanted to share her towering talent with everyone.”
At the end of the reception, Çevik gave Cheryl Flake some travel suggestions to visit must-see places in Turkey, such as Cappadocia.