The Characters of Yusuf Franko: An Ottoman Bureaucrat’s Caricatures Visits Ankara!
A late 19th century Ottoman bureaucrat, a Minister of Foreign Affairs, a governor general, a man of society, and an avid caricaturist: Yusuf Franko Kusa Bey. The caricature album of Yusuf Franko Bey was unravelled for the first time in Istanbul in 2017 by Koç University’s ANAMED Research Centre for Anatolian Civilizations.
Under the framework of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, the exhibition has travelled to Ankara and was prepared in collaboration with ANAMED, the Delegation of the European Union to Türkiye, and the Çankaya Municipality.
Through the exhibited caricatures, the visitors meet satirically charged portraits of wealthy capitalists, members of high society, Ottoman soldiers, Levantines, artists and diplomats of the late 19th century. The caricatures offer the spectators the opportunity to observe the colourful social networks, especially those of the Beyoğlu/Pera quarter, which Yusuf Franko himself belonged to, and the global locales of Istanbul. By following the characters in their caricatures and the places they belong, the exhibition emphasizes how the Galata–Beyoğlu axis became a financial and diplomatic centre as well as a frequent destination of international culture and arts.
The exhibition can be visited at Çankaya Zülfü Livaneli Cultural Centre, from 23 November 2018 until 25 January 2019.
Guided tours by the consultant and scriptwriter of the exhibition, Mr. K. Mehmet Kentel is available on certain days, upon prior registration.