By Samaneh Aboutalebi

Iran definitely appeals to culture and taste of Turkish people, Turk photog, traveler says 

October 9, 2020 - 17:17

Turkish photographer Berke Arakli has said that Iran definitely appeals to the culture and taste of Turkish people when it comes to undiscovered beauties and tourism of the ancient land. 

“Iranian people do care about their cultural legacy, which made me happy. This beautiful fact makes Iran a hidden treasure or I’d say the land of undiscovered beauty for professional photographers,” he told the Tehran Times in an e-mail interview in late September. 

Arakli traveled to Iran for the first time in summer 2019, visited 27 cities in 47 days, of which Isfahan, Mashhad, and Shiraz were his favorites. 

“Although I had made researches about Iran before hitting the road, there were many unexpected things which made me cheerful, especially the hospitability, culture and the architecture which fascinated me in the purest way, and the cities which each were incomparably beautiful in their own ways,” he explained. 

He visited the country during Muharram, when Iranians, who are mostly Shia Muslims, hold special ceremonies during the first ten days of the lunar month to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his 72 loyal companions.

“Ashura rituals in Iran are one of the most magnificent events, which I found amazing. Photographers could plan their trips to Iran according to that, which would help them to take awesome photos and see interesting things for sure.” 

As two neighboring countries with a rich history in architecture and Islamic arts, Iran and Turkey have common cultural habits; both are also top tourist destinations in the region. 

Turkish photographer Berke Arakli poses for a photo during his visit to Nasir al-Molk Mosque in Shiraz in August 2019
Turkish photographer Berke Arakli poses for a photo during his visit to Nasir al-Molk Mosque in Shiraz  in August 2019.

“I fell in love with Iranian architecture. Their passion for art surely impresses me, while I felt the murals across the country refreshes the air they breathe. Iranian people are definitely the most hospitable people who live on earth. Also about Iranian music, I’m a big admirer of Homayoun Shajarian.”

Traveling to some other countries including Georgia and Azerbaijan for work, Arakli found Iran “better than expected in absolutely every single aspect.” 

“I am absolutely sure that the tourists from Turkey will love this place. Especially the architecture and ambiance of mosques are fascinating. Iran definitely appeals to the culture and taste of Turkish people,” he said and added that Turkish people and Iranians are both in love for eating, “However the food was a little bit greasy for me, but the rice with saffron and Tabriz meatballs were tasty, while their fresh beverages were remarkably delicious.”

Noting that both nations are hospitable, he added that both countries are trying their best to adapt and preserve their costumes and cultural heritage.  

“Iranian people were more truthful and cheerful than I've been told which I love and respect,” he mentioned. 

Born in Istanbul, the 23-year-old photographer took his first steps in photography when he was 10.  He started his career as an amateur photographer and now he is working with Skyroad Magazine, a Turkish monthly travel magazine. 

“My photos of Iran were well received, absolutely much better than I have expected. I published interviews and papers. My photos got published in magazines and newspapers. I came back with frames those carrying strong emotions and intriguing stories behind them.”

“Iran is a country that every person should see before their death. I would visit it again and again. Just go to Iran and stay as long as you can,” he concluded. 

ABU/MG

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