Cemeteries; Views from Somewhere

Akbaba, 22 May 1930
There's a whole other dissertation to be written about visual culture and satirical magazines, the linkages between art schools and changing representations of people and landscapes in early Republican Turkey, but this cover jumped out at me because of its fidelity to Istanbul. What interests me about it is not so much that it represents a cemetery, but that it represents a particular cemetery. How do we know? The silhouette of the mosques in the background tells us that we're somewhere on the Asian shore, somewhere where the domes of the peninsula read -- left to right -- as Aya Sofya, Nur-ı Osmaniye, and perhaps Fatih and Yavuz Selim Camii. We can't be sure, of course, but this is almost certainly a view from somewhere. Maybe Karacaahmet, the sprawling cemetery on the hill above Üsküdar that forms a kind of pendant to the cemetery in Eyüp.


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